Wed, Jan 01, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Prosperity tops list of public’s wishes for new year: DPP

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The majority of respondents to a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-run opinion poll hoped for a prosperous year this year as well as wishing that construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant would be suspended and the cross-strait service trade agreement renegotiated.

“The survey found that almost all of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) major policies have gone against mainstream public opinion. Hopefully, that will change in 2014,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a news conference yesterday.

On the controversial nuclear plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), 64.3 percent of respondents supported an immediate halt to construction, while more than half of those who identified themselves pan-blue camp supporters opposed continuing building the plant.

The same phenomenon was observed in the question about the service trade pact, with 61.4 percent of respondents — including more than half of the pan-green and pan-blue supporters — saying the agreement should be renegotiated, Lin said.

The strong opposition to Ma’s policies is perhaps why 70.8 percent of respondents called for a Cabinet reshuffle, of which 42.8 percent said they wanted to see a large-scale change, he said.

Asked what their wishes are for the new year, respondents’ top three picks were a safe and prosperous year, a better economy and an increase in wages.

In an opinion piece published by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper), DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) listed the party’s three wishes for the new year: a prosperous economy and stable commodity prices, the suspension of the fourth nuclear plant and the renegotiation of the service trade pact.

He also promised that the party would be “public’s guardian angel” this year.

In related news, former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Thinking Taiwan Foundation has launched an online campaign for people to announce their new year’s wishes over the Internet.

Nine options are given and users can select their top three wishes and either forward them to friends and families by e-mail or share them on social Web sites such as Facebook.

All nine options revolve around current social issues, including a nuclear-free homeland, improved food safety, better protection for stray animals and lower housing prices.

“The campaign is part of an effort in support of an end to heavily commercialized year-end countdown parties with fireworks displays that waste taxpayers money,” project leader Cheryl Lai (賴秀如) said.

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