Fri, Jan 15, 2016 - Page 3 News List

ELECTIONS: ‘Third force’ calls on young voters

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Sunflower movement activist Lin Fei-fan, second right, lends his support to the Green Party-Social Democratic Party Alliance yesterday at an event outside Taipei Railway Station.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Sunflower movement leader Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) yesterday urged young people to return home and vote in tomorrow’s elections, endorsing “third force” parties in a push against Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) calls to concentrate “pan-green” votes.

“This election is extremely crucial and has the largest number of new parties in Taiwan’s history, with the appearance of many parties advocating progressive reform,” he said. “If we could get some of these new parties into the legislature, we would be able to change the political spectrum so that we have more choices than just ‘blue’ and ‘green.’”

He urged voters to use their conscience and disregard statements from DPP officials calling for “pan-green” voters to concentrate their ballots to protect the party’s “safe” list of legislator-at-large candidates.

“Respect your own thoughts — vote for whoever you intended to vote for and do not change just because people are yelling for votes to be concentrated,” he said, adding that calls for voters to “give up” one party to “save” another were “extremely undemocratic.”

Only if both the New Power Party and Green Party–Social Democratic Party Alliance make it into the legislature could Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) seats be minimized, he said.

Lin made his remarks at an alliance event next to Taipei Main Station calling for young people to return home to vote in the presidential and legislative elections.

A group of activists stood with Lin and alliance candidate Lu Hsin-chieh (呂欣潔) beside the steam locomotive display outside the station, shouting slogans calling for young people to vote for the alliance as a “steam engine for democracy,” before passing out party material.

Lin said that campaigning yesterday and today is crucial because young people have not jumped to return home and vote, based on current ticket sales.

Meanwhile a number of authors, directors and artists voiced their support for the alliance at a separate event yesterday, including director Cheng Yu-chieh (鄭有傑), writer-director Lou Yi-an (樓一安) and documentary filmmaker Yang Li-chou (楊力州).

Cheng said he is willing to support the alliance because the party is concerned about environmental protection and land rights.

The party represent a new choice, he said.

Lou said that he believed that the nation needed a party with progressive values, calling both the KMT and DPP “less than ideal,” because they have always been focused on governing.

He is willing to support the alliance because he was attracted to its concern for the environment and housing rights, he said.

Additional reporting by Chen Yu-fu

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