It is finally settled -- Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (
From the standpoint that the teaming up of the biggest political heavyweights within the party will increase the chances of an election win, the pairing of Hsieh and Su should please many people within the DPP. In light of all the grudges and unpleasantness built up between the Hsieh and Su camps during the DPP's party primary for the presidential nomination, one can honestly say that the time-honored tradition of the DPP where members always manage to pull together and show a united front in the face of external threats, despite internal bickering and divisions, continues to hold. The fact that the same kind of "happy ending" did not happen with Ma and Wang, who were equally divided and unhappy due to the result of a political power struggle within their party, demonstrates that point.
Obviously, pressure from within the party and the determination of President Chen Shui-bian (
The biggest question now is what stance they should take in regards the draft "Normal Country clause" unveiled by the DPP only a few weeks ago.
The draft clause states that the nation should change its name from the Republic of China (ROC) to Taiwan, so as to stop China exploiting the ROC name. This new draft deviates from the 1999 "Resolution on Taiwan's Future" passed by the DPP, through which the DPP acknowledges that Taiwan is already an independent country and that its name is the ROC.
The underlying stance of the 1999 resolution was more moderate, which many believed played a role in winning over the critically needed moderate and swing voters in the 2000 presidential election.
Eight years on, should the DPP return to what many deem as a more hawkish and aggressively pro-independence stance on the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty? There appears to be no consensus within the party on this point.
Some believe that the DPP is barely hanging onto the support of its grass-roots supporters -- let alone winning over the swing and moderate voters it needs to.
According to these members, the focus should be on strengthening grass-roots support. If this is the strategy that Hsieh adopts, then he should embrace the new draft. If Hsieh opts to distance himself from the new draft, he is bound to upset this traditional segment of DPP supporters, but he will have a shot at the swing voters.