Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Charlotte's speech translated into English with footnotes for those who don't know much about politics in Taiwan

Hello everyone! I'm the next president of Taiwan! Our slogan for this year is "Make Taiwan Lovable"1 (literally cute). This of course needs to start with the Taiwanese government, so my first act in office is to move the Parliament (I know I'm using Canadian terms) to Hualian, because Hualian is the most beautiful place in Taiwan. Then we can invite Hu Jintao (the leader of Mainland China) to come and see Hualian's beautiful scenery and fresh air, taste it's specialty food, go to Taroko Gorge, and watch fantastic aboriginal performances. He'll be so touched that he'll immediately cancel all plans to bomb Taiwan with missiles!2

Even though the government is in Hualian, the president won't forget the needs of the rest of Taiwan. Here's my plan. The most important is to finish the MRT system, taking it even to more remote centers on the east coast like Jilong,3 Hualian, and Taidong. Then I can go on vacation whenever, wherever I want! Oh...no no no.. what I meant to say was conveniently serve all people great and small. How will I serve them? Well the government can't just arbitrarily decide what to change. We need to do some polls to find out what the TRUE needs of the Taiwanese people are. The people need to know that the president cares for them and is warm-hearted.

On the way to "Making Taiwan Lovable" maybe we can use popular cartoon character Doraemon4 to redecorate the legislative house. Think about it: if the government members are happy every day they're less likely to have fist fights in the assembly!5

Apart from these "small changes", we mustn't forget Taiwan's most famous and influential person. So I propose we build a memorial hall6 in honor of this person. Who is it? Wang Jien Ming: the light of Taiwan!7

If I become president my family and I are willing to serve the country. Many people say that all politicians are corrupt. I PROMISE you I'll do a great job! And I'll never waste Taiwan's money!8 So, if I want to buy anything, I'll only go to the night market!

When the next election comes, I'm sure you'll elect me again! Especially because just before the election I'll make a lot of positive changes.9 For example: English education, taking care of the Elderly, cutting taxes, lowering train ticket fares, standardizing the pinyin on all road signs, adding more garbage cans on the street, buy one get one free on gasoline, and limiting the price of green vegetables to 5NT!10

Come on and take my hand! Let's make Taiwan more lovable together! If you agree say "Yeah!"


1. Make Taiwan Lovable is the name of a song by Studio Classroom, and is what the characters on my poster say.

2. Reportedly, Mainland China currently has 800-900 missiles aimed at Taiwan in case it makes any move toward "independence"

3. Current presidential candidate Ma Ying Jeou once suggested the MRT could be extended to Keelung, about an hour from Taipei

4. Doraemon is a popular cartoon character from Japan. How can you NOT feel happy when you look at him?


5. The legislators in Taiwan are notorious for getting into verbal and fist fights during sessions. It's a common sight on the evening news.

6. This past year there's been controversy about the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, which has now been renamed National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Ha
ll. See here if you really want to know more.

7. Wang Jien Ming is a pitcher for the New York Yankees, and a native Taiwanese. He grew up in western Taiwan before making it big in baseball. He's created a lot of national pride, and all my students call him "the light of Taiwan"


8. This past year has also seen a lot of scandal surrounding Taiwan's current president and use of national funds for personal use, and extravagant spending by his wife and family.

9. It's been especially obvious in the past 6 months here that current politicians are financing a lot of construction projects etc. and also the president has finished a number of things (like changing the memorial hall, and opening the high speed railway perhaps prematurely according to some) with hopes of re-election.

10. A politician foolishly remarked after a typhoon (when the price of produce skyrockets) that the poor don't need to worry about buying meat since green vegetables are 5NT for a bunch! (The actual price was much higher at the time)


4 comments:

  1. I can see why you won must interesting!!! Very creative you are.

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  2. Totally awesome!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your experience and your funny speech with us! You are amazing to do this! Congrats on the prize!

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  4. Congrats! You're so cool! By the way, I tagged you for something over at my blog, but it's up to you if you want to participate. =)

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