Thu, Aug 23, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Eight ways Hsieh-Su ticket boosts DPP's edge

By Cao Changqing 曹長青

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) choice of former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as his running mate is the best possible move to close the rifts in the party that the presidential primaries have opened up.

The choice builds an atmosphere of unity and increases the momentum for the pan-green camp. There are at least eight reasons why Su's agreeing to be Hsieh's running mate increases the chance of the DPP winning the election.

First, Su has considerable influence thanks to his previous posts, not only inside the DPP, but across the country. This will win the DPP more votes, including those of many Hakka.

Second, Hsieh won the DPP primaries with only 44 percent of the votes, less than half, while Su won 33 percent. This means that they have the combined support of almost 80 percent of the party. Add to that the legislators, mayors and county commissioners who rooted for Su during the primaries, and it's obvious that a Hsieh-Su ticket will succeed in mobilizing the active help of regional pan-green leaders and party officials.

Third, Taipei County is Taiwan's biggest reservoir of votes, and it is predominantly pan-blue. But Su has been elected Taipei county commissioner twice, beating his opponent by 50,000 votes when he was elected for his second term. Consequently, the DPP might lose by only a small margin in Taipei County, or even win by a small margin, and this can contribute a lot to a pan-green victory.

Fourth, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who has won the presidential race twice and thus has a lot of experience in presidential election campaigns, has strongly backed the Hsieh-Su ticket, making clear that he believes this is the combination that can contribute the most to the DPP's chances of winning the election. The Hsieh-Su ticket comes down to Chen, Hsieh and Su joining forces, and they have the considerable help of DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun. These four leaders working together will greatly increase the DPP's momentum.

Fifth, with Su joining Hsieh, the pan-green camp's important newspapers and talk shows will be in line with the public opinion supporting them, and the media will be able to stir up the enthusiasm of pan-green voters.

Sixth, the fact that Hsieh and Su have joined forces can make up for the rift between factions caused by the party primaries. Yu's supporters are reasonable and will support the combination that has the best chance of winning. Thus, people who supported different candidates in the primaries can now unite, and together they will stand strong.

Seventh, I can already imagine a debate between the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) wishy-washy Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) -- also a former premier -- and a strong Su. It will be like a high school student facing the school principal. It's obvious who will lose that debate, and Su will win the DPP some points here.

Eighth, at the time of the debates for the primaries, Su clearly opposed the "one China" framework in the Constitution, and emphasized that he is in favor of "one country on each side of the Taiwan Strait." Su's running for vice president will help promote the normalization of the country as a major election issue. It will move pan-green voters and lift their fighting spirit. Flying the "Taiwan" banner, the DPP will win next year's election.

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