The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is ready to draw up a plan that would lead to an unprecedented achievement — winning a legislative majority in 2016, the party said yesterday.
Former premier Yu Shyi-kun, a member of the DPP’s Central Standing Committee (CSC), presented the proposal at the committee’s weekly meeting yesterday and received overwhelming support.
The DPP has never held a majority in the Legislative Yuan since its establishment in 1986.
“Contrary to what most DPP members think, the legislative election is more important than the presidential election because a majority party in the legislature would be able to determine the direction our country is going,” Yu told reporters before the meeting.
The main objective of the plan, which still requires detailed deliberation, is to win 17 more seats three years from now and help the pan-green camp control 60 of the 113 legislative seats.
The pan-greens now have 43 seats in the legislature, including the DPP’s 40 and the Taiwan Solidarity Union’s (TSU) three.
The DPP has long held on to the myth that the presidential race is more important than the legislative elections, Yu said, “but take a look at Western democracies ... their parliaments always play a more dominant role in politics.”
The failure of a motion of no-confidence against the Cabinet on Saturday shows why a legislative majority would be crucial for the DPP, Yu said.
He said the party would have a greater chance of winning the presidential election if it had a legislative majority.
While it has been always difficult for the DPP to win in elections of smaller constituencies than in national elections, it would be “a mountain that the party has to conquer,” Yu said.
It looks like an impossible mission on the surface, but the former premier insisted that winning 17 more seats was a realistic goal.
The DPP could secure four to five more seats in New Taipei City (新北市) constituencies such as Banciao (板橋), Shulin (樹林), Tucheng (土城) and Sinjhuang, and two to three more seats in Greater Taichung, including Fongyuan (豐原), Yu said. The party could also win at least one more seat in Nantou County and Changhua County, he added.
If the DPP could secure 17 more seats, it would gain a legislative majority on its own, even without the TSU’s help.
However, the goal would not be attainable if DPP members lacked determination and did not work hard to establish a presence in traditional Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) strongholds, Yu said.
With the KMT’s strong organization and network in local constituencies, the DPP will have to work extremely hard to achieve the impossible, he added.
Yu said he discussed the proposal with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) two weeks ago and received Su’s support.
DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said the committee fully supported the proposal and had instructed staffers to formulate a draft plan for the CSC to discuss in the coming weeks.