In the past few days, i've become used to the sound of fireworks and loudspeakers in my neighbourhood as election hopefuls speed by on jeeps soliciting support from voters.
Yes, its election time. But since 2001 Taiwan has had elections almost every year..and voter fatigue is setting in.
But these elections - to choose the make up of a new parliament - are a little different from the past. Thanks to electoral reforms, the number of seats is roughly halved...scaled down from 225 to just 113. The voting system has changed too. In the past, multiple candidates, some from the same party, vied for a number of seats in the same district. Now, only one candidate can be selected for each district. Previously, voters cast one vote; now they need to cast two - one for the candidate; a second for a preferred party.
The aim of the parliamentary reforms - which got strong support from the public embarrassed by their unruly legislature, where fist and food fights often erupted - was aimed at creating a cleaner and more efficient system, which would encourage more moderate, less corrupt or extremist legislators.
"You need to be much more hard working. .Its very competitive. because there is only 1 seat where you can get elected", said DPP candidate, Julian Kuo.
"In the past, we had 10 seats elected in a multiple seat district. I would say you got 8% of total voters and you got elected…sometimes you only pursue some fundamental factions or interest groups, and you got elected. But [now] you cannot do that. you need to have 51% . You need to pursue every group, even those who are not interested in politics.
In many parts of the island, its been a heated, ill humoured and bitterly fought campaign. Candidates are fighting for their political survival.
High ranking officials from the two major parties have campaigned with their party's legislative candidates, using very different tactics.
The DPP has focused on national identity and Taiwan's ability to withstand pressure from Beijing. They say if the KMT wins big, there's a danger the island will be "sold out" to China.
Its also pushed for a referendum, also to be held on Saturday, asking the public to support legislation to force the KMT to return state assets it says were illegally amassed while the party was in power for more than five decades.
For its part, the KMT has called for a boycott of the referendum - despite tabling its own, targeting alleged corruption by the government. The party has focused on the poll as a chance for voters to evaluate the poor performance of the Chen administration - focusing on the sluggish economy with the island trailing behind the other Asian "tiger economies".
But for candidates campaigning on the streets, its all about very local - rather than national policy issues.
"People care about the economy ..and also education" , said KMT hopeful, Diane Lee..aiming for a fourth legislative term.
"If you are not satisfied with life for the past eight years..you have to come out for the future of the country. The KMT will have a big win", she predicted, "because the DPP did so bad".
. Kmt candidate Diane Lee
But while this election campaign has been heated and bitter at times, many members of the public say they’ve no interest in voting. In the last parliamentary elections, the turnout rate was just above 59%; this time round, it could dip to below 50%.
"The competition (for the elections) is very fierce…but the climate is very cold", said Lo Chi-Cheng, professor of political science at Soochow University. "I think we are going to have a historically low turn out."
My unscientific straw-polling of passers-by on a busy intersection in Taipei appeared to confirm that view - with more than three quarters saying they wouldn't vote. "Its boring. I don't care about the elections.. its too complex for me. I think the politicians are all trash. I don't trust them", said 25 year old Lee Shun-Ho, who also admitted he had never voted in any election.
"They still control the political power and brainwash us…" said Diamond Si Singlim, cycling past a KMT election van. But he had equally disparaging words for the DPP . "I wont go and vote", he said.
"The majority of Taiwan are sick of being played by these politicians. they are real opportunists. " "I'm not interested and judging the two main parties I'm not satisfied with either" said Veronica Wang.
"Taiwan can stand on the international stage because our economic power is very strong, but if we don't go continue to move ahead, we have nothing. We always focus on this politics issue, but economics, it's the most important thing… without it we don't have anything."
Apathy and voter discontent are high. A low turn out rate could also frustrate the efforts of election analysts gazing into their crystal balls trying to accurately gauge just how much impact the result will have on the crucial presidential race in ten weeks time.