Just as the Ministry of Culture was about to celebrate its one-year anniversary on May 20, National Taiwan Normal University’s (NTNU) Cultural Administration and Policy Lab released “A Survey of Public Approval Regarding the Central Government’s Cultural Policies” on May 14. The survey shows that despite the eminence of Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai, only 18.6 percent of the public is actually satisfied with the Ministry of Culture’s overall performance, with as much as 40.5 percent feeling that the nation’s cultural and artistic climate has not improved the last few years.
NTNU’s Cultural Administration and Policy Lab conducted the same survey in 2002 and 2004. For this year’s survey, which was conducted by telephone at the beginning of May, researchers collected a total 1,065 valid samples from people over the age of 20. The survey found that 40.2 percent of the respondents knew who Lung was, showing that she is a far more prominent figure than former Council for Cultural Affairs minister Ovid Tzeng, who had only a 19.1 percent recognition rating in the previous survey. Approximately 30 percent of people in the previous two surveys felt that the nation’s cultural and artistic situation had not improved, which increased to 40.5 percent in this year’s survey who felt that things had not improved in the past five years, showing an apparent spike in public disfavor.
Compared to the survey conducted in 2004, with 44.5 percent expressing satisfaction with the government’s cultural policies, this year’s 18.6 percent is a marked decline. The number of people dissatisfied — 34.7 percent — with the government’s handling of cultural policy this year has also risen significantly from 26.4 percent in 2004, showing that despite having a celebrated minister the ministry’s approval rating has still gone down.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)