What Kind of Cabinet is This?

What Kind of Cabinet is This?
Photo Credit: 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen

Solidaritytw pointed to this great Storm Media piece with a nifty infographic about the incoming Tsai Cabinet. I'll digest its points into text.

  • Percentage of women in the cabinet: the last five countries with low percentages of females in the cabinet: S Korea (11.8%), Japan (11.1%), Taiwan (10.8%), China (8.3%), and Saudi Arabia (5.9%). Yep, Taiwan is beating out the PRC and Saudi.

Nothing to be said about this: it's just a colossal failure and an insult to all the women who worked to put Tsai into the presidency.

  • Age: Average age of 60.5, oldest is 70, the youngest is 46. 2 younger than 50, 2 between 50 and 55, 11 between 55 and 60, 15 between 60 and 65, 7 older than 65.

33 of 37 over 55. *sigh* The whole cabinet should be under 55, with many under 45.

  • Education: 19 have doctorates (51.4%), 17 have degrees from overseas. 17 have degrees from NTU, 11 have degrees from Political University, 3 have degrees from National Taiwan Normal University (Shi Da)

Yes, that's right - 31 of 37 have degrees from an university in Taipei. Just another technocratic, Taipei-centered cabinet, because god knows we've never had those before.

  • Experience: Central government experience 1 under LTH [Lee Teng-hui], 17 under CSB [Chen Shui-bian], 3 under MYJ [Ma Ying-jeou]. All except one have some kind of government experience.
  • Party Affiliation: 11 are from the DPP, 3 are from the KMT, and 23 are not formally associated with a party.

Most of these people in the Cabinet will be gone within 18 months. Hopefully the next Cabinet will be more DPP oriented, contain more career politicians, and have people with degrees from universities outside of Taipei.

The infographic notes that compared to its predecessor, the new Cabinet is older, has fewer women, has more experience of central government, has fewer PhDs, and has more people with no party affiliation and fewer from own-party. And the KMT government had no DPP people.

On the whole, the cabinet is a celebration of technocracy. The technocratic assumption that smart people make better decisions isn't always right, because political decisions have powerful ideological and moral elements that technocrats either aren't trained to think about or because of their class loyalties, think about in a way that benefits elites.

The News Lens has been authorized to repost this article. The piece was first published by The View from Taiwan.

First Editor: Edward White

Second Editor: Olivia Yang