Wed, Aug 14, 2019 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

DPP-KMT primaries flawed

The recent presidential nominee selection processes conducted by the Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lacked transparency. Both were conducted out of the view of the electorate, behind closed doors.

The two parties’ constant changing of the selection process and rescheduling created confusion and distrust among the electorate.

Many voters that I talked to admitted that the perpetual going back and forth frustrated their attempt to understand the selection process.

Allies of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), led by DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰), repeatedly rescheduled the process to ensure that Tsai secured the nomination.

Ultimately, 15,000 telephone surveys were conducted, asking respondents which candidate they favored. One-half of the surveys were conducted on landlines and the other on mobile phones.

The KMT process was allegedly manipulated due to pressures that favored Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).

It too was finally carried out on the basis of 15,000 phone interviews. However, all of the calls were made to landlines, which are thought to be the choice of older voters who favor Han; mobile phones, preferred by younger voters, were not used.

Tsai’s opponent, former premier William Lai (賴清德), felt the DPP’s process was stacked against him.

Two of the KMT’s candidates, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) and KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), felt that the KMT’s process was unfair and gave preference to Han.

As a result, the unity in both the DPP and the KMT has suffered.

Given that the total voter tally for the 2016 presidential and legislative elections was 12.5 million people, surveys conducted by the two parties lacked representativeness.

Taiwan needs a nationwide primary election, held on a specific day during a predetermined time period, and conducted by the Central Election Commission. That would make the primary process more representative, open, transparent, understandable and democratic.

Bill Sharp

Hawaii

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