Mon, Feb 09, 2009 - Page 1 News List

DPP seeks closer ties with grassroots

SHOT AT RENEWALThe party said it would tap into ‘social powers’ and denied accusations that its social platform signified a return to the era of street protests

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday it would develop closer ties with grassroots and civic movements in an attempt to reform the party and get closer to mainstream public opinion.

Speaking after a meeting of the DPP’s Central Standing Committee held to discuss the party’s direction over the next year, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) called this year the party’s “social movement year,” saying that only by bringing in more “social power” could the party revive itself and perform well in the city mayor and county commissioner elections scheduled for the end of this year.

Citing media reports interpreting the party’s emphasis on social movements as a return to the party of “street protests,” Tsai said such views were narrow and misleading.

“A social movement is not a street movement,” she said.

Tsai said the party wanted to be a strong opposition to monitor the government’s performance and better connect with grassroots and civic organizations.

The party should forge links with civic groups to strengthen its ideals and social responsibility, consult academics to strengthen its analysis capabilities and listen to the public so it could better represent mainstream opinion, she said.

The meeting concluded that the party would have three priorities this year: linking with civic movements, helping people deal with the economic downturn and rising unemployment, and winning the mayoral and county commissioner elections, Tsai said.

Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦), a party spokesman, said the party would form several consultation committees to integrate opinions on different matters, including a first-tier election policy committee, a social development committee, a policy-making committee, a foreign affairs committee, a second-tier women’s committee, youth, Aborigine and Hakka committees, as well as a China policy committee.

To counter the government’s China-leaning polices, Tsai said the committee would form an “all citizens safeguard Taiwan movement,” which would not only protect Taiwan’s sovereignty, but also its culture, industry and products.

Tsai renewed her invitation to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to attend the national civic affairs conference the party will hold later this month, saying the party hoped Ma could attend and listen to the real voices of the public, which would be helpful for him in ruling the country — especially when delegates discuss economic issues.

Also See: Analysis: DPP faces most testing period in its history

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