Sources from the nation’s two major political parties’ campaign teams on Wednesday assessed the presidential and legislative elections, as the day marked 100 days until the vote on Jan. 11.
Former vice premier Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), a core member of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) campaign team, said that Tsai’s electoral outlook remains stable, but added that care must be taken should China seek to influence and manipulate the elections.
There is a discrepancy between the support ratings for the president and DPP lawmakers, Lin said, adding that while Tsai is slowly regaining public support, the public’s overall satisfaction with the DPP remains low.
The government’s achievements must be made known, as it is imperative that the public perceive the results of the government’s policies, because it will hear of nothing if the government is unwilling to act on its policy platforms, Lin said.
It is the duty of the campaign team and the administrative branch to continue the task until the election to boost the government’s credibility and authority, he said.
Some people have been misled by the “fallacy” that both major parties are “equally bad” and “deadlocked due to infighting,” and refuse to grant either of them a legislative majority, Lin said.
By electing Tsai president in 2016, the public expressed the need for someone to “do something,” Lin said, adding that it was therefore logical for voters to grant the DPP a legislative majority to further boost Tsai’s ability to deliver on her policy platform.
Giving an opposition party a legislative majority to ensure balance would only lead to a lame-duck government that cannot achieve anything, as its administrative powers would be hobbled by a lack of legislative support, he said.
“Without a legislative majority, any president is only half a president,” Lin said.
Elections should strengthen the concept of “responsible government” and the DPP would arrange for Tsai to help boost legislative candidates’ popularity, he said.
The party would take lessons from its experiences in the legislature when speaking about past policies or coming up with new policy platforms, he added.
Meanwhile, sources from the campaign team of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the KMT’s presidential candidate, said that the outcome of the elections would be determined by votes coming from Yunlin and Chiayi counties as well as Tainan.
Of the three swing areas, the KMT is weakest in Tainan, the sources said.
Han’s popularity rating is higher than Tsai’s in northern, central and eastern Taiwan, as well as in Kinmen, Lienchiang and Penghu counties, the sources said, adding that the team is planning to canvass for votes at least three times on Taiwan proper and at least once on the outlying islands before the election.
The KMT must minimize its losses in Chiayi County and Tainan, the sources said.
Reducing the vote gap in Pingtung County to 300,000 votes — half of the margin with which the KMT lost to the DPP in last year’s local elections — would increase Han’s chances of winning the presidential election, the sources added.
However, despite their optimism, they also said that it would be a close call, estimating that Han could win or lose by about 500,000 votes.
Han could expect victory in Kaohsiung, although he would have to rely on Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lee Ssu-chuan (李四川) and his “administrative advantage” as Kaohsiung mayor, the team said.
The team is giving priority to winning over young voters in the coming months by collaborating with university clubs, the sources said.
Young people must know that voting for Han would give them a better future and that Han is a different person from the one portrayed by the media, the team said.
The election could boil down to a race of “which candidate the public hates less,” the team said, adding that it would help the public “remember the pain that the Tsai administration has caused over the past three years.”
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