Fri, Mar 26, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Public confidence in Ma slides

TRUSTThe pollster said although the Ma administration handled crises more quickly than before, recent controversies showed poor communication among its agencies

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Public trust in President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) continued to drop this month, along with those of his party and Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), a poll released by the Global Views Survey Research Center indicated yesterday.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) confidence index, on the other hand, stayed above 50 for the fourth consecutive month, the poll showed.

The survey put Ma’s confidence index at 44.1 percent on a scale of 0 to 100, down 1.5 percentage points from last month. Premier Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) trust index fell 2 percentage points to 47.3 percent. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) confidence index also slid 1.2 percentage points to 41.6 percent.

The center said the decline was a warning to the Ma administration, reflecting strong public disappointment although the party returned to power barely two years ago.

Public displeasure can also be gleaned in the results of the recent legislative by-elections, the pollster said, with the KMT’s three-quarters majority dwindling to two-thirds since last month’s elections.

Various incidents have eroded public trust in the government, the center said, citing examples such as public concern over the National Property Administration’s auction of a parcel of public land in an upscale district of Taipei, the dispute between the premier and Department of Health Minister Yaung Chih-laing’s (楊志良) over health insurance premiums, the decision to raise insurance premium rates and the controversy over former minister of justice Wang ­Ching-feng’s (王清峰) resignation and the abolition of the death penalty.

The pollster said although the Ma administration handled the crises faster than it did before, a string of incidents still led the public to think that communication among government agencies was poor and its policy planning was deficient.

Meanwhile, public trust in Tsai continued to rise. The poll showed Tsai’s confidence index rising 0.7 percentage points to 51.9 percent.

The DPP’s confidence index, however, slipped 0.8 percentage points to 40.8 percent — also the fourth consecutive month that the number hovered around 40.

The center said the drop in the DPP’s trust index might be related to the political wrangling among aspirants seeking the party’s nomination for the year-end five-municipality elections. The pollster said the political infighting undermined the image of the party and public support.

The survey also said that the “public mood index” this month remained below 50 at 42.1 points, a 0.8 point decrease from last month.

The public mood index consists of the political confidence index (PCI) and the economic confidence index (ECI).

The PCI dropped 1.5 percentage points from last month to 46.5, while the ECI fell 0.1 percentage point to 37.6.

The poll, which collected 1,007 samples, was conducted between March 15 and March 17.

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