President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) approval rating has fallen by more than half since he assumed office in 2008, according to a survey released by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research (TISR) yesterday ahead of the sixth anniversary of his presidency on Tuesday next week.
The survey showed Ma’s latest approval rating at 17.9 percent, down 19.9 percentage points from June 2008, a month after he was sworn in for his first term, while his disapproval rating increased by more than 1.5 times from 46.2 to 71.1 percent over the same period.
The number of those polled who deem the president untrustworthy has also risen since Ma was first elected, climbing from 55.4 percent in June 2008 to 62.2 percent.
On a scale of 1 to 100, respondents in TISR’s poll gave Ma a failing grade of 44.3 points for his performance as head of state over the past six years. A further breakdown of the results shows that even those who identified themselves as supporters of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) that Ma heads as chairman “flunked” the president, giving him an average score of 59.7.
The survey participants who said they are pan-green supporters or swing voters scored Ma’s performance at 32.8 and 41.1 points respectively, the results show.
Respondents’ dissatisfaction was not confined to Ma, with most Cabinet members also failing to impress the majority of those polled.
Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times
As many as 76 percent of participants ranked Atomic Energy Council Minister Tsai Chuen-horng’s (蔡春鴻) achievements in office as the least remarkable, followed by those of Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) at 72.1 percent and of Minister of the Interior Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) at 69.6 percent.
Only two of the Cabinet’s 12 members had approval ratings above 20 percent: Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) (24.6 percent) and Minister of Justice Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) (21.2 percent).
Respondents said they are most unsatisfied with the work of Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) and Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝), who were given the highest disapproval ratings at 35.8 and 35 percent respectively.
The survey was conducted from Wednesday to Friday last week through a random telephone sampling of 1,001 people aged 20 and older. It has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
A separate survey conducted by Taiwan Thinktank put Ma’s approval rating at nearly the same level as TISR’s poll on 17.4 percent and yielded a slightly higher disapproval rating of 72.8 percent.
As many as 64.8 percent of respondents in the think tank’s poll said Ma had not done a good job, Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive Lai I-chung (賴怡忠) told a press conference yesterday.
Soochow University professor Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said the think tank poll shows Ma’s integrity is being questioned by the public, as 69. 5 percent of respondents said the president would not protect Taiwanese interests in cross-strait talks.
Meanwhile, 53.8 percent of those polled by the think tank said they trusted former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Hsu added.
Asked if the DPP could gain ground in the seven-in-one elections in November, former DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) said Ma’s incompetence would hurt the KMT’s showing in the electoral contests.
The Taiwan Thinktank poll was conducted from April 26 to April 28, taking 1,230 samples with a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.
NO FREE LUNCH: Taiwanese joining the trips to China met TAO and United Front Work officials who urged them to vote for candidates who support closer ties with Beijing The Ciaotou Prosecutors’ Office in Kaohsiung yesterday released two suspects on bail who have been accused of recruiting Taiwanese to join tours to China funded by Beijing and in which they were urged to vote for pan-blue candidates in January’s presidential and legislative elections. The pan-blue camp generally refers to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party, the New Party and the Young China Party, which support closer relations with China. Prosecutors said that a man, surnamed Cheng (鄭), and a woman, surnamed Yeh (葉), who are members of the China Pan-Blue Association, recruited Taiwanese tourists to join tours arranged
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday slammed a proposal by New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, to permit a “significant number” of Chinese students to study and work in Taiwan, saying it would be detrimental to young Taiwanese. At an event on Monday hosted by nine major industrial and business groups, Hou said that if elected, he would reinitiate cross-strait dialogue on the premise that Taiwan’s dignity would not be compromised and that the talks would be held in good faith. The talks would include lifting a ban on Chinese tour groups and
PEACE AND STABILITY: ‘Taiwan can be of tremendous value’ in building resilient supply chains, President Tsai Ing-wen said, as she encouraged closer ties with foreign businesses A Chinese invasion of Taiwan is unlikely for the time being due to the internal challenges and international pressure that China is facing, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the New York Times in an interview shown on Wednesday. “My thought is that perhaps this is not a time for them [China] to consider a major invasion of Taiwan,” Tsai said in a prerecorded interview for the DealBook Summit held by the newspaper on Wednesday. Beijing’s leadership is presently “overwhelmed by its internal challenges” on economic, financial and political grounds, while the international community “has made it loud and clear that war is
COUNTER DISINFORMATION: More engagement and media literacy are needed to push back against misinformation and claims that the US is an unreliable partner, the AIT director said The US is “confident” that Taiwan does not face an imminent threat of a Chinese invasion, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk told a US public radio show, adding that Washington remains committed to defensively arming the nation. She made the comment during an interview on All Things Considered, broadcast on Friday on US-based National Public Radio. “There is an important distinction between making plans and training troops, and getting ready to do something,” Oudkirk said, on whether she thinks Beijing plans to attack Taiwan in the near future. Chinese officials have told Washington that “their preference is for peaceful reunification,