In the art of quitting, timing is absolutely everything
The China Post news staffAccording to a poll conducted by the Want Want China Times Public Opinion Survey Center last month, almost one out of every two eligible voters did not approve of President Ma Ying-jeou continuing to double as chairman of the Kuomintang. Altogether 49.3 percent of the 832 respondents said they do not think it is good for Ma to remain party chairman after his current turn is over in October. Only a 24.1-percent minority approved of his running for re-election, while the remaining 26.6 percent expressed no opinion.
March 7, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Asked to rate Ma's performance as Kuomintang chairman, a 58-percent majority considered it unsatisfactory, while a 20.1-percent minority were satisfied and the remaining 21.9 percent didn't answer. They were also asked whether Ma's re-election as party chairman would “positively help” his government. A mere 20.1 percent said “yes,” while another 11 percent believed it would “negatively help” and a 48.4-percent plurality considered it “to be of no help whatsoever.” The remaining 20.3 percent said they “don't know.”
Polling isn't a science, and can at best show how the polled think when they are polled. But it often points to a general trend. So, despite Ma's popularity ratings at an all-time low of 13 percent, close to one in every four people thinks he can run for re-election. It should be noted that Kuomintang Legislator Tsai Cheng-yuan is questioning the legality of such a re-election bid. Tsai cited the Civil Association Act and the Kuomintang charter as well as a Taiwan high court ruling against Jhunan Mayor Kang Shih-ju's election bid for a third term as part of his argument against Ma running for re-election after serving two terms. The Kuomintang insists that Ma isn't running for a third term.
Ma's record-low approval ratings indicate the people think he isn't doing his job well. Close to six out of every 10 people believe he isn't doing his job as Kuomintang chairman well, either. Moreover, 59.7 percent — those who said Ma being re-elected as party chairman would be “no help” or “negatively help” his government — deem it better for him not to run for what the Kuomintang claims is a second term. It's time for Ma, who has to bow out in 2016, to think of retiring as Kuomintang chairman.