I wanted to find out about Taiwanese democracy, so I went to The Taiwan Yearbook, which is from the Government Information Office. I first read about the Democratic Electoral System:

Since the lifting of martial law in 1987, Taiwan has moved rapidly toward full democracy. Elections for important posts in the government are held regularly, political parties have matured, and people actively participate in elections. The people of Taiwan now have greater control over affairs of state than ever before. The 2004 presidential election and the Peace Referendum represent the latest steps in more than a decade of Taiwan's democratic development.

Martial law? Obviously, I hardly know anything about that country because I didn't know that democracy is relatively new there. So now I've bookmarked the Taiwan history page and will read up on it.

I've been to several Asian countries, but I've never been to Taiwan. Still, it seems promising, and not just because they're free: They use "older" Chinese characters (with more strokes, not the simplified version), so it should be easier for me to get around since some of it resembles Japanese. Plus, I've been told that the older people can speak Japanese since it used to be a colony, so I could ask directions if my practically non-existent Mandarin fails.

But since I don't have a lot of time or money, I have to be more selective, and France is towards the top of my list--I've never been there. Taiwan may have to wait.

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