Despite concerns that the nominees from the People’s First Party (PFP) could cause a split in the pan-blue camp, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) still has home advantage under the current voting system and will also benefit from the “dump-save effect” if it goes into effect, KMT legislators are saying.
The dump-save effect is, in essence, strategic voting whereby voters vote for one particular nominee over another for the perceived greater good of the party. Since the voting system was changed in 2008 to mixed member proportional representation, this has rarely happened.
The system allows voters to casts two votes: one for a constituency representative and one for a party.
KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), who could face PFP opposition, said that at the basic level voters still regarded the PFP as part of the pan-blue camp rather than a third party, and that such an opponent could take votes away from the KMT.
The same phenomenon applies to the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), he said.
Although New Taipei City’s (新北市) first constituency favors the KMT over the DPP, a nominee “parachuted” in by the PFP made it hard to calculate vote losses, Wu said.
“Unless the PFP’s cross-strait policies are markedly different from those of the KMT and if the PFP convinces voters that a legislature in which three parties do not have majority of seats will not be chaotic, defeating me will be difficult,” Wu said, adding that the election was mostly between the pan-green and pan-blue camps.
Efforts by the PFP to be a third independent party would be very hard to achieve, Wu said.
KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元), who will face PFP nominee Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), said that although the two had overlapping support, there would be no “dump-save” problem between them.
Tsai said PFP supporters would cast their vote for him when it counts because he had been spokesperson for both PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), as well as spokesperson of the KMT-PFP Party Coalition Group.
On the Aboriginal front, though most felt that KMT nominee Kung Wen-chi’s (孔文吉) campaign was facing pressure from PFP nominee Walis Pelin, Kung said the person affected most was Non-Partisan Solidarity Union Legislator May Chin (高金素梅).
Pelin used to help garner votes for Chin in the Aboriginal voter base of Jen-ai Village (仁愛) in Nantou County, Kung said.
There is not just one Aboriginal village and the KMT has a tightly knit organized system all over Taiwan, Kung said, adding that unlike the PFP, he still had the advantage of organized voters.
“Though Pelin and I are both from the Sediq tribe, we each have our own source of voters,” Kung said, adding that Aborigines voted for the party and not the person.
Pelin has been all over the place and is green in the heart while orange on the outside, he said.
On the Hualien front, KMT nominee Wang Ting-sheng’s (王廷升) spokesperson, Chen Peng-yu (陳鵬宇), said the pan-blue camp was unlikely to see a split in Hualien, adding that Wang would position himself as the nominee of the “original” blue camp when the vote comes.
As for rumors that Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) was handling the PFP election efforts, Chen said that everything depended on the nominee’s characteristics and link to the locality, adding that Fu’s handling of elections did not mean that Fu was the PFP candidate.