The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is to launch a series of events under the title “New and Greener Governance” in an attempt to show how DPP-led governed localities have been more efficient in comparison with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.
According to party officials, the DPP is working hard toward next year’s seven-in-one elections and hopes to boost positive impressions of the party by focusing on local government performance.
The seven-in-one elections will be held for all directly elected local government positions: special municipality mayors and councilors; county commissioners and city mayors; county and city councilors; township mayors and councilors; and borough and village wardens.
“We want to make ‘New and Greener Governance’ the central theme of our marketing,” said a party official who declined to be named.
Narrowly defined, the event title would appear to focus on efforts to explore new energy sources and on renewable energy sources, party officials said. However, given that green is the party’s representative color, the title also indicates that the DPP is shifting, in terms of policy and governing principle, towards a new direction compared with when it was in power under former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
The “New and Greener Governance” drive will begin with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and several academics touring the nation late next month and early October, the party officials said.
Seminars and talks are planned in Greater Taichung and Changhua County in celebration of the 27th anniversary of the party’s founding on Sept. 28, 1986, as well as in other central cities governed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to discuss how those local governments could be run under the DPP, the officials said.
The DPP is in talks with counties and cities about which specific local policies are to be examined by Su and the academics, they said.
Some of the achievements which have been touted by the party, such as the green-energy policy pursued by Pingtung County Commissioner Tsao Chi-hung (曹啟鴻) and the Yilan International Folklore and Folk Game Festival hosted by the Yilan County Government, are examples of what the party is looking for, one party official said, adding that the DPP would respect the choices of the commissioners and mayors.
Under the green-energy policy, Pingtung residents whose income was dependent upon agriculture and who were affected by Typhoon Morakot in 2009 can apply to have their land house solar panels — giving the land time to recover from salinization and subsidence, while generating power that is sold to Taiwan Power Co.
Morakot caused the most devastating flooding since 1959, as well as multiple landslides. Coastal areas were heavily affected, with heavy land subsidence in areas such as Jiadong (佳冬) and Linbian (林邊) townships in Pingtung County.
The DPP said Su would visit cities and counties that are not governed by DPP members, but where some townships or villages are, such as Changhua and Nantou counties.
The party gave the example of Huang Sheng-lu (黃盛祿), head of Changhua’s Sijhou Township (溪州), who was able to obtain NT$3 million (US$103,000) from the county government and raised another NT$3 million for the township’s publicly funded nursery, allowing it to expand its number of classes.