Having failed twice in the past, You Ying-lung (
"I believe it will not be as fierce a battle for me this time. With my previous experience of running in elections in Hualien, my recent close interaction with the DPP to shore up support, plus the seven months I have spent working for the DPP government, I am convinced I will be able to secure a seat for the DPP in the legislature," You told the Taipei Times during an interview yesterday.
You Ying-lung was unsuccessful in both the 1997 election for county commissioner in Hualien and the legislative election in 1998.
PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES
But as an expert pollster who has consistently estimated campaign results with perfect accuracy, he was in charge of the opinion polls for the DPP's presidential election campaign, and has been credited with playing an important role in President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) triumph.
Asked why he now insisted on plunging into the harsh campaign battle when he is already so close to the center of power, You said he was concerned about the present stalemate between the executive and legislative branches.
"The current political deadlock has seriously shaken people's confidence in the government and put the country's financial situation in peril.
"I don't want to pin the blame on either side. But as a DPP member, I think if the DPP can overturn its status as the minority party in the legislature, the situation will be greatly ameliorated," he said.
You described the government's current ineffectualness as "an engine ticking over without the car moving," or a person "walking on the spot and not going anywhere."
"I aim to achieve two goals in running in this election. On the one hand, to raise the quality of lawmakers in the legislature and, on the other hand, to increase the DPP's share of legislative seats to facilitate the implementation of the executive's policies."
Elaborating further on his plans, the professor of political science at Soochow University (東吳大學) showed himself to be full of ideas from how to overhaul the present political situation to measures necessary to ease the tense relations with China.
Given that, even if the DPP were to become the biggest single party in the legislature, it would not likely secure an absolute majority in the legislature in the current political climate, You suggested the government move in the direction of a "grand coalition government" in a bid to allow the policies to be backed up.
On cross-strait relations, You said the spirit of the current "no haste, be patient" (戒急用忍) policy should be maintained, but there should be more flexibility to meet the political and economic demands of the two sides.
You also highlighted conflicts stemming from disparities between ethnic groups. He considers ethnic tension a primary source of problems in Taiwan.
"Though efforts have been made to promote interracial harmony, we need to work out more concrete measures to prevent the issue from deteriorating," he said.
But You, a native of Hualien, has a sense of local as well as national duty. His further comments revealed a kind of mission he is on to help his home city.
Growing up in Hualien and having stood in elections twice there, You said he believed he fully understood what the beautiful yet economically-depressed city in eastern Taiwan needs.
"Hualien is an underdeveloped city that has long been neglected by the government. Although it has one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country, the people leave due to the lack of business opportunities.
"If the government was willing to give more attention to the place, making use of the natural resources to develop tourism and industry as well as working on infrastructure, it could be a town full of potential," You said.
"The locals feel strongly that the government has concentrated development efforts too much in the west, with not nearly enough being done in the east.
"It is a border area, not because of its geography, but because of prejudiced policies.
"With today's advanced technology, nowhere can be considered a fringe area unless it is deliberately ignored by government policy."
You said that, if elected, he would seek to bring Hualien into the media spotlight.
"If there were social justice, this place wouldn't be ignored. Government policy should take care of the needs of places equally," he added.
You Ying-lung and Vice Chairman of the Council for Cultural Affairs Luo Wen-chia (
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