Taiwanese politician says electoral campaign like 'fighting against monster'

After rolling out her "piggy bank" fundraising drive Friday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen yesterday likened the act of raising her and rival President Ma Ying-jeou's campaign election funds to "a piglet fighting against a huge monster."

Tsai made the less than subtle analogy at the inaugural meeting of her Greater Taichung City campaign headquarters in the Situn District yesterday.

When she and her vice presidential candidate Su Jia-chyuan took the stage, on which a huge piggy bank sat, her fervent supporters tossed cash at her feet, moving the DPP chairwoman.

While outsiders have described the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) as a wealthy whale to the "shrimpy" DPP, Tsai said she preferred to see the pan-green party as "a piglet fighting against a huge monster," meaning it mattered not how much or how little is raised - the mere act of donation is "a reflection of entrustment and recognition of a people looking forward to justice and change in Taiwan."

The DPP's fundraising drive involves selling plastic piggy banks to supporters, who then fill them up with donations before sending them back at a deadline.

At the meeting, which included DPP heavyweight attendees such as Yu Shyi-kun, Su Tseng-chang, and Frank Hsieh, Tsai urged her supporters to "go home, feed your pigs until they are big and fat." A "piggy assembly" will be held in December, during which the fed piggy banks are recollected.

Tsai hoped that little by little and coin by coin, the path for the DPP to the Presidential Office and the Legislative Yuan may be paved. The donations, she explained, will allow the DPP to march steadily on a path to victory that does not purely rely on the donations of consortiums.

With only a little over 70 days left to the presidential elections on Jan. 14, 2012, Tsai thanked her supporters, who snatched up available piggy banks with insatiable fervor.

The Taipei headquarters of the DPP presidential campaign office had initially slated to release 3,600 piggy banks for purchase. After the initial batch quickly sold out, and the office ordered 1,800 more but still ran out of stock. Piggy banks that launched in Tsai's Yungkang office in Tainan Friday also sold like hotcakes, the United Evening News reported.

The popular pigs had spread like wildfire, said Chuang Ruei-hsiung. With a national projection of 10,000 piggy banks, Chuang said the fundraising drive reflected the passion of Tsai's supporters. Come December, when the piggy banks are recollected, the DPP spokesperson said even if each pig was filled with loose change, the passion behind the donation was priceless.