I took this Polaroid four years ago when I visited Ron in Taipei. This was a day or so after the 2006 municipal elections and two women were collecting campaign flags off a sky bridge near Taida. I wonder where all those flags go? I think someone should make them into a bunch of wacky quilts for fans of gradient backgrounds, Photoshopped head shots and gratuitous drop shadows (all design signatures of Taiwan election posters). [[[ETA: David from David on Formosa left a comment to let me know that some posters do get recycled… into scarecrows!]]]
The municipal elections are on Saturday and the campaigning is heating up as candidates head out in an effort to rack up more votes. One popular campaigning tactic is hanging onto the back of a SUV or small truck and driving up and down streets, waving to pedestrians or cars like a pageant queen. I saw a couple of these campaign vehicles this afternoon while I was out and about. I didn’t catch who was hanging onto their backs, however, because the trucks zipped by too quickly. Clearly those candidates aren’t worried about potholes.
Another tactic is driving around in a truck outfitted with loudspeakers blaring out your campaign message. Usually this is a pre-recorded message, but since there are only a couple days left, candidates are actually getting behind the microphone. One truck just passed by my window with one of the candidates for our neighborhood chief (里長) in it. It was very loud. Taroko George actually growled. It was odd — we live in a relatively noisy neighborhood and Taroko George isn’t easily scared. Maybe that lizhang candidate is actually the devil in disguise? You know cats can tell those things.
Speaking of lizhangs, our current neighborhood chief (who is running for re-election) showed up at our apartment door last Sunday. I told him we are foreigners and can’t vote, but what I actually wanted to say was “Who the hell let you in the building?” I saw him again on Monday, handing out his cards near the 7PM garbage/recycling collection trucks. Now that’s smart. He knows where people congregate!