Wed, Sep 19, 2012 - Page 3 News List

DPP communication with public must be reworked, Tsai says

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Democratic Progressive Party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen and a restaurant owner pose holding crabs before having a meal at a seafood restaurant in Wanli District, New Taipei City yesterday.

Photo: Yu Chao-fu, Taipei Times

Before it can regain public trust and return to power, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) needs to remaster one thing it did well in the past: communicating with people, former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.

“In the past, the DPP was very good at communicating with the public on critical issues. We need to develop that ability to communicate with the public in terms of public policies,” the former DPP presidential candidate said in an interview with the English-language International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT).

The interview was aired in two installments, on Monday and yesterday.

Asked what her party needed to do to return to power, Tsai highlighted the importance of communication, saying that politics is not simply a “matter of looking for the smartest people to come up with the smartest ideas.”

She said it would be important for the DPP to share values and priorities with the public, initiate dialogue and generate the consensus that is needed “to carry out reform or whatever change you want to make in order to make the economy sounder.”

Tsai said she had led a relatively uneventful life since the January presidential election, but still spends a lot of time thinking about the country’s future.

The continuing weakening of the economy is the nation’s No. 1 concern, she said, adding that Taiwan has to look for a new model of economic growth after relying heavily on exports to drive the economy for decades.

She also laid out her plan to revitalize the sluggish economy — moving from cost-based competition to innovation and value-based competition and replacing traditional “urban economics” with “rural economics.”

That means Taiwan would have to increase domestic demand for domestic products, which are more closely linked to the land and local people and can not be replaced by foreign products, she said, adding that the model would create more jobs.

Tsai also addressed other issues, including her defeat in the presidential election and women’s political participation in Taiwan.

Looking back, Tsai said, she was moved by many people during the difficult campaign, but eventually it gave her hope that “Taiwan would be getting better and better” because of people’s passionate participation in politics.

While women’s participation in politics in Taiwan has been impressive, the result of the presidential poll showed that the electorate still had doubts about a female president despite having no problems with female local magistrates, legislators and councilors, Tsai said.

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