Survey shows drop in Ma’s trust levels

UNCLEAR::Chen Shui-bian said while there are signs the KMT is in decline, only time would tell if the DPP could maintain its momentum into the presidential election

By Ko Shu-ling  /  Staff Reporter

Tue, Mar 22, 2011 - Page 3

A majority of Taiwanese are unhappy with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) performance in office, with both his popularity and public trust levels dropping this month, a poll by the Chinese-language Global Views magazine showed yesterday.

The poll, conducted on last Monday and Tuesday, showed that 52 percent of respondents were unhappy with Ma’s overall performance, compared with 35 percent who said they were satisfied. This represented a 3 percent drop in satisfaction with Ma and a 0.7 percent increase in dissatisfaction with his performance.

Meanwhile, Ma’s trust level was 42.4 percent, a drop of 3 percent from last month.

More than 43 percent of respondents said they did not trust him, a rise of 3.1 percent.

Although the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), of which Ma is chairman, controls nearly 70 percent of the legislative seats, more than 58 percent of respondents said they were not satisfied with the overall performance of KMT legislators, compared with 21.9 percent who were satisfied.

This marked a rise of 3.9 percent in dissatisfaction, while satisfaction fell 7.9 percent. The 7.9 percent drop was the second highest since legislators began their four-year term in 2008 after an 8 percent drop in March 2009.

Respondents said the KMT should see its recent losses in the legislative by-elections in Greater Kaohsiung and Greater Tainan earlier this month as a warning.

The poll surveyed 1,018 adults nationwide with a margin of error of plus and minus 3.1 percent.

Meanwhile, former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said he doubted the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) recent election victories would carry over to the presidential election next year.

Chen said in his latest newsletter, released by his office yesterday, that Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who temporarily stepped down as party chairperson to focus on her presidential election campaign, saw the legislative by-elections in Greater Kaohsiung and Greater Tainan as a an important indicator of the legislative and presidential elections.

While there were undeniable signs that the KMT has been in decline — winning only three seats in the 13 legislative by-elections since September 2009 against the DPP’s nine — it remained to be seen whether the momentum could be sustained in the presidential election, Chen said.

As the KMT seemed keen on holding the legislative election in tandem with the presidential poll and implementing absentee voting, Chen said the DPP should not worry that this would make it easier for the KMT to buy votes or that this would put it at a disadvantage.

“In which elections did we not see vote buying? The DPP still has a chance to win, don’t be afraid,” he said. “Even if the legislative and presidential elections are held together, the DPP must win.”

While Tsai hoped her party would become the largest after the legislative election, Chen said he hoped that the DPP would be able to secure half of the legislative seats and win the presidential election.

People interested in making a presidential bid should do so, but if they are defeated, they should run for legislator, Chen said, without naming individuals.