Category: Commentary

From social media to cosplay: How Taiwan politicians are reaching out to voters

By J. A. Carizo*

It’s not just the economy, stupid!

Well, not in these times, James Carville. In the 2016 elections, Donald Trump benefited heavily from the social media interactions leading to his election as President of the United States. According to Pew Research Center, 44% of the Americans get their information on, and even interact with, the candidates through the social media. In the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte also used heavily the Facebook to connect with the voters and won the highly contested presidential race. So did other candidates in different elections all across the globe that the social media platforms became suspect of spreading false information and fake news.

The ease of using the social media platform and the speed of reaching out to target voters is indeed enticing that Taiwan’s presidential hopefuls turned to Facebook and YouTube to ramp up their campaign and reach out to the younger segment of the electorate. According to Taiwan’s electoral commission, the country has over 19 million voters and under 7 million of them are between the ages of 20 and 39. This segment of voters usually exhibit low turnout during elections and reaching out to them could bring closer to victory.

Continue reading “From social media to cosplay: How Taiwan politicians are reaching out to voters”

An Election Brings Abkhazia Back into Focus


Rejeanne Lacroix
 | FairObserver.Com | Aug 23, 2019
Abkhazia news, Abkhazia election, South Ossetia, Russia news, Georgia news, Caucasus news, Russia-Georgia relations, Russia Georgia war, Raul Khajimba Abkhazia, Georgia anti-Russia protests

An old dilapidated building of parliament of Abkhazia in Sukhumi © Gans33

The disputed existence of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has come into focus again in the context of the ongoing diplomatic dispute between Russia and Georgia and the August anniversary of the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Abkhazia remains at the heart of discussions because its upcoming election on August 25 is reflective of the duplicity of post-Soviet electoral spectacle and a hope for positive change that seems to escape citizens. Elections in breakaway republics shift the focus away from geopolitics and toward the idiosyncrasies inherent in political cultures unique to all nations.

A Deterioration of Relations

In June, a series of anti-Russian protests broke out in the Georgian capital Tbilisi and across the country. The appearance of high-ranking Russian politician Sergey Gavrilov at the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy and his consequent seating in the speaker’s chair inflamed Georgian sensibilities. But to identify this act as a catalyst for the protests is to oversimply matters, as deeper frustrations with the Georgian Dream ruling party are a factor as well. 

The Georgian Dream attempted to balance relations with the West while at the same time ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship with Russia. Voters within the country are increasingly displeased with internal political affairs. The sight of a Russian politician occupying the chair of the speaker of parliament could easily be construed as Moscow’s long arm reaching toward its southern neighbor, or as an act of occupation. It was viewed through this lens when Georgian commentator Giorgi Gabunia went on a televised expletive-ridden rant labeling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “miserable creature” and “stinking invader.” Further, Gabunia crossed even the lowest of professional lines by mocking Putin’s deceased parents.

Continue reading “An Election Brings Abkhazia Back into Focus”