One of the main reasons behind the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) disastrous defeat in the nine-in-one elections on Saturday last week is the public’s strong disapproval of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) performances, particularly among the younger generation, a Taiwan Thinktank survey said yesterday.
The telephone-based poll was conducted among 1,069 Taiwanese older than 20 on Sunday and Monday to gauge voting behavior in the nation’s largest-ever local elections.
The survey found that more than 74 percent of respondents are dissatisfied with Ma’s performance as president, up from 66.8 percent recorded in a similar poll conducted by the think tank in June. It also found that Ma’s approval rating sank to just 9.7 percent from 21.7 percent in June, with just 5.7 percent of people aged between 20 and 29 saying they are satisfied with Ma’s work over the past six years.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Jiang received nearly the same approval rating from respondents in that age group — 9.8 percent — far lower than the average figure of 14.2 percent given by all those surveyed.
David Huang (黃偉峰), an assistant research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of European and American Studies, said youth turnout had been about 60 percent in previous elections, but increased to 74 percent in Saturday’s polls.
“The increase is particularly meaningful when compared with the overall voter turnout of 67.5 percent. Who those extra 14 percent of young people voted for and whether they decided to participate in the election as a form of protest against the Ma administration are questions worth exploring,” Huang told a press conference held to release the poll results in Taipei.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Huang said that while about 64 percent of the survey participants said they made up their minds about which candidate to back based on information from television news shows, the percentage of people consulting content on news and social networking sites increased.
Taiwan Thinktank deputy chief executive Lai I-chung (賴怡忠) said the elections were apparently a vote of no confidence in the Ma administration, citing the 25.1 percent of respondents who said their discontent with the central government was an important factor in their decision at polling stations.
“It is also worth noting that nearly 53 percent of those polled attribute the KMT’s defeat in the local elections to the public’s disapproval of [what are perceived as] the Ma administration’s China-leaning and corporation-centered policies, with about 51 percent saying it would take more than Ma stepping down as KMT chairman for the party to regain public support,” Lai said.
Lai said the election results also signify the end of the KMT’s traditional campaigning methods, as evidenced by the 63.5 percent of respondents who said they found ineffective the party’s threat that a victory by independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) would destroy the Republic of China.
Nearly 64 percent of respondents said the public frenzy over Ko has made them more willing to consider voting for independent candidates in the future, the survey showed. Sixty-nine percent said the election results will be conducive to Taiwan’s democracy, while 46.4 percent think they will benefit the nation’s economy.
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer
The number of people from Hong Kong applying for residency in Taiwan last year rose 41 percent from a year earlier to 5,858, National Immigration Agency statistics showed. The statistics also showed that 600 applications were filed by Hong Kong residents in the first quarter of this year — three times the number filed in the same period last year — with applicants apparently not deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one day after it was reported that the Chinese government plans to enact new national security laws in Hong Kong, inquiries regarding immigration to Taiwan grew 10-fold, a Hong Kong-based immigration
‘BEGINNING OF THE END’: Democracy advocate Joshua Wong urged Hong Kongers to stand up and fight, and let the Chinese government know that they will not cave Hong Kong protesters yesterday battled with riot police in busy downtown areas, showing their opposition toward China’s dramatic move to crack down on dissent in the biggest demonstration since the coronavirus swept through the territory in January. Police deployed a water cannon and fired tear gas in the Causeway Bay shopping area after hundreds of protesters had gathered to oppose new national security legislation from China. Police warned the crowd they were taking part in an illegal gathering, and later said in a statement that “rioters threw umbrellas, water bottles and other objects at them.” At least 120 people were arrested,
‘TAIWAN IS SAFE’: As there have been no new local cases for 42 days, people should feel free to travel around the nation — as long as they follow disease prevention rules No new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday and only 20 of the people hospitalized after testing positive are still being treated in hospitals, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday in Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁) as he promoted a “new disease prevention lifestyle” for the nation. As yesterday was the 42nd consecutive day with no new domestic cases, and experts consider 28 consecutive days with no domestic case — the span of two incubation periods — a sign that a community is relatively safe, Taiwan is safe, said Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC),