Wed, Dec 15, 2004 - Page 2 News List

DPP rakes itself over the coals

ELECTION FOUL-UPS The party's own review of its performance in Saturday's polls found mistakes of strategy and execution, while noting the DPP did boost its votes

STAFF REPORTER WITH CNA

The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) failure to win a legislative majority in Saturday's election was due to the party's overconfidence, which stemmed from a belief that voters who had been disappointed with the pan-blue camp after the March presidential election would automatically switch to supporting the pan-green camp, a DPP report said yesterday.

The review of the party's Saturday election defeat was released by Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) in a speech that he delivered in the meeting of the DPP's Central Standing Committee.

According to the report, the DPP over-estimated the attraction of the Taiwan-centered consciousness asserted by the result of the March presidential election.

"The DPP committed many strategic mistakes, including the failure to solicit support from neutral voters, the reluctance to look for new voters, and overconfidence, all of which made us deviate from the principle of caution," said Chang.

However, Chang noted that the DPP garnered the largest number of legislative seats and the highest vote share of any party in the elections.

The DPP gained 23,000 more votes this year compared to the 2001 legislative elections -- an increase of 2.34 percent, the report said.

Apart from the DPP, all other party's overall vote counts decreased. The TSU lost some 44,000 votes, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lost 8,000 votes and the PFP lost a whopping 560,000.

"The whole pan-blue camp lost a total of 619,000 votes," Chang said, quoting the report.

"But in fact, voters' change in attitude was much slower than we imagined," Chang said, commenting on voters who had been disappointed by the pan-blue camp's behavior after the presidential election.

Chang was also upset with the fact that the DPP's appeal to strengthen Taiwan's national identity during the campaign had been distorted as challenging the status quo.

He admitted that the DPP's mismanaged vote-allocation strategy was responsible for the defeat of a number of incumbent DPP legislators who enjoy high ratings in opinion polls, saying the party will conduct a thorough review of the errors.

Meanwhile, many DPP politicians said there is no hurry for the party to hold a direct election for the position of party chairman after Chen's resignation.

DPP Legislator Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄) said the party's legislative caucus leader, Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), should act as party chairman until the government has completed a Cabinet reshuffle, which will take place concurrent with the new legislators being sworn in on Feb. 1.

Agreeing with Shen, Lin Yu-sheng (林育生), another DPP legislator, said it makes no difference whether there is an election for the DPP chairmanship, nor does it make any difference who is chairman, because, he claimed, the party is "only a machine for elections."

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