Tue, Sep 18, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Discontented majority favors Cabinet reshuffle: poll

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

More than 60 percent of participants in a public opinion poll released yesterday are in favor of a Cabinet reshuffle, suggesting widespread discontent with the government.

In a survey conducted by Taiwan Thinktank on Wednesday and Thursday last week, 60.1 percent of those who polled said they would like to see a Cabinet reshuffle, with 19.5 percent opposed to the move change and 20.4 percent saying they had no opinion on the matter, the green-leaning think tank told a press conference.

The approval rating of the Cabinet led by Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) has dropped to 19.5 percent, with 72.1 of respondents saying they were not satisfied with its performance.

Almost eight out of 10 respondents, or 79.5 percent, said President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration had not found solutions for the faltering economy.

The public’s anger toward the policy of increasing electricity prices appeared to be strong, with 84.2 percent of respondents saying the first-stage power rate hike in June had affected their household finances and 84.7 percent saying that the government was not sincere about its pledge to carry out reforms of state-owned Taiwan Power Co.

The displeasure was reflected in Ma and Chen’s disapproval ratings, with Ma’s disapproval rating of 67.6 percent up from 65.3 percent in July and Chen’s disapproval rating shooting up to 53.3 percent from 40.1 percent two months ago.

The survey also found that 63 percent of respondents said they were not happy with Ma’s handling of the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) dispute, with 21.5 percent saying they were satisfied with Ma’s policy.

More than half — 54.8 percent — of those who polled said Taiwan should hold bilateral negotiations with Japan to resolve the dispute, with 26.4 percent saying that Taiwan should collaborate with China on the issue and 18.8 percent saying they had no opinion on the issue.

Public opinion on the handover of Hong Kong to China appeared to be split, with 29.3 percent of the respondents saying Hong Kong has made progress after the handover and 36.5 percent saying the former British colony has gotten worse.

Taiwan’s “Hong Kong-ization” was a great concern for 63.8 percent of those polled, who worried about the growing Chinese influence on the media, economy and society.

The poll collected 1,079 samples and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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