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The focus on educational background in Taiwan’s electoral politics closes paths to office for the many without the power or money to gain degrees from elite institutions — illicitly or not.
Cabbage gifts to constituents may not be equivalent to vote buying. But they do speak of a culture that has not yet been extinguished in Taiwan.
The by-election has brought a few aspects of Taiwanese politics into focus: party domination, the KMT's failed choice in choosing a candidate, and the high expectations that Mayor Chen will be facing.
After former presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu was ousted from the Kaohsiung Mayoral Office in a recall election, contenders from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Taiwan People's Party (TPP) are seeking to replace him in a by-election held today.