Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin Yi-xiong (林義雄) is to have a role in the new party being established by Former Judicial Reform Foundation executive director Lin Feng-jeng (林峰正) that he says will be set up in time to contest the 2016 presidential and legislative elections.
With seven years of experience as the foundation’s director, Lin Feng-jeng said his new party will seize the elections as an opportunity to promote its ideals and use them as a stage from which to propose its version of the policies, vision and direction the nation needs.
Earlier last month, Lin Feng-jeng said that the time is ripe for the politicization of Taiwan’s social movements.
Citing the foundation he headed as an example, he said that despite being an influential non-governmental organization on judicial matters, the foundation has been rather toothless in ensuring that the policies it favors are legislated and implemented.
Taiwan’s existing social movement model is inadequate, Lin Feng-jeng said, adding that a new model has to be created if political parties are to be forced to compete constructively.
As for the role that Lin Yi-xiong is to play in the new political entity, Lin Feng-jeng said the former DPP chairman will help establish and participate in the party, but will not represent it in elections.
He said that Lin Yi-xiong believes that the party-member system adopted by the DPP will not be used in the new party, since that method only generates large numbers of nominal party members.
A political party is a group of people who share the same political ideals and try to influence the public to those ends, Lin Feng-jeng said.
Lin Feng-jeng said that given that the DPP had failed to initiate internal reforms, the new party will provide new opportunities for politicians with vision to help change the political landscape.
However, attracting votes solely from the pan-green base would be meaningless for the new party, Lin Feng-jeng said.
Given President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) failing performance, some Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) supporters will likely be unwilling to vote for the KMT in 2016, just as some pan-green supporters did not back the DPP in 2008, he said.
Lin Feng-jeng’s announcement about Lin Yi-xiong elicited a lukewarm reaction among DPP leaders.
When asked yesterday about Lin Yi-xiong’s role in a new party that some DPP legislators worry might take votes away from the DPP, former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said it is “not all bad.”
“As long as we have similar political visions and feel the same kind of responsibility toward Taiwan, I believe there is a possibility of integration,” Tsai said.
“The DPP is a political party that is subject to certain constraints in the role it plays. If there are different groups in the opposition fighting for shared ideals, that is not all bad,” she said.
Former premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃), who will be the DPP’s candidate in the New Taipei City (新北市) mayoral election in November, agreed with Tsai, saying that there is room for cooperation between the DPP and like-minded people and parties.
It might be that the two groups “share the same goal and ideals, but have different strategies for achieving those ends,” Yu said. “We should respect every group and person’s individual choices.”
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) would not comment when he was asked by the media about the new party, but did say that the DPP has to work harder to hold the Ma administration accountable for its poor performance.