Thu, Jun 12, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Not enough public support to lower voting age: KMT

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday cited a recent poll, as well as previous polls , to support its stance that most people do not want the voting age lowered.

The KMT also said the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) proposal to amend the Constitution to lower the voting age was a potential threat to social order.

During a two-day policy meeting this week, the DPP said it would push for a constitutional amendment to lower the voting age and set the abolition of the Examination and Control yuans as a long-term goal.

The KMT caucus told a press conference yesterday that the idea of amending the Constitution without a clear social consensus would “incite instability” and be bad for the nation’s development.

None of the recent issues requiring amending the Constitution — such as lowering the voting threshold or increasing the number of seats in the legislature — has garnered popular support exceeding the necessary three-quarters majority, the KMT said.

“According to a poll conducted earlier this month by the KMT’s research center, 56.1 percent of respondents disapproved of lowering the voting age to 18 and only 32.9 percent were for it,” KMT caucus deputy secretary Alex Fai (費鴻泰) said.

A National Development Committee survey late last month also found that 55 percent of respondents were against lowering the threshold, he said.

A similar survey conducted in 2004, when the DPP was in power, found that 69.7 percent of respondents were against the proposal (26.4 percent were in favor), and 67.4 percent of respondents to a Ministry of the Interior poll in 2011 said they did not support changing the voting age, while 26.1 percent were for it, the KMT said.

While the number of those against the lowering of the voting age has been decreasing, the difference between proponents and opponents has remained at 20 percentage points or more, showing that there was nowhere near the required number of people to approve changing the threshold, the KMT caucus said.

Economics is something that everybody cares about and that is what the extra session should focus on, KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said, adding that the KMT would not consider any bill concerning constitutional amendments.

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