The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will commence its first comprehensive review of its eight-year administration from 2000 to 2008 tomorrow with a series of seminars headed by former government officials, in hopes that the introspection will help the party return to power.
The seminars, organized by the DPP’s think tank, come on the heels of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) rejoining the party, which was approved by the DPP’s review panel on Wednesday last week.
Chen, who is serving a 20-year sentence for corruption, quit the party in 2008 amid snowballing corruption scandals.
While the seminars have been widely considered the DPP’s official “judgement” on Chen, think tank deputy executive director You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said the seminars do not target any specific person.
The seminar tomorrow will be the first of four weekly instalments, which will take a look at what the DPP accomplished and what it failed to do during its eight years in power. It will cover 17 policy areas, starting with four topics tomorrow, the economy, foreign policy, cross-strait policy and national defense.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) will host the panel discussion on national defense.
“The party is trying to draw from the experience of the ‘New Labour’ movement initiated by former British prime minister and Labour Party leader Tony Blair by enlarging participation in the seminars and to adjust the party’s position and direction if necessary,” think tank executive director Lin Wan-i (林萬億) said.
A number of pan-blue politicians and academics have agreed to attend the seminars, including Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who served as Environmental Protection Agency minister under the Chen administration, and Foundation on Asia-Pacific Peace Studies president Chao Chun-shan (趙春山), one of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) most trusted cross-strait affairs advisers.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), who was a former head of the Council of Labor Affairs, will host the discussion on labor affairs, and Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) will preside over the health forum.
Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), a former vice premier, will not attend the event. Tang Fei (唐飛), a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member who served as Chen’s first premier, but lasted less than five months, also declined the invitation.
Policy areas to be discussed on Friday next week include finance, banking, transportation, agriculture and environment and energy, followed by two more seminars on Sept. 6 and Sept. 14.
A roundtable forum of all premiers during the DPP administration — Su, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), Yu Shyi-kun and Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) — would conclude the review on Sept. 14.