One of the main reasons behind the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) disastrous defeat in the nine-in-one elections on Saturday last week is the public’s strong disapproval of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) performances, particularly among the younger generation, a Taiwan Thinktank survey said yesterday.
The telephone-based poll was conducted among 1,069 Taiwanese older than 20 on Sunday and Monday to gauge voting behavior in the nation’s largest-ever local elections.
The survey found that more than 74 percent of respondents are dissatisfied with Ma’s performance as president, up from 66.8 percent recorded in a similar poll conducted by the think tank in June. It also found that Ma’s approval rating sank to just 9.7 percent from 21.7 percent in June, with just 5.7 percent of people aged between 20 and 29 saying they are satisfied with Ma’s work over the past six years.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Jiang received nearly the same approval rating from respondents in that age group — 9.8 percent — far lower than the average figure of 14.2 percent given by all those surveyed.
David Huang (黃偉峰), an assistant research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of European and American Studies, said youth turnout had been about 60 percent in previous elections, but increased to 74 percent in Saturday’s polls.
“The increase is particularly meaningful when compared with the overall voter turnout of 67.5 percent. Who those extra 14 percent of young people voted for and whether they decided to participate in the election as a form of protest against the Ma administration are questions worth exploring,” Huang told a press conference held to release the poll results in Taipei.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Huang said that while about 64 percent of the survey participants said they made up their minds about which candidate to back based on information from television news shows, the percentage of people consulting content on news and social networking sites increased.
Taiwan Thinktank deputy chief executive Lai I-chung (賴怡忠) said the elections were apparently a vote of no confidence in the Ma administration, citing the 25.1 percent of respondents who said their discontent with the central government was an important factor in their decision at polling stations.
“It is also worth noting that nearly 53 percent of those polled attribute the KMT’s defeat in the local elections to the public’s disapproval of [what are perceived as] the Ma administration’s China-leaning and corporation-centered policies, with about 51 percent saying it would take more than Ma stepping down as KMT chairman for the party to regain public support,” Lai said.
Lai said the election results also signify the end of the KMT’s traditional campaigning methods, as evidenced by the 63.5 percent of respondents who said they found ineffective the party’s threat that a victory by independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) would destroy the Republic of China.
Nearly 64 percent of respondents said the public frenzy over Ko has made them more willing to consider voting for independent candidates in the future, the survey showed. Sixty-nine percent said the election results will be conducive to Taiwan’s democracy, while 46.4 percent think they will benefit the nation’s economy.
BACK TO NORMAL? The move would be part of a gradual easing of curbs monitored by the CECC, which would retain the quarantine mandate if case numbers rise again The Cabinet yesterday approved a plan to next month reopen Taiwan’s borders to all visitors and lift the quarantine mandate for arrivals, provided the nation’s COVID-19 situation does not escalate. The changes are likely to take effect on Oct. 13 as part of a phased easing of border controls that is to start on Thursday next week when a negative polymerase chain reaction test result would no longer be needed, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told a news conference. Arriving travelers would instead be given four rapid antigen home test kits, Lo said. The three-day quarantine requirement followed by four days of mandatory
The Chinese navy has the ability to blockade Taiwan, but doing so could prompt a coordinated response by the international community to intervene to resolve the crisis for Taiwan, US Vice Admiral Karl Thomas said. “Clearly if they do something that’s non-kinetic, which, you know, a blockade is less kinetic ... then that allows the international community to weigh in and to work together on how we’re going to solve that challenge,” the commander of the US Navy’s 7th Fleet told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Monday. While he could not predict whether China would launch a full-scale
‘NO SURRENDER’: A blockade or outlying island seizure would be an act of war, and China’s drills last month have emboldened Taipei in its response plans, an official said The Republic of China Army Command Headquarters has agreed to purchase 5,000 Kestrel close-range anti-armor missiles worth NT$400 million (US$12.63 million) from the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, according to the military’s latest arms purchase bid notice. The army asked the institute to complete the order within 13 months, a military source said on condition of anonymity. Kestrel missiles are designed to penetrate armored vehicles and are used in anti-surface warfare, as they feature optical sights and night vision, and can be operated in all weather conditions. The missile has a 400m range, or a 150m range when used for breaching brick
‘ABSURD’: UN Resolution 2758 expelled the Chiang Kai-Shek government without mentioning Taipei, something the Chinese minister did not acknowledge, Taipei said Taiwan yesterday criticized Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) for “intentionally misinterpreting” a 1971 UN resolution to misrepresent Taiwan’s status to the global community. In his address on Saturday to the UN General Assembly, Wang cited Resolution 2758 as a basis for Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China. He said that Beijing considers Taiwan an “inseparable part of China’s territory since ancient times.” “Only when China is completely reunified can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait... Any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history,” Wang said. General Assembly Resolution 2758