As Taiwan’s presidential election is drawing near, in this episode we’ve talked about elections in Taiwan and related vocabulary.
These show notes use tables and rich formatting. Please visit the episode webpage for an optimal viewing experience.)
|Tsit lé-pài-la̍k suán-kí.||Saturday is election day.|
|suán-kí / suán-kú||election|
|sì nî tsi̍t kái||once every 4 years|
|tsóng-thóng tāi-suán||presidential election|
|Lí kám ē khì tâu-phiò?||Are you going to vote?|
|li̍p-huat-īnn||the Legislative Yuan or legislature|
|li̍p-huat uí-uân / li̍p-uí||legislators|
|la̍k si̍k||6 electoral seats|
|tâu-phiò thong-ti-tuann||election notice|
|ìn-á||name chop; seal, stamp|
|tǹg-phiò||to stamp the ballot|
*Syllables that have been greyed out require a tone change
*For those of you who are eligible to vote in Taiwan*
Voting is open on Saturday from 8am to 4pm.
Please remember to bring your:
1) national ID, 2) election notice, and 3) name chop.
This time you will receive 3 ballots at the polling place:
1) a ballot for president, 2) a ballot for your district legislator, and 3) a ballot for a political party.
To learn more about the elections and related words in Taiwan, check out our workbook. It gives you some additional vocabulary, culture and grammar explanations, and great exercises to reinforce what you’ve learned in this episode.
CULTURE: ELECTIONS IN TAIWAN
Legal age for voting
To vote in a Taiwanese election, you have to be a citizen and at least 20 years old. For referendums, the legal age is 18.
No absentee voting
The election is always held on a Saturday from 8am to 4pm. Voter turnout is usually quite high. It is really amazing since Taiwan doesn’t allow absentee voting so voters must vote where they have household registration. Many Taiwanese citizens will travel back to their hometowns to vote, and some even fly back from other countries.
In Taiwan, the presidential election is held every 4 years. The first direct elections for President happened in 1996.
The "9-in-1" election
Another general election for local positions in special municipalities, counties, cities, and townships is called the "9-in-1 election". This is where people elect positions like mayors, and city councilors. It is held every 4 years and offset 2 years from the presidential election.
DPP & KMT
The two major political parties in Taiwan are:
- Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
- Chinese Nationalist Party (or "Kuomintang", KMT)
The legislative offices in Taiwan is a unicameral, one body legislature called the "Legislative Yuan".
113 seats = 73 (district) + 6 (aborigines) + 34 (at-large; >50% female)
The Legislature in Taiwan has 113 legislators, 73 of which are elected according to geographically drawn electoral districts.
Another 6 seats are specially allocated to Taiwan’s Aborigines and only those who have Aboriginal status can vote for them. All of Taiwan gets split into 2 aboriginal voting districts: mountain tribes and plains tribes, each electing 3 seats.
There are also 34 seats for legislators-at-large allocated based on a proportional representation system. Besides voting for a candidate from their electoral district, the voters also get to vote for the political party they support. Based on the proportion of votes won by each political party, they’ll get that proportion of the 34 seats.
Also by law, each political must have at least 50% of their selected legislators-at-large be female.
ONE BITE CHALLENGE: WHAT GOES UP, MUST COME DOWN
Our One Bite Challenge this week is a saying about leap years and luck:
“Sann nî tsi̍t jūn, hó-pháinn tsiàu lûn.”
Literally, it means “every three years there’s a leap; good and bad take turns.” Let’s break down the sentence:
|jūn||Intercalation (adding leap days and months)
Culture note: Taiwanese traditional calendar is a luni-solar system and every 2 to 3 years there’s an additional “month” put into the calendar.
|hó-pháinn||good and bad|
|tsiàu||accordingly, in accordance with|
|lûn||to alternate, to take turns|
This saying basically means no one will have good or bad luck that lasts forever. It is usually said to console someone who’s had bad luck or has gone through a rough time, but it can also mean “every dog has its day”. Maybe you are being lucky this time and walking on air now but next time it will be someone else who has better luck.
Music Credit: TeknoAXE