Sat, Apr 07, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Former DPP legislator calls for left-of-middle stance

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Lo Wen-chia (羅文嘉) yesterday suggested that his party should take a "left of the middle" position and promote minority advancement.

At a press conference, Lo called on the party to remember that it came to power with the support of the nation's underprivileged groups and intellectuals who wanted to see social reforms.

"The DPP once advocated the establishment of a `welfare country' and this was exactly a `left of the middle' approach," he said.

Lo said, however, that many of the DPP's ideals related to public welfare, economic equality, minority ethnic groups and environmental protection had been pushed behind a discourse of nationality.

"This has shaken the DPP's base of support among minorities and intellectuals to a certain extent," he said.

Lo was once regarded as President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) protege. He came under fire, however, from pan-green grassroots supporters after he accused Chen of "lying" last year during the special allowance fund investigation.

Lo said that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had made the right choice by announcing last year that the Taiwan Solidarity Union, which regards Lee as its spiritual leader, would move to "left of the middle."

"We should pay close attention to his opinion," Lo said. "It is true that the DPP has to deal with the increasing rich-poor gap."

"The DPP is more qualified than any other party to adopt a `left of the middle' approach because this was the DPP's founding spirit and will be key to the DPP's sustainability," he said.

Asked to elaborate, Lo said he was only pointing out a matter of priority and declined to specify whether he was saying that the DPP had sacrificed the interests of underprivileged groups for issues of national identity.

Commenting on the same issue, DPP Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said the DPP had never lost its concern for minorities and added that he felt the party's discussions of national identity and its concern for underprivileged groups were not mutually exclusive.

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