Tue, Jun 29, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blue theory flawed: analysts

MERGER According to observers, the idea of creating a league of opposition forces shows that the KMT and PFP did not learn anything from their election defeat

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party's (PFP) recent talk about forming an alliance of all opposition forces suggests that the pan-blue camp still believes the myth that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," according to some political commentators.

"The result of the presidential election has already suggested that `the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts,'" political analyst Yang Hsien-hong (楊憲宏) said, referring to the joint ticket of KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and his PFP counterpart James Soong (宋楚瑜), which had lost to President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) re-election bid with a narrow margin.

Prior to the March 20 presidential election, many pan-blue members expressed confidence that the Lien-Soong ticket would win, given that in the 2000 election, Soong -- who then ran as an independent -- took 36 percent of the votes nationwide while Lien garnered 23 percent. Chen won the 2000 presidential election with 39 percent.

"The emerging talk of creating a league which encompasses all opposition forces reflects that the pan-blue camp still indulges itself in believing that `the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,'" Yang said.

Soong revealed at the weekend that he had met with his KMT counterpart in private last Friday and had discussed issues relating to forming an alliance encompassing all opposition forces, including the New Party and independents legislators.

Via the formation of an opposition league prior to the year-end legislative elections, the opposition parties hoped to combine forces and implement substantial cooperation such as jointly nominating a list of legislators-at-large to ensure that the opposition retains its majority in the legislature.

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While the idea of forming an opposition league had received open-armed endorsement from New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明), Lien, who acknowledged that he had met with Soong, said that while he would not oppose the formation of such an alliance, a merger between the KMT and the PFP remained the ultimate party goal.

Yang said that, due to the nature of legislative elections, forming an alliance of all opposition forces would not necessarily guarantee a definite majority win for the pan-blue camp in the year-end elections.

"Unlike presidential elections, where one's affiliation to a political party plays a relatively more significant role, voters in legislative elections tend to cast their ballots based on a candidate's connection with and service to the people and affairs of a particular constituency," Yang said.

The idea of forming an opposition league is similar to a proposition by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良), who had advised Lien and Soong early last month to form a Taiwan Democratic Alliance (台灣民主聯盟) to combine all opposition forces, including the New Party and independents.

Hsu said Saturday that the pan-blue camp would see a run-off of 3 million votes in the December legislative elections should the opposition forces fail to join the league.

Hsu ran as an independent candidate in the 2000 presidential race and garnered a mere 79,429 votes nationwide.

His enthusiasm in canvassing support for the formation of an opposition league has led some members of the KMT to question his true intent. They accused Hsu of attempting to use the KMT's resources to gain a place on the list of legislators-at-large via the proposed opposition league.

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