The Making and Operation of a Kuomintang Candidate's Vote – Buying Machine





Published date: 

十二月, 1997


Chin-shou Wang


Vote-buying has long been a wide -spread phenomenon in elections on Taiwan. It is most commonly practiced by the Kuomintang candidates. This essay analyzes the making and operation of the vote - buying machine of a KMT candidate. The information is collected from participant observation and in-depth interview of the KMT campaigners of different ranks. The article claims that local factions are an important instrument for the KMT in exercising large -scale vote-buying. In some towns where no factions exist, which is rare, party officers take the place of local factions to engage in vote -buying. This paper shows that large -scale vote- buying is a deliberate and carefully planned process. Moreover, its effectiveness and secrecy are insured by traditional social relations. This paper also challenges the conclusion of past findings by interview surveys that the proportion of Votes bought among the electorate is about 25-30% It is estimated to be as high as 67% by the current research. The Vote-buying machine nor only sustained the KMT authoritarian regime but has also kept it in power after democratization.