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September 25, 2017

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Mayor Hau's blundering march to the presidency

It is natural for those with power in hand to put words into the reluctant mouths of others. Regardless of the motivation, the act is undoubtedly efficient when the people under your thumb are the citizens you are ruling over.

Two days ago, a great many Taiwanese shuddered when Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) declared loud and clear his "abandonment-disappointment" theory. "The residents of Taiwan were ruled by the Dutch in the early days, and the island was later ceded to Japan after the First Sino-Japanese War; the people have always had a feeling that 'the mother country has abandoned us,' which I can understand perfectly," the mayor was heard saying, before asking China to show its empathy to Taiwan's supposed plight.

To say Hau was merely putting words into the mouths of the Taiwanese may be something of an understatement, as the ill-disguised pride he issued the statement with was more along the lines of shoving words into people's mouths and then dancing with glee as the people stood with their mouths gaping.

A crude description perhaps, but the mayor's antics were just as disappointing, for it was not Hau's first or even fifth accomplishment that fell short of the image of a successful capital leader. Hau was always biting off more than he could chew, whether when he tackled some wannabe project so skillfully copied from other nations, or when he was covering up for his past blunders with overly confident yet cringe-worthy speeches.

After voting for the polite candidate with a squeaky clean record, the citizens of Taipei soon discovered that the man was an expert at putting the people's taxes to "greater" uses, which included the multibillion-dollar Deaflympics, Flower Expo and the yet-to-be-held Universiade. At some point it became obvious that while the mayor was trying to polish Taipei and show a renovated side to the world, his attempts often fell flat as he lacked a shocking degree of forethought.

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