It’s coming up on election time for mayor and local representatives, and I most likely just visited by gangsters promoting their candidate. If you’re looking for me to post a picture of the candidate which he just gave me when we shook hands, don’t look for it here!
I told them as I have other candidates and their workers who’ve come by the last two weeks that I don’t have the right to vote here, but as is usually the case I’m still politely handed the literature. Never mind that I probably wouldn’t want to vote for them even if I could as it was clear that over the noon hour they had a little too much to drink. Not the best way to attract voters, but I guess it doesn’t matter as they have other means.
Yesterday eating lunch with coworkers at a local establishment the owner and his wife did not seem their normal talkative happy selves. We think it’s because the customers at the other table, a group of 5 or 6 men one might describe as looking a little thug-like. My coworker had seen them the previous evening eliciting a discomforting reaction from one of his neighbors. Maybe they were out “encouraging” the voters. A couple of the same fellows were back at the same restaurant in the evening when I drove by again.
A friend from a nearby township said that votes are going for 5,000 NT per person in the election in which he is assisting. The present mayor of that place is a known gang leader. Three years ago I heard that another local acquaintance’s father (whose family used to be a prominent in the community) was coerced into stepping down from re-election after he was physically threatened. Democracy at work. But my country’s democracy has it’s own problems too.