Eight political parties presented their platforms yesterday in one of the first debates of the election season.
The debate, cohosted by legislative watchdog Citizen Congress Watch (CCW) and Formosa TV (FTV), was the first in a series of televised debates for the elections on Jan. 11, said FTV News vice president Anne Hu (胡婉玲), who moderated the debate with CCW executive director Leo Chang (張宏林).
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party (PFP), the New Power Party (NPP), the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), the Taiwan Statebuilding Party, the New Party and the Green Party Taiwan were each represented by two speakers at the event.
Photo: Hsieh Chun-lin, Taipei Times
During the opening statements, DPP legislator-at-large nominee Tung Chien-hung (董建宏) touted his party’s accomplishments, saying that “over the past four years ... we have passed 745 bills.”
The DPP is the “No. 1 brand for democratic reform in Taiwan,” he added.
“The green in Green Party is not the green in the blue-green fight, nor does it belong to the DPP,” Green Party Taiwan legislator-at-large nominee Teng Hui-wen (鄧惠文) said.
“Green Party Taiwan is an international, progressive political party,” she said, adding that the party is an official member of the Global Greens.
“Together, we push for human rights, environmental protection, diverse values, democracy and peace,” she said.
“The two sides [of the Taiwan Strait] must be at peace in order to safeguard Taiwan,” New Party legislator-at-large nominee Wang Ping-chung (王炳忠) said.
“Four years ago, [President Tsai Ing-wen, 蔡英文] promised us the status quo in cross-strait relations could be maintained,” he said. “Today, [Tsai], you have broken the status quo.”
“Dried mango strips” (芒果乾) — a word play on “a sense of the nation’s impending doom” (亡國感) — and hostility between the pro-unification and pro-independence camps have blurred the focus of the elections, TPP legislator-at-large nominee Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said, adding that the focus should instead be on confronting important national issues.
The TPP takes a “middle-of-the-road and pragmatic route to transcend blue and green,” he said.
“Equality and justice are the New Power Party’s main focus,” NPP legislator-at-large nominee Claire Wang (王婉諭) said.
The NPP aims to promote equality and justice in all areas, and to change Taiwan, she added.
“A sense of the nation’s impending doom has permeated Taiwan,” Taiwan Statebuilding Party Chairman Chen Yi-chi (陳奕齊) said.
The “anti-China voice,” represented by the party, “must not be absent” from the Legislative Yuan, he added.
“People first” is one of the core values in the movement for equality for people with disabilities, PFP legislator-at-large nominee Eva Teng (滕西華) said, adding that her party has many policy proposals that prioritize people’s needs.
“Has your life improved in the three-plus years since Tsai Ing-wen’s government took office?” KMT legislator-at-large nominee Charles Chen (陳以信) asked.
“If you think it hasn’t ... please support the KMT,” he said. “Let the KMT bring order to chaos. Let us find back Taiwan’s correct values.”
On cross-strait relations, KMT honorary deputy secretary-general Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said that the “fight China, protect Taiwan” rhetoric cannot solve the nation’s problems.
While the DPP hopes for “peaceful,” “autonomous” and “dignified” talks with China, Beijing must first recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation, DPP spokeswoman Lee Yen-jong (李晏榕) said.
On the US-China trade dispute, NPP legislative candidate Lin Chia-wei (林佳瑋) called it an opportunity for Taiwan, while Charles Chen said there would be no winners.
At the debate, representatives from several parties, including the PFP and the TPP, said that they supported giving lawmakers investigative powers.
In her closing statement, PFP legislator-at-large nominee Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) said Taiwanese should not “out of two rotten apples, select a relatively un-rotten one.”
After the debate, Leo Chang urged voters to be “responsible consumers of politics.”
According to the Central Election Commission, 19 political parties have registered 217 legislator-at-large nominees for the elections.
The organizers of yesterday’s event said that due to its limited resources, it could only invite eight of them for the televised event.
Additional reporting by CNA
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