The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is mulling the reinstatement of party-member voting in its primaries for elections to replace the current mechanism, which determines party nominations solely on public opinion polls.
The proposed change is expected to be one of the most important issues at the DPP party convention on July 15, since it would be the deciding factor of the party’s nominations for the so-called “seven-in-one” elections in 2014.
Seven elections will be held concurrently for the mayors of the five special municipalities, county commissioners and city mayors, special municipality councilors, county and city councilors, township chiefs, township councilors and borough and village wardens.
The reinstatement of the party-member vote has become a shared wish by many members and appears to have no problem being passed at the party convention, said Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄), director of the DPP’s Taipei City office, and Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), director of the New Taipei City (新北市) office.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and party factions expressed their support for the move, party spokesperson Wang Min-shen (王閔生) said yesterday, adding the details of the new mechanism would have to be discussed and passed at convention next month.
If the proposal were passed, DPP nominations for the seven elections would be determined by accumulated results of a party primary and a public opinion poll.
Under Su’s predecessor, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the DPP changed its election nomination process to be decided by interparty polls in hopes of raising its chances of winning by including “more voices of the people.”
The change was made after many DPP members suggested that a hotly contested party primary to determine the nominee for the 2008 presidential campaign caused irreparable harm among the candidates and ultimately hurt the party’s chances in the general election.
Some members resented Tsai’s change because they had lost their say in nominations despite being registered DPP members.
However, reverting to the old format could bring back familiar concerns with “proxy” members, which plagued the party in the past and now constitutes a violation of election law.