DPP preparing for piggy banks’ return

DEBATE::The DPP’s Su Jia-chyuan is also gearing up for the vice presidential debate with Premier Wu Den-yih of the KMT and Lin Ruey-shiung of the PFP on Saturday

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Tue, Dec 06, 2011 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is gearing up for a very busy Saturday because it will be “homecoming day” for the tens of thousands of piggy banks — the culmination of its much-publicized “three little pigs” fundraising campaign — and the vice presidential debate.

Supporters in Taipei and New Taipei City (新北市) will be able to return the piggy banks the party has distributed nationwide in a festival-like event held on Ketagalan Boulevard from 10am to 12pm, which coincides with the worldwide celebration of Human Rights Day, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference yesterday.

Similar events will also be organized by the campaign headquarters of DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in cities and counties across the country, he said.

The DPP launched the campaign as a countermeasure after the Control Yuan said in October that it would launch an investigation into the party’s acceptance of three piggy banks donated by children, because the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法) states that only those eligible to vote are -allowed to make political donations.

Since then, the party had distributed more than 200,000 piggy banks nationwide and designated Saturday as their homecoming day.

The DPP would like to make the gathering more like a festival for people of all ages than a campaign event, which is why there will be a magic show, singing and dance programs, Lin said, adding that the party “basically views the fundraising campaign as a way for its supporters to actively participate in the election.”

In that spirit, the party yesterday announced the launch of an interactive application for mobile phone users, which they can use on Saturday. The application, named “Shake-ing,” for both Android and Apple’s iOS systems, allows users to type messages on their mobile phones and send them to an interactive TV screen placed on Ketagalan Boulevard.

Details of the events, including whether the returned piggy banks will be lined up in certain formations, are still being discussed, Lin said.

The DPP campaign office has also been gearing up for the vice presidential debate between DPP candidate Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) and his counterparts — Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Lin Ruey-shiung (林瑞雄) of the People First Party.

Su has conducted an extensive review of the DPP’s 10-year policy guideline, as well as the debate questions and statistics prepared by the campaign staff, DPP spokesperson Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said.

Chen did not give an direct answer when asked whether Wu would be Su’s primary target in the debate — the second of three nationally televised debates between the presidential tickets — but said Wu was an opponent who could not be underestimated because the premier “has long been known as a rhetorician.”

Su is “somewhat at a disadvantage against someone who described a mafia member as a ‘reborn person’ and said the person who invented the furlough deserved a Nobel Prize,” Chen said.

The DPP does expect its opponents, the KMT in particular, to attack Su on the farmhouse controversy, Chen said in response to a reporter’s question on the party’s “game plan” for the debate, but said bringing the issue up would not necessarily benefit the KMT.

“Many KMT members own farmhouses as well. The KMT should prepare for a backlash if it wants to bring this up,” Chen said.