Sat, Aug 15, 2015 - Page 3 News List

TSU set to recruit young activists as legislators-at-large

By Chang Hsiao-ti and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) will recruit young people for its lineup of legislators-at-large for next year’s legislative election, TSU Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) said.

“The challenge is steep, but we will not lose our will to fight,” Lin said on Thursday.

Lin said that the campaign next year promised to be tough because of the rise of the so-called “third political force.”

Therefore, the TSU will target the youth vote by recruiting young activists from the recent student movements, with the goal of capturing four seats for its legislators-at-large and contributing to a pan-green majority in the legislature.

In Taiwan’s single-district, two-votes system, a voter casts one vote to elect a district legislator and another to apportion a party’s share of seats for legislators-at-large. A political party needs to receive at least 5 percent of the total party votes to be apportioned any legislators-at-large seats.

In 2012, the TSU won 8.96 percent of the party vote, capturing three legislators-at-large seats.

However, a poll released by Cross-Strait Policy Association on Monday put support for the TSU in next year’s legislative elections at only 1.8 percent, substantially lower than the 5 percent threshold.

The same poll showed the New Power Party (NPP), a newcomer to this election, outcompeting the TSU by commanding 5.6 percent.

Lin said that aggressive campaigning by the NPP poses a serious challenge to TSU, but that the party had fought on the same side as the NPP previously.

“We are all friends. We bless their efforts and bear no animosity toward them,” he said.

Lin said that the TSU respects polling and survey research groups, but will not be discouraged by the polling results.

He said that the TSU had polled badly in previous elections, but was vindicated each time when the votes were counted, adding that there is still a long time until the election next year and the situation is too fluid for any predictions to be authoritative.

Lin said the TSU would continue to put Taiwan’s sovereignty at the front and center of its platform and solidify the party’s hold on its base.

Lin said that young activists from the Sunflower movement would comprise about half of TSU’s lineup for legislators-at-large, with a list to be announced as soon as late next month.

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