Written by Jonathan Leung. Earlier this year, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Tainan City Council, Chiu Li-li and Lin Chih-chan, were arrested on suspicion of involvement in a bribery case related to the speaker election last December. However, this is not the first time incidents concerning the speaker election in Tainan City Council have made headlines. Accidents and controversies have arisen several times, drawing attention to the Tainan City Council’s speaker election held every four years in December.
From Kuomintang to Democracy: The Evolution of Clientelism and Its Legacy
Written by Matthew Yi-Hsiu Lee. The democratic performance in Taiwan today is evident, but this does not mean that it does not have a dark side. Recently, during the by-election of a legislator in Nantou, some people held cameras to supervise whether others voted, which violated the privacy and rights of the general public. These people are brokers and part of a more extensive authoritarian legacy. They monitor whether voters go to vote, which may also involve vote-buying fraud and serving so-called “local factions.” However, what are the mysterious “local factions”? Why do they appear? And what impact do they have on democracy?
How Taiwan Can Move on From Corrupt Politics of the Past
Written by Milo Hsieh. Corruption in Taiwan has been a significant issue since the democratisation in Taiwan. In the early years of Taiwan’s democracy, this was a major issue for politicians in all political parties. Despite numbers and figures showing that Taiwan has been working well to root out corruption amongst its bureaucracy and politics, high-level corruption and illicit deals between politicians and the business community continues to Taiwanese politicians.
Corruption in Taiwan: The Data and its Doubts
Written by Ian Inkster. Corruption has been a dirty word for many years. Whilst it was a normal mechanism of courtly governance in most nations at some much earlier times, the move to modernity has everywhere removed any legitimation it might have had in the past. Usually, this is seen as in contradistinction to the growth of electorates, civil societies, and democratic constitutions, however partial or ill-applied the latter often are. Nevertheless, we must also revisit the numerous exceptions and the general irregularity of this historical trend even at the heart of the claim.
IMAGINING A POST-PANDEMIC
Written by Yu-Hsien Sung and Chin-shou Wang. For many years, Taiwan has suffered from substantial amounts of corruption. The dominant political party used voting-buying machines to secure popular support and elicit cooperation from elites. Following the changes in the political environment during the democratization period, the old mechanisms gradually failed in their effectiveness. In recent global surveys on governance and corruption, Taiwan is considered as one of the best performers in the Asia-Pacific region. However, during the past year, several Taiwanese politicians and government officials were involved in bribery scandals.
Corruption, Democracy, and the Business of Politics in Taiwan
Written by Erik Mobrand. Assessments of the state of corruption in Taiwan show wildly diverging conclusions. Corruption scandals break out regularly, seeming to keep the island in a series of emergencies. At the same time, global surveys laud Taiwanese authorities for successfully fighting corruption. If Taiwan is so clean, why do corruption scandals happen? Or, if corruption scandals are so regular, how can Taiwan be assessed as an anti-corruption success story?
Taiwan Should Abandon Its Irrational Anti-Corruption Strategy
Written by Jon S.T. Quah. Taiwan has been eminently successful in combating the current COVID-19 pandemic because of its rational approach of relying on science, extensive testing, quarantine, contact tracing, and through the population’s observance of the necessary public health preventive measures. In contrast, Taiwan has failed to make significant progress in minimising corruption, judging from the frequent recurrence of corruption scandals and its unimpressive performance on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from 2012 to 2019.
Tackling Grand Corruption in Taiwan?
Written by Ernie Ko. On September 22, 2020, five Legislative Yuan (Taiwan parliament) members, including four current members and one ex-member, were formally indicted by the Taipei Prosecutors Office for bribery charges. This group of accomplices has been consistently receiving bribery for nine years from a local businessman in exchange for putting pressure on government officials to tilt the law in the businessman’s favour.
Taiwan’s Unsurprising Corruption
Written by Michael Johnston. Taiwan’s reputation for good government has vastly improved over the past generation and more. Its scores on the Transparency International’s well-known Corruption Perception Index have improved from a low score of 49.8 in 1996 to 58 in 2010 and 65 in 2019. The more sophisticated World Bank Institute’s World Governance Indicators include an index of Corruption Control. There too, Taiwan had risen from a score of +0.58 in 1996 to +1.03 in 2018.