Newspaper article China Post

Ko: Right Man, Right Time for All the Wrong Reasons

Newspaper article China Post

Ko: Right Man, Right Time for All the Wrong Reasons

Article excerpt

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A recent survey conducted by Ming Chuan University shows that an astounding 83.49 percent of respondents are satisfied with the performance of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je ([...]), whose rise to one of the most prominent positions in Taiwan politics is nothing short of astonishing. This feat is made even more amazing given that Ko, now riding a wave of political success, isn't even a politician in the strictest sense of the word.

Politicians, as the people of Taiwan are well aware, are creatures of habit and predictable in most respects. They all act "in the best interests of the nation," and can be expected to do whatever they feel is necessary to safeguard the sovereignty and dignity of the nation, and hopefully thwart the efforts of their opponents at the same time, if at all possible.

Ko, on the other hand, is perfectly suited to be the leader of Taipei precisely because he seems to care so very little about what his opponents say or think about him. When he sees a problem, or hears about one from the city's citizens, and he swings into action; albeit sometimes his decisions manage to infuriate the people he governs. Illegal structures sitting atop apartment blocks? Demolished. Free public YouBike rides putting a strain on the city's finances? Free no more. The affordable housing and transportation that the youth of the city rely on is being dismantled and discontinued, and still Mayor Ko is unquestionably backed by the vast majority of Taipei's citizens. And let us not forget that it was the young people of the city who pushed hardest to elect Ko into office. The ability to act against the desires of those whom you govern, yet still receive overwhelming support is the dream of any politician.

Again, this is what sets Ko apart from others; he sees an issue that needs tending to, and does what he feels is best. This is what makes him a great mayor. Unfortunately for the good doctor, it is this same approach that limits him from attaining what some might call for when the time is right.

Measured responses are what the international community has come to expect from the leaders of the world. …

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