Sun, Dec 12, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Green's vote strategy a disaster

Most analysts blamed the pan-green camp's poor showing in yesterday's election on a poorly implemented vote-sharing plan, as well as an overly optimistic assessment of the number of seats the camp could win

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A worker in the Democratic Progressive Party's Taipei headquarters yesterday watches election results as they are reported on a TV news program.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

An inefficient vote-allocation strategy and an excessive number of nominees were attributed by many political observers as the main reasons behind the pan-green camp's unsuccessful bid to obtain a legislative majority in yesterday's elections.

Noting that there were many Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) or Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) candidates who failed to win by just a few votes, former DPP public survey center chief Chen Chun-lin (陳俊麟) said the situation suggested there were "problems" with the vote-allocation strategy adopted by the pan-green camp.

"It appears that the vote-allocation strategy adopted by the DPP and the TSU did not help the pan-green camp, but ended up having the candidates fight among themselves for votes," Chen said, saying that some constituencies ended up with a lose-lose situation for both the DPP and the TSU.

"It is clear that the DPP will have to engage in a re-assessment over its electoral maneuvers and strategies," Chen said. Chen is deputy chairman of the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission.

Agreeing with Chen's remarks, political commentator and editor-in-chief of Contemporary Monthly magazine Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒) said the vote-allocation adopted by the pan-greens "has resulted in the TSU's votes being largely lured away by the DPP."

One mistake committed by the pan-green camp, said Chin, was that "the pan-green camp had unrealistic expectations that it could achieve major growth in its number of seats in the elections."

The goal of attaining a legislative majority led the DPP to nominate too many candidates in the election, Chin said, adding that it was another factor which the DPP needed to re-evaluate.

While admitting that the DPP had lost the elections since it did not meet its targeting goal of obtaining 101 seats in the new legislature, DPP caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said the DPP had made gains in the number of votes it won in comparison to the last legislative election three years ago.

Citing statistics to support his remarks, Tsai said that the DPP this time had garnered 35.72 percent of the vote, a slight growth over the 33.38 percent of the vote in the 2001 legislative elections.

The DPP won 89 seats in yesterday's poll, two more than it won three years ago.

Noting that there were many pan-green candidates who enjoyed relatively high support rates before the election, yet obtained low votes in the poll yesterday, Tsai said these candidates' high approval rates had ended up working against them at the last minute when voters went to the polls.

Referring to the various topics talked about by Chen during the campaign period, such as the issue of changing the name of all relevant government agencies to include the word "Taiwan," Tsai added that it was possible that the voters did not have ample time to absorb and digest these issues, or to translate them into actual votes for the pan-greens in yesterday's polls.

"The DPP will re-assess its electoral maneuvers and operations after [yesterday's] elections," Tsai said.

The TSU, under the leadership of its spiritual leader, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), failed to achieve its goal of winning 20 seats.

The TSU, a pro-independence party, obtained only 12 seats in yesterday's elections.

"Overall, the TSU did not perform well," said Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), a researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences at Academia Sinica, adding that the party did not increase its number of seats as it had expected, although it had grown slightly in terms of total votes won.

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