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Buying votes Taizhong Style December 1, 2014

Posted by hslu in Politics, Taiwan.
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Politicians buying votes all the time using tax dollars and government incentives as baits to lure investments corporations.

台中’s competitive mayoral race bought out the big gun by the sitting mayor who was terribly behind his challenger from the opposition party.

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The idea is simple:

I, as mayor of Taizhong, promise to give my corporate friend enough incentives to build a plant here in my city. My rich corporate friend gets a break on future income tax paid to the city and an upfront discount on the land to build the plant. Without any thing on a piece of paper, I as mayor want to buy your votes with a oral promise that citizens in my city will get assembly line jobs or something similar in a future plant which may or may not support your family.

In essence, the mayor uses tax money to buy voters’ votes so he’ll stay in the office. My rich friend gets richer from the tax breaks and upfront bonus plus future earnings from the factory. You get a low paying job which feels like eating chicken ribs: 食之無味 棄之可惜也。

In my book, this is the same as dropping 新臺幣 from a helicopter asking people to vote from me. What the mayor should have done is to have his rich friend build the factory fair and square way before the election time. Negotiate a term that’s favorable to my citizen. At the election time, the mayor can cite this as one of his accomplishments instead of showing up at a photo op.

This can be called ‘公開官商勾結’.

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