Mon, Oct 14, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Tsai’s campaign targets young voters

ON AND OFFLINE:One DPP member said that Tsai appears to be polling higher than Han Kuo-yu because his cross-strait policy is at odds with the views of young people

By Chen Yu-fu and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

President Tsai Ing-wen, front center, yesterday attends a ceremony to mark the establishment in New Taipei City of a campaign support group formed by people originally from Chiayi County.

Photo: Chen Hsin-yi, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) re-election team hopes to run an “innovative and united campaign” to communicate with young and first-time voters in the hopes of winning their support, spokesman Liao Tai-hsiang (廖泰翔) said on Saturday.

Young voters can access Tsai’s social media content through a variety of channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Line and YouTube, which her team hopes will make them feel that there is no gap in communications between the president and themselves, he said.

Tsai’s Line account allows followers to insert images of themselves into photographs of her and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative candidates, he said.

The campaign team aims to improve integration of its offline and online interactions with Tsai’s supporters to boost online support for her, an anonymous source said.

A recent “Social Media Night” the campaign organized was well-received by young attendees, and more such events are planned for next month and later to “turn online support into actual votes,” the source said.

Asked why Tsai appears to be polling higher among young voters than her Chinese Nationalist Party opponent, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), a DPP member, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Han’s “China-friendly” cross-strait stance, his unwillingness to condemn Beijing’s “one country, two systems” policy and the KMT’s claims that the DPP is instilling fear in Taiwanese by evoking “dried mango strips” (芒果乾) — a play on words with the Chinese phrase “a sense of the nation’s impending doom” (亡國感) — are at odds with the views of young voters.

While Han has not kept his mayoral campaign promise to “make Kaohsiung rich” and is “running away” by seeking the presidency, Tsai’s positions on issues such as pension reform, transitional justice, marriage equality and national sovereignty “protect the rights and interests of young people,” and are reasons why she is leading in the polls, the DPP member said.

Han has “clearly become the butt of the joke for young people on the Internet,” they added.

The achievements of Tsai’s administration — including wage increases, tax reductions and childcare and housing subsidies — are “gradually coming to the surface,” Liao said.

Tsai’s administration will continue to pay attention to the issues faced by young people, such as employment and starting a family, and she would continue to seek to ease the pressure on the younger generation through her policies, he said.

Younger people support Tsai because of her “clear stance of insisting on Taiwan’s sovereignty,” he said.

In cross-strait relations, diplomacy, defense and other areas, Tsai’s performance has “met the young generation’s expectations about a national identity,” he added.

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