Sun, Nov 28, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP's plan frustrates some candidates

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Pan said many candidates who had been in danger of losing have been returned to the safe list after the DPP launched the allocation. Taipei County candidate Shen Fa-hui (沈發惠) and Kaohsiung City candidate Huang Chao-hui (黃昭輝) became hopefuls again, Pan said.

Pan said the DPP still estimates it will win around 94 to 95 seats, according its latest poll, below the goal of 101 seats set by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). But Pan believes that as long as the DPP allots its ballots evenly, it still has a good chance of achieving the aim.

According to DPP Information and Culture Department Director Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), the DPP adopts several patterns when using vote allocation.

Usually, about one week before election day, the DPP will tell its partisans to portion out ballots to specific candidates in their constituencies according to the last number on their ID card, or according to their birth month.

In a constituency where the DPP has nominated four or six candidates, it would instruct its supporters to allot votes to each candidate according to their birth month. Each candidate could have an allotment of two or three months. This allocation pattern is dubbed "Four Seasons Red (四季紅)," which is also the name of a Taiwanese folk song.

If there are five candidates in one constituency, then each candidate would be allocated votes based on the last two digits of the voter's ID card, Cheng said.

Ten DPP candidates in the north and south districts in Taipei City have adopted this pattern.

"Vote allocation is a campaign tradition, or a consensus among DPP members, and this kind of peer pressure also pushes candidates to accept the strategy," Cheng said.

"Many people criticize vote allocation as being undemocratic and depriving people of individual choice," Cheng said. "But interestingly enough, the vote allocation was a campaign tactic invented by our supporters spontaneously a decade ago because they really wanted to help the DPP grow."

"It is a tactic derived from the bottom-up," Cheng said.

separation from TSU

Chen Shui-bian's announcement that the DPP targets winning at least 101 seats on its own, meanwhile, in some ways shows that the DPP wants to win the election without the Taiwan Solidarity Union's (TSU) help.

As the TSU's campaign has not gained momentum as quickly as the DPP had expected, the DPP's lukewarm response to the TSU's call for cooperation in vote allocation has become increasingly clear.

At present, the DPP is only working with the TSU to share votes in Tainan City, Taichung City, Pingtung County and in Kaohsiung City, although many TSU candidates have demanded the DPP include them because the TSU contributed significantly to Chen's re-election bid.

Lin Chih-Lung (林志隆), a TSU candidate in Kaohsiung County, said the DDP's vote allocation strategy would inevitably dent the TSU's campaign situation if the DPP did not invite the party to partake in vote distribution.

In the pan-blue strongholds of Keelung City, Hsihchu City, Chiayi City, Taichung County, Maoli County and Taiyuan County, competition among the pan-green camp will be even keener,

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