A group of 76 academics yesterday established an alliance that aims to help gather public feedback to facilitate the development of government policy.
The Taiwan Citizen Front (台灣公民陣線) is to hold seminars, publish books and participate in movements to “communicate with the public, facilitate the adoption of public views by political parties, and promote social cohesion and a sense of community among Taiwanese,” it said.
The group said it launched the initiative yesterday to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sunflower movement.
The group is confident that a majority of Taiwanese wish to preserve the nation’s sovereignty and de facto independence, and to deepen democratization, it said.
The results of last year’s local elections reflected the public’s sense that it is concerned over a lack of economic reform and discontent with “shallow” democratization, it said.
“Taiwan has undergone political democratization, but that democratization has yet to seep through to the economic, social and cultural levels,” group member Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) said. “Because of this, conservative elements can quickly assemble and counterattack.”
At the same time, Taiwan faces threats from China, which seek to weaken its democracy, Lai said, adding that the group is “very worried” and felt compelled to take action.
The group would aim to bolster progressive values and to promote a national identity rooted in such values, including sustainability and equality, it said.
It would also aim to help establish a majority consensus on major political issues by engaging the public and political parties by means of talks, seminars and publications, the group said.
It said it has listed five immediate goals: promoting an innovative economy driven by progressive values; promoting government investment in individuals and families through social policies; establishing a mechanism to protect Taiwan’s democracy; creating a mechanism for citizen response to information warfare; and offering an online public-governance platform.
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