Cablegate: Televised Debate On Tainan County Magisterial Election

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Televised Debate on Tainan County Magisterial Election

REF: A) Taipei 3916 B) Taipei 4399

1. The Taiwan Think Tank held a televised debate for two magisterial
candidates in Tainan County on November 19, 2005. The debate, which
lasted for two and half hours at National Tainan Art University, was
broadcast live by Taiwan's Public Television System. The two debater
DPP candidate Su Huan-chi and KMT candidate Kuo Tien-tsai, took
questions from a panel consisting of eighteen local residents. Among
the eighteen participants, five were from the pan-blue Camp, four wer
from the pan-green and nine were without any political affiliation.
All the men and women on the panel were between twenty and sixty year
of age.

2. While televised candidate debates have been done before in Taiwan
this debate, entitled "Voice of the People", differed from usual
broadcasts. Usually debate panels consist of academics and/or
journalists raising questions to candidates. The Tainan debate
differed in that it incorporated the actual presence and participatio
of local residents, who took turns asking questions of the debaters.
The eighteen panel members prepared together by meeting and
brainstorming on eight discussion topics one week before the debate
took place. Those discussion topics were then given to the debaters
for preparation purposes. The issues discussed at the debate were of
interest to local residents, including the relocation of National
Tainan University (reftels), agricultural development, the county
government deficit, job opportunities, flood prevention, medical
treatment for rural areas, teachers' retirement and children's
education resources.

3. Both DPP and KMT candidates addressed the eight issues extensivel
While incumbent Magistrate Su Huan-chi emphasized his administration'
achievements in those areas of concern, his KMT opponent criticized
Su's inadequate supervision, poor performance and DPP corruption.

4. The Taichung-based Taiwan Daily, the only print press that
announced the televised debate, did not provide any follow-up reporti
on viewers' reaction after the debate.



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