Fri, Jun 22, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Students demand a `no candidate' option on ballots

DISSATISFACTION Proponents say adding a new category to ballots would give voters a way to express unhappiness with the available choices

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A group of college students yesterday urged the government to add a "No candidate deserves my vote" option on ballots as a way to eliminate candidates who receive fewer votes than the total number of "no candidate" votes cast in an election.

The option would be a way for voters to express their dissatisfaction with the political situation, student Shih Yi-hsiang (施逸翔) said at a press conference at the legislature.

The group suggested an amendment to Public Service Election and Recall Law (公職人員選舉罷免法) to make the regulation applicable to county commissioner and mayoral elections, legislative elections, and city and county councilor elections.

FAILING MARK

"Candidates unable to garner more votes than the number of [no candidate] votes should be considered to have failed to win the election," Shih said.

"If the total number of [no candidate] option votes is greater than that of each candidate, the election should be held again," Shih said.

With the approach of next year's legislative and presidential elections, politicians are trying to curry favor with voters by paying more attention to issues of popular concern, such as increasing stipends for the elderly and abolition of the inheritance tax, student Chuang Ya-han (莊雅涵) said.

"It appears that politicians have developed political cancers because their campaign platforms and agendas are hastily drafted without thorough consideration," she said.

Meanwhile, the students also urged the younger generation to remember that they should get involved in politics when they realize that politicians have failed to live up to expectations.

VOTER CAMPAIGN

"We have to turn our discontent into action," Chuang said.

She said the group would launch a campaign to prepare young people for the legislative elections.

Likening themselves to convicted "rice bomber" Yang Ju-men (楊儒門), who used homemade bombs in 2003 and 2004 to protest rice imports and urge the government to take better care of farmers, Chuang said that younger candidates should be "political bombers" in January's legislative polls.

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