Smearing political rivals in Taipei: Freddie Lim take-down! 林昶佐被林郁方「抺黑」了

Have you been enjoying the flood of campaign leaflets flowing through your letterbox? I’m living near the boundary between the 5th and 8th electoral districts, so have been getting a range. One particular leaflet released by KMT candidate Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) caught my eye, as the entire thing was dedicated to smearing Lin’s rival for the 5th electoral district of Taipei, Freddy Lim (founding leader of the New Power Party (時代力量) and lead singer of heavy-metal band Chthonic):

whyyouburnflag The front side of the leaflet poses a question to Lim:

I want to ask Freddy Lim: “Why did you burn our national flag?”

Then below are featured various Facebook quotes from Lim, such as:

Seeing the “tyre flag” (the fucking Republic of China national flag)  finally being pulled down in London, I’ve just got one thing to say: “I’m thrilled!”.

As well as:

The Republic of China national flag is not the Taiwanese national flag, so if anyone wants to desecrate the Republic of China national flag, I wouldn’t just refrain from having a go at him, I would encourage him!”

The other side of the leaflet is again dominated by an attack on Lim:

whyyouburnflag2

The back of the leaflet then asks Lim:

If you hate the Republic of China flag so much, why do you want to stand for election as a Republic of China legislator?

It then lists specific incidents of Lim desecrating the national flag:

2003 : After a concert he ripped up a Republic of China flag on stage.

Feb. 11, 2007: He wrote online: “Burning a flag on stage”, and added, “I’ve hated this national flag” for “decades”.

July 25, 2012: He wrote on Facebook: “If anyone wants to desecrate the Republic of China national flag, I wouldn’t just refrain from having a go at him, I would encourage him!”

July 25, 2012: During the London Olympics, when the Republic of China national flag was taken down from the streets of London due to pressure from the Communist Party of China, he wrote online that on seeing “the fucking Republic of China national flag” being taken down, he only had one thing to say “I’m thrilled!”

July 8, 2015: When attending a forum he said that “heavily made up he screamed while scattering josh paper and burning the national flag!”

Only then does Lin Yu-fang, the man behind the leaflet, feature. There’s a picture of him “proclaiming sovereignty over Taiping Island” (Taiping is one of many disputed islands in the South China Sea which the Republic of China claims) and the tagline:

“Lin Yu-fang, defending the Republic of China, deserving of your trust”

You’d be hard-pushed to recognize the Freddy Lim featured on Lin Yu-fang’s leaflets from Lim’s own campaign ads, as he seems to have gone for a more clean-cut look, no doubt to woo older voters:

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The poster reads “Freddy Lim, the only candidate [in Taipei’s fifth electoral district] supported by Tsai Ing-wen.

Lim has been endorsed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Tsai Ing-wen. Lin is clearly trying to put forward the idea that voting for non-KMT candidates will endanger Taiwan’s international standing and portray Lim as reckless and extreme. The rhetorical questions are pretty effective ways to do this despite the Catch 22 logic that lies behind the second: Lin Yu-fang asks why Lim wants to become part of the Republic of China political machine if he doesn’t acknowledge its sovereignty. But if you think about it for a moment, there’s no way to change the system unless you take part in it (even Sinn Fein have taken their seats in the Northern Ireland assembly, despite their continued boycott of Westminster). Lim clearly doesn’t believe that he is burning his national flag and identifies only with Taiwan, not the Republic of China.

Even those people who can get behind Lim’s disenchantment with the Republic of China conception of nationhood may be swayed by Lin’s smear campaign if they think the act of flag-burning makes Lim look like a petulant child (even though it happened quite a long time ago). However, smearing the other candidate suggests a certain amount of childishness and, worse still, a lack of ideas of one’s own, so it’ll be interesting to see how voters react.

Lim and seven other candidates from minority, independent and DPP candidates are being supported by the DPP and Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je (an independent candidate himself) against KMT candidates, in what has been called variously the “Capitol Progressive Alliance” and the “Capital Forward Alliance” (首都進步大聯盟).  The Frozen Garlic Blog (the name of which is a literal translation of the how the Taiwanese word for “to be elected” 當選 tòng-sóan sounds in Mandarin 凍蒜 (dong4suan4 / ㄉㄨㄥˋ ㄙㄨㄢˋ)  has a good piece on this here and does a spectacular job of election and campaign coverage in general.

Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元) is running in my district, Taipei’s eighth electoral district (Wenshan District + Zhongzheng District Li 10/文山區 中正區10里), while Freddy Lim is running in the neighbouring fifth electoral district (Wanhua District + Zhongzheng District Li 21/萬華區 中正區21里). And I’ve also seen posters from Taipei’s sixth electoral district (Daan District), which is pitting incumbent KMT candidate Chiang Nai-shin (蔣乃辛) against independent Pang Wei-liang (龎維良) and Social Democratic Party candidate Fan Yun (范雲). Fan is actually the candidate backed by the Capitol Progressive Alliance, although I couldn’t find her poster in the area of Daan District I was in (I think I was on the margins). From what I could see Chiang seems quite confident of victory, as I could only see one banner by him in a side-street, whereas Pang was everywhere.

Lee Ching-yuan was expelled from the KMT in July, along with four other members for their opposition to the now aborted presidential campaign of Hung Hsiu-chu. Another of these former KMT members, Yang Shih-chiu, is running in Taipei’s seventh electoral district (Hsin-yi District + Songshan District Li 13/信義區 松山區13里). I’ve been taking some photos of the campaign posters while I’ve been out and about. See below for translations of their slogans:

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There are two posters here, both from independent candidate Lee Ching-yuan who is running in Taipei’s eighth electoral district against incumbent KMT candidate Lai Shih-bao. Lee’s KMT membership was revoked in July for opposing Hung Hsiu-chu’s now aborted campaign. The poster above, with the slogan 「滅頂行動,立委換人」suggests that Lee is aligned with a movement to get rid of the Ting Hsin International Group, who were caught up in a food safety scandal concerning edible oils which came to light in 2014. The slogan 滅頂行動  is a play on words, as 「滅頂」 is a term for “drowning”, while if the 「頂」 is used to represent the 頂  in the company name Ting Hsin (頂新) it can also take on the meaning “Obliterate the Ting Hsin Group”, while 「行動」 means a movement, or to take action; this conjures up the image of people being drowned in gutter oil (set off by the black color of the poster). The smaller banner below says “Look after old people for me!”

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Lee Ching-yuan is running as an independent in Taipei’s eighth electoral district against incumbent Lai Shih-bao. His KMT membership was revoked in July for opposing Hung Hsiu-chu’s now aborted campaign. This poster says “Get new brains into the legislature”.

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Lai Shih-bao is running in Taipei’s eighth electoral district against independent Lee Ching-yuan.

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Lai Shih-bao is running in Taipei’s eighth electoral district against independent Lee Ching-yuan.

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One of Lin Yu-fang’s campaign posters. He’s running in Taipei’s fifth electoral district against New Power Party candidate Freddy Lim

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Sorry this one is from so far away. But I think it’s Lin Yu-fang and Eric Chu with the latter’s “One Taiwan” slogan. Lin Yu-fang is running in the fifth electoral district (Wanhua).

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Lee Ching-yuan is running as an independent in Taipei’s eighth electoral district. His KMT membership was revoked in July for opposing Hung Hsiu-chu’s now aborted campaign. His poster says “Give me food security and public security”.

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This poster for Pang Wei-liang reads “Only change brings new power, Pang Wei-liang, a fresh power for Daan District legislator; Non-party affiliated, young, local, eager to get things done”.

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Pang Wei-liang is running as an independent in Taipei’s sixth electoral district (Daan). His poster reads “Time for a change to Daan’s legislator! Let a young person with no party affiliation have a chance to work on your behalf!”

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I also came across this banner for minority party Minkuotang vice-presidential candidate Hsu Hsin-ying, who is also the party’s chair. The slogan on the banner reads “Always standing with the people”. Hsu is the running mate of People First Party chair and presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜), who is running against KMT presidential candidate and party chair Eric Chu (朱立倫) and DPP presidential candidate and party chair Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

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Lee Ching-yuan is running as an independent in Taipei’s eighth electoral district. His KMT membership was revoked in July for opposing Hung Hsiu-chu’s now aborted campaign. This poster reads, “Big reform to living standards”.

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Lai Shih-bao again, (running in eighth electoral district against independent Lee Ching-yuan). The slogan on this sign reads “The most accomplished legislator”.

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A banner asking people to support Taipei sixth electoral district KMT incumbent candidate Chiang Nai-shin, who is being pitted against Social Democratic Party Candidate Fan Yun and independent Pang Wei-liang.

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Another poster for incumbent KMT candidate (in Taipei’s eighth electoral district)  Lai Shih-bao. This one states, “Judged to be the most accomplished legislator in each legislative session”.

Feel free to submit campaign leaflets or posters that you’re curious about from your district that you would like featured on the blog.

On a side note, the dates of the VP and Presidential candidate debates have been announced as follows:

The VP debate is also at 2pm.

There’s also a handy website (only in Chinese) for sussing out which electoral district you are in – check it out here.

One thought on “Smearing political rivals in Taipei: Freddie Lim take-down! 林昶佐被林郁方「抺黑」了

  1. Pingback: Smear before bedtime in Taipei’s 8th electoral district 台北8號選區立委選舉抹黑戰爭 | Translating Taiwanese Literature

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