Three specific examples come to mind: the death penalty, economic policy and the issue of sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台).
In 2006, the DPP instituted a moratorium against the use of the death penalty and now complains when Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) sneeringly ignores the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, it won’t come out and state that abolishing the death penalty is a core policy goal.
The DPP’s own economic policy platform does not differ that much from the KMT’s. It is just a tweaking of cargo cult crony neoliberalism underpinning the chaebol-type policies of the KMT.
The KMT is stuck in an ideological fantasy that imagines that Taiwan is still an “Asian Tiger” economy of the 1970s that will be saved by merging with the People’s Republic of China economically. But the DPP will not directly challenge this. They seek only to modify it.
In terms of the Diaoyutai Islands, the DPP can not bring itself to acknowledge the elephant in the room. It has caged itself out of fear of the media and the fishermen’s associations, and once again only seeks to modify KMT policies.
This plays into the hands of the CCP and KMT as they seek to weaken Taipei-Tokyo and Taipei-Washington ties, facilitating the Chinese strategic policy of raising tensions.
How, then, can the DPP claim these policies are in any way “progressive”?