As far as I know for China Airlines, extra flights were added during the election weekend causing flight attendants difficulty in voting. This would allow for the usual tour groups as well as the business people to make it back.
The legislative election was held in Dec. 2007 last time if memory serves correctly. The goal was to combine the 2 elections, so the election was held in between Dec. and March.
While everyone knows, the PRC is using economic means to get what it wants, it should also be understood that Wang Dan has essentially been a critic of the KMT getting close to the mainland etc. because he just wants to get back at the CCP for what happened to him. Many of the former Tiananmen crowd generally side with the DPP in Taiwan automatically because it is against the CCP. It does not have much to do with issues between the blue and green camps in Taiwan.
Anyway, the country's population is biased towards the North as it is. If people's registration is in the Central and the South, it's a little inconvenient for them to travel back and perhaps work on the same day. One of my friends was serious enough about voting to go back to Taichung just to vote and then rush back to Taipei to work. If people are serious enough about voting, they will do inconvenient things.
Younger people in college, etc. who are voting for the first time, just don't take things as seriously and will not make as much of an effort to go back and vote. If this is the case, the DPP shouldn't depend on this demographic and think about what the 30-50 age group wants which is to make sure they are making money and all that.
It's already very obvious that the mainland has strongly influenced this election. After getting goodies, signing ECFA, and getting cross straight flights, people who care about those things will naturally be afraid of losing them if a PRC hostile political party were to take office. The support rate for the 2 camps is about 54-46 +/- 1 or 2 %, but the '92 consensus and all that seemed to dominate the theme of the election and basically discredits the DPP when it comes time to decide.
There is a lot more information out there in Chinese about how China is unduly influencing Taiwanese politics, but there is at least some English information available.
I just wanted to share with you guys some of the "conspiracy theories" certain people have, that is not available in English:
- The KMT had the election in January, rather than March as usual, because they wanted to obliterate the Green strongholds of the South. Basically, for college/university students studying in Taipei that support Green, they'd have to go back South in order to cast their ballots... but, one week before Chinese New Year's and during exam time?! Undoable for many, impractical for most. On the other hand, students that support Blue are already at home in Blue strongholds of Taipei... and even if Taichung, not very far. The voter turnout for northern cities was close to 75%, whereas Tainan, for example, was only 68%.
- China stopped allowing tourists to come to Taiwan in the weeks up to the election, probably for two reasons. The first reason is so that "Taishang" (Taiwanese businessmen conducting business in China) would have flights to get back and vote Blue. The other reason being that they didn't want their people to see democracy in action... although, that's blatant, it's no conspiracy.
- And the most sinister conspiracy: Hu Jintao was given a mandate and a team to reunify Taiwan by peaceful and economic means by the end of Ma's second term. Barring that, they would result to force. Ma is playing right into their hands, as are the Taiwanese business leaders - such as HTC's Sherry Wang or Foxconn's Terry Gou - who publicly declared their support of the KMT. Why would business leaders do such an un-businesslike thing? Pressure from China. Threats from China.
Here's a great article to read: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/ ... 2003523512
The Chinese democracy activist mentioned in the article, Wang Dan, has some great pieces in the Chinese version of the Taipei Times (The Liberty Times) about how China is using economic factors to influence Taiwan, how Taiwanese are already starting to self-censor, etc.
Is it about time to move to a new country?!?!