Fri, Dec 16, 2011 - Page 3 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Up to 80% of young people unaware of new voting system

TWO VOTES?At the time of the poll, 48.4% of the respondents said they had not decided who to vote for and 46.5% said they did not support any party

Staff Writer, with CNA

More than 80 percent of voters in the 20 to 39 age group with college degrees or higher have no knowledge of Taiwan’s “single-member constituency, two vote” electoral system, according to the results of an online survey released on Wednesday.

The survey, which was conducted by Business Today, Taipei Society and Citizen Congress Watch, showed that only 17.8 percent of people in that age bracket were aware that they have one vote for a candidate running for a regional seat and another vote for a party in the Jan. 14 legislative elections.

Meanwhile, 62.4 percent of young people see the nomination of legislators at-large as a form of political patronage, according to the survey. At the time of the poll, 48.4 percent of the respondents said they had not decided which party to vote for, while 46.5 percent said they did not support any particular party.

The “single-member constituency, two vote” electoral system was adopted in 2008 when the number of legislative seats was halved from 226 to 113.

Commenting on the poll, Citizen Congress Watch chairman Ku Chung-hwa (顧忠華) said young people generally lack political awareness and it was vital to educate them on how political issues affect their personal lives and society. That would encourage them to become involved in political activities, which in turn would improve the national political climate, he added.

The survey, which collected 1,071 valid responses, had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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