Taiwan is in the middle of a heated presidential campaign election. And it seems nothing else, other than politics, matters right now, with candidates and politicians racing up and down the island to canvas support.
I think Taiwan must be one of the most politicised places I have lived in..while recently adopted legislative changes now mean there will now be fewer parliamentary elections (they'll now take place every four years..not three) in the past four years that I've lived here, it seems that there's scarcely been a period where people have not been campagining for some kind of election...mayoral; legislative or presidential.
Is it healthy?
I had to smile when I saw this story today on CNA.
Zealotry in presidential election may endanger mental health: doctors Taipei, March 2 (CNA)
Persons susceptible to the impact of the up-coming presidential election, particularly those who have arecord of mental disorder, should avoid being deeply involved inpolitical activities or watching political television talk-shows,advised a psychiatrist Sunday amid an increasing number of patients looking for counseling prior to the March 22 presidential election.
Noting that more and more people, mainly mental patients, arelooking for treatments for anxiety, depression, or bipolar disordercaused by their zealous involvement in the election, LiuTzong-hsien, a psychiatrist at the Songde Branch of Taipei CityHospital, said they should reduce their level of participation inpolitical activities.
The Songde Branch of Taipei City Hospital is the only municipal psychiatric hospital in Taipei City, serving the 6.8 million-strong population of northern Taiwan with 500 beds, of which 409 are foracute psychosis and 91 for chronic patients.
"Should the Psychiatric patients get too involved in politics, they can be easily influenced by any political movement, such as fluctuations in the support rate of their favored candidate," said Liu, adding that "this certainly will causedeterioration of the patient's condition."
Liu continued that patients, who are also vulnerableto the televised political talk-show programs featuringexaggerations, distortions and smearing by politicians and so-called pundits, "should keep these programs at arm's length."
According to Liu, relationships among family members are also at stake due to differently held views within families on politics, causing a negative impact on the patients. "We should arrange more family activities instead of engaging in often hostile disputes and arguments over the election," Liu said.
Hsu Chuan-jen, director of the Department of Otolaryngology at National Taiwan University Hospital, also urged zealots of politicsto be wary of their physical condition when participating inpolitical gatherings. "Noise of high volume and loud shouting both endanger our health, especially to the throat and ears," Hsu said, adding that "people should keep away from loudspeakers or horns as well as wear earplugs to protect themselves."(By Howard Lin)