Sat, Nov 24, 2001 - Page 8 News List

The DPP is depending on the TSU

By Lee Chang-kuei 李長貴

In the Dec.1 election, 225 people will be elected to the Legislative Yuan from a total of 584 candidates. The results will determine whether Taiwan's legislature and constitutional system can operate smoothly. Central to the re-drawing of the political map is whether the DPP can win the support of more than 115 legislators, enabling it to forge a majority government to secure political stability. If it succeeds, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will be able to cast off the "lame-duck" label which has been a millstone around his neck thus far in his term.

In the elections, the DPP's goal is to establish a legislative majority compatible with a presidential system by means of a coalition government, which would include members of opposition parties whose ideals are similar to the DPP's. The DPP is trying to realize this goal by having Chen lead major campaign rallies in hopes of gaining the support of at least a quarter of the voters.

The goal of the newly-established Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), whose spiritual leader is former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), is to end the chaos and inefficiency created by minority government. It seeks to strengthen "localized" and democratized parties within the legislature, and to participate in a majority coalition government led by the DPP. In this way, the parties will proportionately represent the popular will.

The TSU's strategy is to have Lee serve as the central figure at major campaign rallies and to seek the support of "localized" KMT members and "localized" voters not affiliated with a party. Winning over "localized" voters who might otherwise support the People First Party (PFP) is also part of the strategy. The hope is to persuade 20 percent of the opposition force to work with the DPP in creating a majority government.

The KMT's goal is to win back the right to head the Executive Yuan, to push for the establishment of a Cabinet-style system to enable it to control the Cabinet and turn Taiwan "blue." Its strategy is to target 40 percent of the popular vote through small gatherings and activities organized by its local party headquarters. It hopes to join forces with the New Party and the PFP to accomplish its goals.

The PFP wants to participate, as a minority party, in the forming of the Cabinet. It is willing to work with the DPP or the KMT to accomplish that end. The PFP hopes to be the leader of the pan-blue camp, as well as to win over 30 percent of the vote.

As a member of the blue camp, the New Party aims to preserve its identity as the real "Chinese KMT." Its strategy is to use this image to win popular support for "one country, two systems."

The parties' strategies vary, depending on the ethnic groups to which they appeal. The four superstars of the campaign -- Chen, Lee (who stumps for the TSU but is not a member of any party), KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) -- lead the parties' campaign machines.

Unfortunately, some of them use radical policy proposals, a tasteless wars of words, deceit and even personal attack as tools. Through cynical manipulation of fabricated news they seek to twist views and generate publicity.

The Chen and Lee camps advocate campaigning by means of debate and the discussion of policy. The themes of the Lien and Soong campaigns, however, are to directly attack the integrity of Lee and to Chen's ability to govern.

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