Sun, Aug 10, 2014 - Page 3 News List

DPP shuffles its human resources in run-up to elections

By Su Fang-ho and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is beginning to feel a staffing crunch ahead of this year’s election season, which is four months away, even as the party canceled most planned large events following the gas explosions in Greater Kaohsiung last week.

Prior to announcing the temporary cancellations of campaign events in light of the disaster, the DPP had sent teams to the party’s branch headquarters to help with election efforts.

Other counties and cities are turning to their planning tables and finalizing event schedules, or making visits to local swing voters, in hopes of persuading them to vote for the DPP.

Despite New Taipei City being a major contention zone, the DPP’s support in the area has been at a constant low, according to party sources, who added that the party’s candidate in the special municipality, former premier Yu Shyi-kun, has been met with a tide of negativity after his latest effort to boost his ratings.

Yu recently put up a YouTube video in which he teaches the pronunciation and meanings of phrases in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese). However, the video has been ill-received due to what has been described as its shoddy camera work, the lack of subtitles and the inclusion of the backside of an aide who accidentally walked into the film.

There have also been complaints that the party’s headquarters is placing more emphasis on its resources and staff levels in New Taipei City.

Meanwhile, the DPP has assigned former Information and Culture Department director Liao Chih-chien (廖志堅) to promote its campaign efforts.

Liao is quite familiar with media promotion, the party headquarters said.

Liao said that in New Taipei City, the visual effects of the billboards and advertisements would be improved over the versions presented during the primaries in order to show Yu’s contributions when he served as Yilan County commissioner from 1989 to 1997.

The billboards and advertisements are to emphasize successful events such as the Yilan International Folklore and Folk Game Festival and the establishment of the Yilan Literature Hall, which has become more popular after appearing in an advertisement featuring Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro.

The undertone of the billboards aims to suggest that Yu would be able to do as much, if not more, for the residents of New Taipei City, compared with the lack of contributions from Yu’s New Taipei City electoral rival, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Eric Chu (朱立倫), when he served as Taoyuan County Commissioner in 2001, party sources said.

Liao is also to be in charge of advertising and promotions in Changhua and Taoyuan counties.

“Without resources made available when they were in government, the party could only let the public know what it has been doing through advertisements and promotions,” party sources said.

Meanwhile, despite an evident lead in Greater Taichung, the DPP said it is playing it safe and has sent aides with organizational skills to the Greater Taichung party branch headquarters.

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