Home / Local News
Sat, Nov 24, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Ministries enlist school children to fight vote-buying

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The ministries of justice and education hope that sending school children home with anti-vote-buying information will be an effective tool in stamping out the practice in the Dec. 1 elections.

The anti-vote-buying message could be spread quickly if children are made to understand the nature of the problem and educate their parents about the matter, Vice Minister of Justice Hsieh Wen-ting (謝文定) said at a joint press conference with the Ministry of Education yesterday.

The Ministry of Justice printed 3.5 million "contracts" to promote the government's anti-vote-buying efforts in the Dec. 1 election.

The "contract" is actually a postcard-size publication asking people not to sell or buy votes. Government officials hope to promote the anti-vote-buying idea by sending cards to each family.

"We hope that our elementary and middle-school kids can take this card home over the weekend and ask their parents to read and sign it," Vice Minister of Education Fan Sun-lu (范巽綠) said yesterday. "On Monday when they return to school, we will collect the cards again. Those parents who have signed the cards will qualify for a draw after the election. Those lucky parents will receive a gift from their child's school afterward."

"Giving away gifts is not our point," Fan said. "We sincerely hope that we can have a clean election and that our voters know how to say `no' to vote-buying bait."

"Both Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) and Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) have said that anti-vote-buying action will be a constant policy of the government," Hsieh said. "If we educate our kids about the nature of vote-buying, I'm pretty sure that we will be able to stamp bribery out of our elections and that future elections will be clean as well."

Head of the Ministry of Justice's Department of Legal Affairs Li Tsui-lien (黎翠蓮) said that more than 3,500 elementary and junior high schools joined the program to send cards to each student.

"It's a nation-wide promotion on the campuses," Li said. "We even sent the cards to schools in Kinmen (金門) and Matzu (馬祖). Students will receive the cards before they leave school on Friday afternoon."

Asked about the budget for the give-aways to the lucky ones who were selected by draws afterward, Li said that each school has the authority to decide how much money it will spend and what kind of gifts will be given to the parents.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top