Whoever has their eyes on the position should refrain from thinking about the 2016 presidential nomination.
Finally, that Tsai garnered 6.09 million votes is a reminder for Ma that he cannot simply ignore the opposition when he tries to move further toward China in his second term.
Ma admitted, after the election, that he needed to conduct a self-examination on why he lost more than 1 million votes this time. Persuasion and communication with the public are the best strategy for Ma to fulfill his pledge of generating a domestic consensus in the next four years.
Since Ma has promised to invite leaders from different parties to discuss cross-strait policy every six months, the new DPP chairperson will have to be well-prepared to present the opposition’s views by then.
Therefore, the mission for the next DPP chairperson is not about winning the 2016 presidential election; it is more about how to open up democratic debates and engage in self-reflection on the party’s key policies.
Whether to come up with an alternative cross-strait resolution to meet global challenges and changes in cross-strait developments will depend on the wisdom, patience and skills of the new DPP chairperson.
Liu Shih-chung is a senior research fellow at the Taipei-based Taiwan Brain Trust.