Tue, Jan 06, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP putting up a fight down the `back of the mountain'

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

In the last presidential poll, Lien received over 19 percent of the votes in the county and Soong almost 59 percent, while Chen garnered about 21 percent. The turnout was about 75 percent.

Hsieh, who will head the Lien-Soong campaign office in Hualien, said that their campaign strategy was to simply compare the DPP-led government's achievements with those made during the KMT administration.

"Basically, the DPP administration has literally done nothing for the county," Hsieh said. "The expansion project of the Hualien airport is a continuous project spearheaded by Lien during his stint as the premier and the freeway connecting Suao, Ilan County and Hualien still has a long way to go."

Despite a resolution made by the county council to continue the construction of the Suao-Hualien freeway, the county is soliciting public opinions and is scheduled to make public its final decision by mid-January when a regional opinion poll will be conducted.

Despite his pledge to kick off the project by the end of the year, Premier Yu Shyi-kun granted the county three months to decide whether to construct the freeway in response to the request of Hsieh, who was under immense pressure from local environmentalists.

Commenting on the DPP's ambition to garner 35 percent of the total votes in Hualien, Hsieh said that it sounded like "a feasible goal."

"I don't think it's fair to say that the efforts made by the DPP over the years to court Hakka and Aboriginal voters came to nothing," Hsieh said. "It does make a difference to set up the Council of Hakka Affairs, a Hakka TV channel, a Hakka radio station, Hakka schools in universities and an Aboriginal-language radio channel."

DPP lawmaker Lu Po-chi (盧博基), serving as the executive officer of the DPP's campaign office in Hualien, said that although he expects to see the party's Chen-Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) ticket to solicit more support from Hakka voters this time, reaching the target of 35 percent might be a little bit tough.

"While mainlanders and Aborigines have been known for their loyalty to the blue camp, I hope we can solicit 20,000 to 30,000 more votes from Hakka voters this time but it may require a hell lot of work and efforts," he said.

And the strategy? Appealing to the people's conscience, he said.

"I believe people with a sound mind and conscience should and would realize that the KMT has been offering nothing but lip service over the years, while the DPP means what it says and puts its promises into practice," he said.

turning back the tide in taitung

The KMT's long-term political monopoly in Taitung County has made the county's teachers and civil servants defer to the authoritarian administration over the years.

"The private sector, whose clientele is mostly the civil sector, do not dare to develop a close relationship with the DPP for fear that they might lose their business with the KMT conglomerate," said Winston Yu (余文儀), chairman of the Eastern Taiwan Society (台灣東社). "They're dependent on each other and have developed into an inseparable body."

Conservativism is prevalent and bureaucracy is not foreign to the county of 243,000 people.

"Obscurantism prevails in a place where it is conservative and underdeveloped," Yu said.

"Take the last presidential election for example, constituents were unequivocally convinced by the blue camp's theory that China would launch an attack against Taiwan if they dared to give their vote to the green camp."

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