The Central Election Commission (CEC) should step up its effort to promote the “single-member district, two-vote” electoral system even though the system puts smaller parties such as the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) at a disadvantage, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said yesterday .
Even though the system was implemented four years ago, nearly half the respondents in a recent poll conducted by the TSU said they were not aware of a “second ballot” that determines the legislator-at-large seats, Huang said.
Slightly more than 46 percent of respondents said they did not know about the second ballot, while 62.1 percent knew the voting system was designed to determine the legislator-at-large seats, while 37.9 percent mistakenly thought it was for single-member district elections.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
About 24 percent did not know next year’s presidential election and legislative elections would be held on Jan. 14.
The survey was conducted from July 19 to Sunday and had a margin of error of 3 percent.
Huang said the commission had “fallen asleep” and been “negligent” in promoting the new system, which he said works against smaller parties, particularly in single-member district elections.
“That is why the second ballot is important to smaller parties to make sure alternative voices can be heard,” Huang told a press conference.
The commission will not launch its promotion program for the January elections until Sept. 15, when the official election announcement is made, Central Election Commission Secretary-General Teng Tien-yu (鄧天祐) said, adding that it would use TV commercials as well as radio and print advertisements.
The second-ballot voting system, in which voters pick the party of their choice, is used to determine 34 legislator-at-large seats. The other 73 seats are elected from single-member districts.
Only the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) were able to secure legislator-at-large seats in the 2008 elections because only parties who garner 5 percent of the vote are eligible for a seat.
The TSU obtained 3.53 percent of the vote in 2008. Between 2001 and 2007, the party held more than 10 seats in the legislature and only five of the 906 local councilors are TSU members.
Although the TSU has pledged to support DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) presidential bid and will not nominate candidates in the single-member district elections, it will try to win at least two legislator-at-large seats to avoid being marginalized.
The TSU needs help from the DPP to do so, Huang said, calling on Tsai to “at least express goodwill, recognize the TSU’s important role as a strong ally of the DPP and help the TSU to surpass the 5 percent threshold.”
The TSU could have been another People First Party (PFP), he said, referring to the KMT ally that decided to nominate its own district candidates and legislator-at-large hopefuls, a move seen as a potential threat to the KMT.
“The DPP needs the TSU more than we need it. However, we have made clear that [the TSU] will not be a spoiler in the elections, so it’s time for the DPP to demonstrate goodwill,” Huang said, without elaborating on what the DPP could do.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37