Since the start of the 2024 presidential campaign, integration has been an important topic in the wild.

The first wave peaked after the start of the KMT's civil unrest in June, because Hou Youyi's support collapsed at the bottom, and Ke Wenzhe continued to rise, even surpassing Lai Qingde for a time, resulting in the KMT's "blue-white" call, and some voices suggested that Ke Wenzhe should be "courteous", such as the "political party rotation grand coalition" proposed by legislator Law Zhiqiang, which was interpreted as "abandoning Hou Baoke", although Law Zhiqiang himself solemnly denied it.

The second peak was after Gou announced his candidacy in late August, because there were as many as three groups of candidates from the non-green camp, so many voices called on Hou Youyi, Ke Wenzhe, and Gou Taiming to negotiate, hoping to form a group of candidates among the three in order to concentrate votes to remove the DPP. Among them, because Gou Taiming is at the bottom of the poll, the highest voice is still "Ke Hou Match" and "Hou Ke Match".

Hon Hai founder Terry Gou (left) held a press conference at the Zhang Rongfa Foundation on the morning of September 9 to announce the deputy candidate, "I will solemnly invite Ms. Lai Peixia (right) as a running partner to participate in the 14 presidential election." Lai Peixia played the presidential candidate in the play "The Chosen Man". (Courtesy of Gou's campaign office)

In the author's opinion, Gou Taiming is now at the end of the crossbow, not only the American nationality of deputy Lai Peixia's abandonment of time is a mystery, but even the local factions of the Kuomintang who originally promised to help have left one after another, and all parties have either stood on the sidelines or "defected again" to return to the Hou camp. Isolated to this point, even if Gou Taiming is forced to choose to the end, the result may be a serious bubble, and it will not pose a threat to blue and white.

From this perspective, the combination and decline of Ke Wenzhe and Hou Youyi is the key to the non-green camp that can really pose a threat to Lai Qingde. Of course, the reality of blue and white cooperation is not small, but to concentrate non-green camp votes, it is not necessary to integrate, and you can also operate the "abandonment of bail" that often occurs in Taiwan's elections: as long as one of Hou Youyi and Ke Wenzhe can take a large lead in the pre-election polls, such as more than 10% ahead of their opponents, their party can call on voters to "concentrate their votes in favor of the second place", resulting in the final vote of the third place being much smaller than the poll data, and the second place will thus overwhelm the first place and narrowly win.

The author has mentioned in the previous two articles "Lai Qingde's hidden worries" that Lai Qingde is not the candidate of the common favor of China and the United States, and is facing a series of drawbacks in the DPP's 8-year rule, if the non-green camp only has a strong candidate in the end, then Lai Qingde is very likely to be slapped in the face by the voting results even if he is in the current situation.

On August 8, Lai Qingde attended the luncheon of mainstream and overseas Chinese in New York, USA. (Taiwan Presidential Office)

Causes and obstacles of blue and white

Looking back at the blue-white chorus, the underlying logic of this idea is party rotation, that is, supporters take "removing the DPP" as the highest goal, calling on one of Ke Wenzhe and Hou Youyi to sacrifice their presidential dream to achieve the concentration of votes in the non-green camp, and asking the KMT and the People's Party to form a ruling coalition to prevent the DPP from establishing another court majority.

To be fair, this idea has a realistic basis, because Lai Qingde's momentum is indeed not as strong as Tsai Ing-wen in 2020, whose support has been stable at more than 2019% since the second half of 40, and even broke many records of 50%; On the other hand, this time, although Lai Qingde was steadily ahead of other candidates, his support only fluctuated in the range of 30% to 40%, and even if he once broke through the ceiling of 8% after visiting the United States in August, he soon fell back to the 40% range due to the scandal of clouded leopard energy and Brazilian egg imports. From this perspective, non-green voters' expectations of blue-white are understandable.

But then again, if blue and white were an easy task, Ke Hou would not be entangled to this day. Focus on reality, whether it is "Hou Ke" or "Ke Hou Match", both have a lot of difficulties and obstacles to implementation.

On June 6, Ke Wenzhe visited "Long Time - Chen Bingchen's Solo Exhibition" in Changhua. (Courtesy of Taiwan People's Party)

The first is "Hou Kebei", whose core demand is Ke Wenzhe's concession, whether it is to agree to serve as Hou Youyi's deputy, or in exchange for an important position in the Blue and White coalition government, in short, Ke Wenzhe gave up running for president and became the Kuomintang and Hou Youyi.

For proponents of this idea, the ups and downs of the May-September polls have proved that the so-called rise of Ke Wenzhe is only short-lived, because even if Ke can take advantage of the window of civil unrest in the Kuomintang and the DPP's attack on Hou Youyi, he can barely break 5% of the polls when the propaganda system advances downwind. After that, in the face of the DPP's overwhelming Internet army flank offensive, Ke Wenzhe's team was obviously defeated and could not fight the headwind propaganda war, and its polls soon fell back to 9%, at the same time, the Kuomintang has gradually integrated, in the case of the People's Party's organizational combat strength is almost zero, Ke Wenzhe will only become weaker the further he goes, so it is better to accept it and integrate with the Kuomintang.

The above ideas can be regarded as mainstream in today's Kuomintang, and there are some people who agree with it in the People's Party, but they are not the overwhelming majority of the non-green public opinion market. Because in the support base of the People's Party, some voters come from the spectrum of extreme rejection of the KMT, if it were not for the DPP's excessive corruption and degeneration, it may not choose to support the People's Party, so if Ke Wenzhe chooses to complete Hou Youyi, the existing public opinion of the People's Party will inevitably not be able to all turn to support the blue and white union, but some dissatisfied people will choose not to vote, or simply grit their teeth and return to the DPP.

In addition, there are also main war factions within the People's Party that are determined not to cooperate with the Kuomintang. In its view, once the People's Party cooperates with the Kuomintang, it will lose the ideological foundation of the party, its support may collapse, and without the blessing of the presidential candidate, the already weak People's Party legislator election will inevitably be worse. To put it simply, even if you lose, you must choose to the end, and its representative figure is Huang Shanshan, director general of Ke Wenzhe Competition Office and Taipei mayoral candidate in 2022. Therefore, even if Ke Wenzhe really thinks about "Hou Kepai", how to persuade supporters and the party will be an unavoidable challenge.

Kuomintang presidential candidate Hou Youyi visited the United States and delivered a speech at the think tank "Heritage Foundation" on September 9. (Facebook@ Hou Youyi)

Then came the more difficult Kohou. Basically, this group was only talked about when Hou Youyi had a serious collapse, and was mainly a product of the internal strife of the Kuomintang, and its composition could be divided into "short-sighted opportunists" and "communiqué personal vendettas".

Among them, the short-sighted opportunists mainly represented by Luo Zhiqiang and other KMT legislative candidates, basically seeing Ke Wenzhe's rising momentum in June and Hou Youyi's "hopeless victory", they hoped that the KMT would give Ke Wenzhe courtesy to raise the legislative election, including himself; The "communiqué personal vendetta faction" is represented by Cai Zhengyuan and others, which are basically a group of Kuomintang people who had a serious relationship with Kim Pucong in the Ma Ying-jeou era, and seeing that Jin Lai was the executive director of the Hou Youyi Competition Office, they preferred that the Kuomintang courtesy to Ke Wenzhe rather than Kim Pucong score.

However, as Ke Wenzhe's poll was surpassed by Hou Youyi, the propaganda war of the Ke camp encountered a bottleneck, and the organizational combat power was basically zero, and Ke Hou gradually lost the legitimacy of the discussion. Although the KMT is still shouting for integration, it has become the mainstream of "Hou Kepai", and as far as the author knows, no matter how much the local factions of the KMT do not like Hou Youyi, they will not accept the KMT's courtesy to Ke Wenzhe, and if the Party Central Committee really insists on going its own way, local organizations will not vigorously mobilize. So to put it more bluntly, Kohou seems to be an option, but it is basically impossible to achieve.

Ke Wenzhe (left) is interviewed by the online program "Voice of Justice" hosted by Cai Zhengyuan (right). (Facebook@ Voice of Justice)

The inevitable fall of Ke Wenzhe is the key

From the above analysis, both "Hou Kepai" and "Ke Hou Match" have difficulties, but the difficulty of the former is relatively small. Therefore, it may be more pragmatic to say that Ke Wenzhe, who cannot wait for the KMT's comity, basically has only three options, either to be beaten by the DPP to collapse and withdraw from the election, holding on to the slim hope of winning the election to the end, or choosing to cooperate with the KMT in exchange for a few more ministers in the People's Party and maintaining a place in the future government. But no matter how Ke Wenzhe chooses, in the author's opinion, its demise is an inevitable end, just as the bubble of the People's Party is inevitable, but the choice of the plan is different, and the length of time to survive is different.

One of the key factors behind this is Taiwan's 2008 electoral reform. In this year, Taiwan changed the legislative election to a single-constituency two-vote system, in which a single constituency means that each constituency selects a candidate by relative majority, and the two-vote system means that each voter holds two votes, one vote for political party, and one vote for candidate. According to Duverger's Law, the majority system is prone to a two-party system, and the proportional representation system is easy to move towards a multi-party system, so this reform determines that Taiwan's party system will move towards a two-party system, and the third small party basically has no room for survival.

Compared with the regional legislative elections before and after the reform in 2004 and 2008, small parties still had room to survive in 2004, for example, the People First Party won 225 of the 34 seats, and the Taiwan Solidarity Alliance (Taiwan Union) also had 12 seats; After the reform in 2008, the KMT won a staggering 113 seats out of 81 seats, the DPP had 27 seats, the People First Party, the New Party, and the Taiwan Federation all frothed, and the number of regional legislators was almost zero. Looking at the 2020 election, regional legislators also have few small parties except for the blue and green parties.

Hou Youyi recently visited the United States and participated in a symposium of the National Council on Foreign Policy (NCAFP), a heavyweight think tank, on Friday morning New York time. (Hou Youyi@Facebook)

Taiwan's presidential and county mayoral elections, which also adopt a relatively majority voting system, basically follow the line of bipartisan confrontation. The reason why Ke Wenzhe was elected mayor of Taipei twice in 2014 and 2018 basically has a lot of luck: the first time is because the DPP not only gives courtesy, but also fully assists the election, so even if Ke Wenzhe does not have the status of the DPP, he is obviously running on behalf of the DPP, so he can undertake the DPP's support group; The second time was because the referendum tied to the general election led to voting while opening the vote, so that the pan-green voters saw that Yao Wenzhi of the DPP was seriously backward and decided to abandon the bail to Ke Wenzhe, so that Ke Wenzhe finally narrowly defeated the Kuomintang's Ding Shouzhong with more than 3,000 votes, so its essence is still a blue-green showdown.

So when Ke Wenzhe decided to form his own People's Party in 2019 to run for president in 2024, he was basically challenging the impossible. Under Taiwan's electoral system, if Ko Wenzhe's goal is really to elect the president, the most direct way is to join the Democratic Progressive Party or the Kuomintang and fight for the party's presidential nomination; If it is really necessary to create a party, then Ke Wenzhe's only chance to win the election is to win the courtesy of the Democratic Progressive Party or the Kuomintang, so as to inherit the party's public opinion base and voter section.

In addition, from the perspective of resources, it is still possible for candidates of the newborn small party to elect legislators, county and city councilors, and it is already very reluctant to compete for county and city heads, and if you want to challenge the president, you will inevitably fall into the dilemma of insufficient resources and marginalization, because only the role of the propaganda plate is obvious in the early stage of the election, and it will enter the competition of the organizational plate from the middle and late stages. Because of this, when Ke Wenzhe's polls were extremely high before, the author wrote a series of 3 articles "Ke Wenzhe's Hidden Worries", based on the three major bases of Ke lacks local grassroots "army", is easy to be destroyed by the DPP's propaganda system, and is not resistant to fighting in the face of fraudulent election campaigns, predicting that Ke Wenzhe will be quite hard in the middle and late stages of the election campaign, and basically has no chance of winning the election unless he can obtain courtesy from the Kuomintang and use the party's resources to fight propaganda and organizational wars.

Looking at the embarrassing situation of Ke Wenzhe and the People's Party, the reason why Ke Wenzhe can have today's voice, the key is that the mayor of Taipei has been in power for 8 years, but Ke Wenzhe has stepped down in 2022, if he does not run for president in 2024, he will not be able to have today's energy until 2028, simply put, as long as he does not win this time, there will be no chance to participate in the election after that; The People's Party is basically Ke Wenzhe's one-person party, but the small party basically starts at the peak under Taiwan's electoral system, even if it can elect a few seats without division by Ke Wenzhe's voice in 2024, its fate will basically not be too far from the new party in the early years, the power of the times in recent years, and it is not too late to bubble, unless Ke Wenzhe really wins the presidential election.

On June 6, Ke Wenzhe (middle) visited the Lan Palace in Dajia Town, Taiwan, and was interviewed by the media. (Courtesy of Taiwan People's Party)

As mentioned earlier, observing the current situation, Ke Wenzhe should not wait for the Kuomintang's comity, so until the registration in November, there are three possible scenarios in front of him: first, he was beaten by the DPP to collapse and decided to withdraw from the election, and the bubble of the People's Party occurred early; Second, insisting on running to the end but losing the election, although it has boosted the People's Party's 11 non-zonal legislators, but the bubble will still occur in a few years, because the People's Party will not have such a strong presidential candidate next time; Third, accept the integration of the Kuomintang, in exchange for some of the generals of the People's Party as the heads of ministries in the coalition government, Ke Wenzhe himself can also promise to serve as vice president, or the head of the ministry, to get the opportunity to participate in the government, but this situation will also lead to the bubble of the People's Party, but it will be a bubble swallowed by the Kuomintang, that is, some members will become pan-blue, although they retain the membership of the People's Party, but they have eyebrows with the Kuomintang, or simply choose to join the Kuomintang later to strive for a better political future.

And precisely because Ke Wenzhe is bound to fall and the People's Party is bound to bubble, "at least strive to participate in the government" has become the possible key to getting Ke Wenzhe to agree to "Hou Kebai". Although this combination may lead to the loss of some People's Party supporters, because Lai Qingde's stable support this time is only about 30% to 40%, as long as the blue and white combination can concentrate a majority of votes, there is a basis for fighting with Lai Qingde, and the DPP can no longer sit back and relax because of non-green divisions.

Of course, Ke Wenzhe may also choose to follow the advice of the main war faction and refuse to integrate with the Kuomintang, then as the election campaign progresses, the disadvantage of the People's Party's organizational strength of almost zero will become more and more obvious, the reality of weak propaganda war will continue to ferment, and scandals such as the corruption of Gao Hongan, the mayor of the People's Party, will repeatedly become blood loss wounds, and the results will inevitably be reflected in Ke Wenzhe's polls. As long as Hou Youyi can significantly widen the poll gap with Ke Wenzhe, it is possible to operate "abandonment" in the presidential election, that is, let some supporters of the People's Party "split vote" under the highest goal of "party rotation": the president votes for Hou Youyi, the party votes for the People's Party, and in the end, even if the People's Party can have a seat, Ke Wenzhe will inevitably not be president, and Hou Youyi may narrowly defeat Lai Qingde.

To put it simply, Lai Qingde now seems to be in a good situation, but he cannot ignore the third hidden worry that may come: if Hou Youyi and Ke Wenzhe are either integrated, or after the operation of abandonment and division vote, there is actually "only one left". In the final analysis, Lai's real challenge is not the Kuomintang or the People's Party, but the people's determination to rotate parties.

Lai Qingde's hidden worries (2024): Clouded leopard turns into a money leopard, bastards introduce villains Who still owes the DPP? Lai Qingde's hidden worries: China and the United States participate in the election The DPP is inferior to the Kuomintang and Hou Youyi Ke Wenzhe this time (<>): Hatred of women is only the DPP's prelude The election campaign of the cheating case is the Allah dish Ke Wenzhe hidden worries (<>): Anti-green communists? Beware of being beaten by the DPP as the second Korean Yuke Wenzhe hidden worry (<>): <> won? But where is the army of the People's Party?