Saturday, March 20, 2004

What Does Taiwan Have to Do With Spain?

The President of Taiwan is shot during a closely contested political campaign just days before the election. Will the violence influence the outcome?

Of course it will just as violence influenced the outcome of the recent election in Spain.

Assuming you nothing about the candidates or the would-be assassins, wouldn't you conclude that someone or some group does not want the attacked candidate elected? Wouldn't you then conclude that a vote for the opponent of the attacked candidate would further the attackers' political aims?

And observing in perfect ignorance of the local politics wouldn't you feel a slightly greater desire to vote for the attacked candidate simply as a way to show that political violence will not be rewarded?

I know how I would vote. I don't know the politics of Taiwan or Spain but I don't think that I'm alone in thinking that the people of Spain who responded to violence by voting for the candidate and party that takes the more conciliatory approach to the perpetrators of political violence (be they ETA or al Qaeda or Hamas) make a mistake and have, as a result, rewarded the terrorists who murdered 200 innocent people in Madrid.

Some say the Socialists were leading the Popular Party before the bombings. It doesn't really matter, does it? The impression is already deeply made around the globe: Spain faced the threat of violence and capitulated.

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