Tue, Aug 16, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Tsai ready to lay out DPP’s policies

WHERE’S SOONG?The DPP said it was keeping a close eye on the PFP chairman, who could throw a monkey wrench into the election if he decided to run for president

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Former Taiwanese representative to Japan Koh Se-kai, center, and his US resident grandsons Taiwan Koh, third right, and Taihai Koh, third left, attend a presidential campaign rally for Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen in Greater Taichung yesterday.

Photo: Liao Yao-tung, Taipei Times

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will soon unveil “10-year policy guidelines” and policy white papers that will serve as the backbone of her presidential campaign platform, the DPP said yesterday, adding that it was paying close attention to the possible entry of People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) into the presidential election.

Tsai, who has been staying out of the public eye by avoiding public -appearances from Saturday to tomorrow, has been busy finalizing the guidelines, white papers and nomination of her running mate, campaign spokesperson Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said.

The release of the policy documents, which contain a wide range of issues from China policy and national finance to environmental protection, Hsu said, should be able to answer DPP supporters’ questions and rebut criticism from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which has accused Tsai of ambiguity in her China policy.

Commenting on the latest -Chinese-language United Daily News poll, which showed Tsai trailing President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is seeking re-election in January, by 8 percentage points, or 44 to 36, Hsu said the DPP still viewed Tsai’s head-to-head battle with Ma as a toss-up, with Tsai leading by less than 1 percentage point, according to an internal poll.

The newspaper poll, released yesterday, also surveyed a possible three-way race if Soong announces his candidacy. Under this scenario, Ma would lead Tsai with 38 percent against 31 -percent, with Soong receiving 15 percent of support, while another 15 percent were undecided.

Ma’s loss of 6 percent of support showed that some swing voters were not satisfied with his performance and decided to tip their hats to the third candidate, Hsu said.

However, 5 percent of DPP supporters turned their backs on Tsai, which is a warning sign, Hsu said, adding that the party was still assessing the shift.

“The change means something different for both campaigns,” she said.

Regardless of the poll results, Hsu told reporters the basis of the Tsai campaign remains unchanged.

“The DPP still holds the view that swing voters will be the deciding factor in the presidential race as well as the legislative elections,” Hsu said.

While DPP supporters, the press and even some DPP officials described the general atmosphere of Tsai’s campaign as “cold” because discussions, rallies and public speeches had not been as intense as in past elections, Hsu said the phenomenon has been “the norm in maturing democracies” and there is no need to worry.

“Academic studies have found that, while you see passionate participation in politics and high turnout rates in the early development stage of young democracies, those numbers gradually decrease in maturing democracies,” she said. “What is happening in Taiwan right now is in line with global trends.”

Meanwhile, poll results released yesterday by xfuture.org, a Web site with a platform similar to the stock market that allows users to predict results of future events, showed that Ma increased his lead over Tsai to 2.8 percent, up from 1.9 percent a week ago.

While Soong has enjoyed a popularity surge over the past few weeks, the results showed that the possibility of Soong entering the race was only 13.6 percent, while he has virtually no chance of winning.

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