Young people pessimistic: poll

HALF-FULL?:In spite of feeling disillusioned with the government’s stewardship, the majority of respondents nonetheless felt they could effect positive changes

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Oct 08, 2012 - Page 3

Most of the nation’s young people feel pessimistic about the country’s future under the leadership of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), a survey found.

However, a majority of the respondents said they were still confident that they could bring about change.

More than 100 young people joined representatives from the Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition, Across the Ocean 181 coffee shop, popular bulletin board system PTT and the Taiwan Alliance for Advancement of Youth Rights and Welfare (TAAYRW) in a rally held outside the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei yesterday as they released results of a survey.

The survey, with 607 samples collected from people between the ages of 16 and 35, was conducted by the groups between late last month and earlier this month in a bid to find out young people’s perspectives on various aspects of the country’s competitiveness and future.

The responses were rather pessimistic.

When asked which Asian country is the most competitive, 33 percent of the respondents said “China,” while 24 percent answered “Singapore,” 15 percent believed it was South Korea, 6 percent thought Hong Kong and only 5 percent answered “Taiwan.”

Disappointed about current social and economic conditions, 56 percent of the respondents said they would work abroad if given a chance, while 43 percent said they have “never thought about it.”

Asked to grade their quality of life, respondents gave an average score of 61 out of 100 points, while giving an average grade of only 50 out of 100 when asked about the future prospects of the country.

When asked to identify problems with Ma’s leadership, 60 percent said the president was “incapable,” 25 percent said he “has no vision” and that government “policies shift too frequently,” 9 percent said Ma “does not know what the people want” and 5 percent said he “appoints inappropriate people to head government agencies.”

Although pessimistic and disappointed, the respondents were rather confident that they could bring about positive changes to the country.

Seventy-six of those polled said they have taken part in some form of social movement, 77 percent believe that increasing the participation of young people and celebrities in social movements may change the country in a positive way and 55 percent said they believed they could fulfill their dreams and make Taiwan a better place.

“We would like to use this opportunity to call on young people to overturn injustice, to tell society that we will not give up,” TAAYRW researcher Wu Cheng-che (吳政哲) said. “We want to make the government listen to us, and we want to tell them that we are the ones who have the final say on our future.”