In this book the author examines how the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang or KMT) returned to govern Taiwan after ruling for more than half a century but losing power in 2000 when the opposition Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) Chen Shui-bian won the presidency and was reelected in 2004.
Out of power and playing the role of opposition party the KMT won legislative and executive elections in 2008. It subsequently won mayoral elections in 2010 and elections again to the legislative and executive branches of government in 2012.
The KMT returned to power by resolving internal differences between older and younger factions in the party, maintaining an alliance with friendly parties and preventing philosophical differences from mattering. It was helped by the debilitating corruption of the DPP's President Chen and good campaigning.
In assessing these KMT election victories the author concludes that the KMT will probably remain the ruling party for some time. Its reputation for good economic management, democratization, honesty and good leaders seen against the DPP's still damaged reputation due to Chen's corruption, internal disagreements, its perorocial base, its inability to deal with China and the United States inhibit it from being able to return to power.
John F Copper —
John F. Copper is the Stanley J. Buckman Distinguished Professor of International Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the author of more than twenty-five books on China, Taiwan and Asian Affairs. Professor Copper's most recent books include Taiwan's Democracy on Trial: Political Change During the Chen Shui-bian Era and Beyond (2010), The A to Z of Taiwan (Republic of China) (2010), Taiwan: Nation-State or Province, fifth edition (2009), Playing with Fire: The Looming War with China over Taiwan (2006). In 1997, Dr. Copper was recipient of the International Communications Award.
Copper, John F. The KMT returns to power: elections in Taiwan 2008 to 2012. Lexington Books, 2013. 251p index afp; ISBN 9780739174777; ISBN 9780739174784 e-book. Reviewed in 2013aug CHOICE.
Copper (Rhodes College) frequently and prolifically writes on Taiwan's elections. This volume describes elections in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Reports in chapters 2-4 are abbreviated versions of three monographs published by the University of Maryland series in contemporary Asian studies; because chapters treat the same background information, they are repetitive. In the 2008 presidential election, Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou defeated the Democratic Progressive Party candidate, returning Taiwan's oldest party to power. In the 2010 metropolitan elections of mayors, city council members, and county magistrates, KMT candidates won three of five important mayoral positions. In Taiwan's 2012 presidential/vice presidential and legislative elections, President Ma was reelected, and the legislature remained under KMT control. Copper attributes KMT victories to problems in the opposition movement and to successes of the Nationalist Party in shepherding economic development and political reforms, finding that the KMT is likely "to be the ruling party for some time to come." Copper's casual and colloquial writing style makes the tome accessible to all readers.
Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels. -- G. A. McBeath, University of Alaska Fairbanks