Sun, May 25, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Wide support for Cabinet system: poll

CHANGE NEEDED:The DPP poll found 68.7% support moving away from the semi-presidential system, and even many pan-blue supporters favor the change

By Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporter

A total of 68.7 percent of the public believe that the existing central government system could not solve social disputes such as those arising out of the cross-strait service trade agreement and the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮), while only 21.7 percent think otherwise, a poll conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) polling center showed.

The DPP said the result underlined the necessity of constitutional reform to consolidate the central government structure.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) recently raised the issue of amending the Constitution to establish a Cabinet system — rather than the current semi-presidential system — while the party’s poll shows that even among the supporters of the pan-blue camp, changing the central government to a Cabinet system is favored by as many as 65.1 percent of respondents.

Less than one-quarter of the pan-blue supporters (22.1 percent) favor a presidential system of government, according to the survey.

Pan-green supporters are more enthusiastic about having a Cabinet system of government, with the survey indicating that more than three-quarters of pan-green respondents (75.6 percent) support it, while only 10.6 percent favor a presidential system.

The poll results demonstrate strong backing from both sides of the political aisle for changing the existing structure to a Cabinet system, with 68.7 percent of respondents in general supporting a Cabinet system and 13.8 percent a presidential one.

The call for a “civic constitutional convention” first made by Sunflower movement protesters has been echoed and joined by various academics and groups, and the poll found the public supports the call, with 68.8 percent of respondents considering such a convention necessary for fine-tuning the country’s existing constitutional-political system.

However, 22.2 percent of respondents said they think there is no such need.

On the threshold to amending the Constitution, the passage of a Constitution-amending bill requires the presence of three-quarters of the total number of legislators, the consent of three-quarters of those attending and a referendum six months after the announcement.

The DPP’s poll showed that 52.8 percent believe that the current threshold to constitutional amendment is too high and should be lowered, while 34.3 percent say the threshold is appropriate and 2.2 percent consider it “too low.”

The poll collected 1,106 valid samples on April 8 and April 10 and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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