Members of nearly 20 academic and civic groups have announced that they plan to establish a non-governmental organization tomorrow that seeks to raise "civic awareness" among the public and to promote legislative reform.
The organization, called Citizen Front, will be a new alliance composed of academics and key figures in social movements, including Chien Hsi-chieh (
Other members of Citizen Front include pan-green professors who called for President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) resignation last July, including Fan Yun (范雲), associate professor at National Taiwan University and Lee Ting-tsan (李丁讚), a sociology professor at National Tsinghua University.
Hsieh Tung-ju (
According to Shih Yi-hsiang (施逸翔), a staffer at the Peacetime Foundation, Citizen Front is aimed at bringing the nation closer to the civil societies found northern Europe, where politicians have to meet strict moral and ethical demands from the public.
"The difference between Citizen Front and Citizen Watch [another civic alliance that examines the legislature's performance] is that the former hopes to not only watch over legislators but also offer an ideal legislative prospect," Shih told the Taipei Times yesterday.
Shih said Citizen Front hopes to establish "values that are worth pursuing" and that the organization plans to hold a series of conferences between next month and May as a first step in the process.
Seven conferences will be held to discuss topics such as the nation's environmental problems, government corruption and cross-trait relations under the premises of peace and democracy.
"Taiwanese people do not have enough awareness as citizens," Chu said in a telephone interview yesterday. "People only get to know the government on the surface because their understanding of the government is usually limited as a result of political wrangling [between the pan-green and pan-blue camps]."
Jou said that professors had suggested that the organization recommend outstanding legislative candidates for the nation's political parties before their primary elections.