The Green Party Taiwan (GPT) yesterday unveiled its campaign theme for the legislative elections in January, vowing to push policies that improve public livelihoods, promote Aboriginal rights and ensure optimal land use to serve public interests.
Speaking at a news conference in Taipei, GPT co-convener Lee Ken-cheng (李根政) urged the public to “stand up” for the values they believe is best for Taiwan, to change the nation for the better.
He said society has benefited greatly because of the people who stood up to right the government’s wrongs, such as the residents of New Taipei’s Gongliao District (貢寮), whose strong protests prompted the authorities to halt the construction of the problematic Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.
Accusing the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of favoring big businesses, while neglecting the needs of ordinary people, he said this has led to more lenient laws and in turn caused many of today’s social problems.
“Taiwan is where we live and where we die. However, after two changes of government, it is becoming clearer that the KMT’s and the DPP’s professed love for this land is manifested in their connivances with corporations, which has seized our land, destroyed the environment and marginalized the farming sector, giving rise to a host of food safety scandals,” he said.
The government has set low corporate tax rates and cut the budget for social welfare to help businesses cope with global competition, but the fruit of the nation’s economic development has not trickled down to the public, Lee said.
He called on the public to support the party, saying that the GPT has served as a government watchdog for more than a decade and has always stood on the side of social justice.
GPT standing committee member Biho Wilanglawa, an Amis and Dayan Aborigine, said that many bills on protecting Aboriginal rights have languished in the legislature because of political bartering between the KMT and DPP, and the ones that have been passed are mostly empty legislation that does not bring any real benefits to Aborigines.
The party acknowledges the role of Aborigines and will fight for their rights and welfare in the legislature, he said.
GPT Taoyuan-Hsinchu-Miaoli office secretary-general Tang Lin-hsiang (湯琳翔) said that, starting today, the party would visit campuses and other public areas to talk, listen and record public expectations for the nation.
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