Thu, Jul 21, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Tsai says DPP now moderate, reformist

MOTHER OF REINVENTION:The DPP boss told a business group that, if elected, her administration would focus on employment and upgrading industrial infrastructure

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen is applauded at a conference for Taiwanese businesspeople in Asia yesterday in Taipei.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will reinvent itself as a “moderate reformist” party to reassure and attract swing voters ahead of next year’s presidential election, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.

Speaking to a group of Taiwanese businesspeople based in Southeast Asian countries, the DPP presidential candidate said the support of swing voters would be “crucial” in January’s election.

The swing vote is expected to be the main battleground between Tsai and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

While the definition of swing voters in Taiwan is still up for debate, it is true that some voters stress social stability above all else, Tsai said, adding: “And the Chinese Nationalist Party has been taking advantage of this mindset to woo the so-called ‘swing voters’ and to evade reform in the past.”

The KMT has given the public the impression it wants to duplicate the era of the president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), when the country was run by an authoritative regime to achieve social stability, she said.

“The DPP will neither refuse to change for the sole purpose of stability, nor insist on reform and forget about stability,” she said.

The DPP will be moderately reformist because, as a party better at recognizing the global situation than its rival, it is able to identify the most urgently needed reforms, she said.

A good team of experienced former government officials from the DPP’s previous administrations is already in place to advance the party’s ideology, she said.

“That means we’re determined and are able to take care of the underprivileged, one of the DPP’s core values,” she added.

Outlining what would be the priorities of her administration, if elected, Tsai said two issues stand out — providing quality jobs and upgrading industrial infrastructure.

Instead of seeking temporary solutions, such as depending on China to solve any problems as the KMT does, the DPP has always insisted on finding long-term solutions that serve the best interest of the Taiwanese, she said.

The DPP is not opposed to economic exchange with China, she said, but the exchange she has in mind is one that is practiced within a normal framework and fits with international obligations in a multilateral system.

“The exchange should not be politicized either, which is the case at the moment,” she said.

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