Fri, Jun 25, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Legislators seek election theme

SOONER RATHER THAN LATER DPP lawmakers yesterday urged their party to outline its legislative elections campaign strategy, to kick-start their electioneering

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday urged party headquarters to outline the theme for the year-end legislative elections campaign, based on the goal to promote good governance in a bid to bolster the party's public appeal in the face of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) pushing for Taiwan independence.

A total of 34 DPP legislators seeking reelection recently endorsed a proposal by DPP Legislator Yu Jan-daw (余政道) to establish the theme for the legislative elections under the banner of "overall governance and reestablishing Taiwan."

Calling a press conference to unveil the expected campaign theme in the legislature, Yu yesterday said the DPP's younger legislators felt a pressing need to accentuate the party's legislative elections campaign line as early as possible. This need arose because the TSU, the DPP's pan-green camp partner, is set to take over the pro-independence line by pushing for changing the country's official name to "Taiwan" and establishing a new constitution.

Yu said the proposal is expected to be approved at the party's July 18 national congress to kick-off the campaign, instead of waiting until the party's anniversary on Sep. 28, the date previously scheduled for introducing the campaign theme.

This was the first time that DPP legislators have proposed their own agenda, instead of following campaign lines mandated by party authorities, Yu said.

DPP Legislator Julian Kuo (郭正亮) said the DPP will be facing substantial competition from the TSU's pro-independence platform in soliciting the support of swing voters. The TSU stance is also set to win the support of pro-independence fundamentalists.

In southern Taiwan, Kuo said, the TSU's appeals are expected to find favor with grassroots supporters and this might undermine the DPP in the region. However, in terms of increasing its urban support base in northern Taiwan, Kuo said "the DPP has yet to propose a clear outline detailing the executive tasks of the ruling party, which also seeks to amend the Constitution to bring about good governance."

"President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has missed the opportunity to use the honeymoon period after his inauguration to communicate to the public how he would address good governance in his constitutional reengineering project, merely leaving it to the Premier to advance the administrative policies they pursued in the previous legislative session," Kuo said.

Without indicating further how the constitutional reforms will be advanced, Kuo said, "I am afraid the DPP's legislative campaign will only be mired in issues such as the special defense budget, which is not likely to draw extensive public interest and attention, if the Cabinet keeps pursuing the passage of the budget in the next legislative session."

Kuo said that since Chen has made it clear in his inauguration speech that he would not touch on sensitive issues dealing with the nation's sovereignty, the DPP is bound to clarify what other issues are important, such as governmental restructuring, in order to achieve good governance.

The proposal will seek to underscore the DPP's platforms for good governance, which involves tasks such as streamlining governmental agencies, reducing the three-tier governmental system to a two-tier one, reorganizing administrative regions and amending legal regulations governing elected officials.

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