Under increasing pressure to distance himself from the growing number of allegations that Ma Ying-jiu's campaign has made improper and illegal use of taxpayers money for campaign related activities, the president and the highest ranking members of his campaign decided to skip the One Bike One event, which had been hyped for over a year.
Instead, the embattled incumbent visited a convention of doctors.
Despite initial estimates of one million riders, which had been lowered to 110,000 riders. The event only managed to attract just under 73,000 participants, shy of the government's goals.
Although the event probably succeeded in providing cover for spreading largesse to vital KMT patronage networks all over Taiwan, it failed to captivate the public's imagination in the same vein as the 2004 Hand in Hand rally, which catapulted DPP candidate, Chun Shui-bian to victory on a groundswell of Taiwanese national pride against Chinese hegemony.
The failure to captivate the Taiwanese imagination with such an event, political or not, demonstrates, in part, the cleavage between Ma Ying-jiu's push for Taiwanese national ambiguity, and the Taiwanese desire for more meaningful expressions of their national and ethnic identities.
Who knew a bike rally could be so loaded... ?
A report on how Ma used the cultural commitee for his own campaing- copying DPP's 228 牽手護台灣
Here is a report from 自由時報：