President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approval rating among young voters has fallen to 18.4 percent and her disapproval rating has risen to 76.4 percent, according to an online poll released yesterday, with respondents saying the president has not understood the priorities of the public.
When asked which policies the government should give priority to, 30.5 percent said long-term care services, followed by childcare services at 12.4 percent, aquatic infrastructure at 11.2 percent, early childhood education at 10 percent, “green” energy infrastructure at 9.5 percent, urban and rural development at 8.6 percent, digital infrastructure at 7.9 percent and rail construction at 7.8 percent, according to Taiwan Democracy Watch, which commissioned the Election Study Center of National Chengchi University to conduct the poll.
According to the survey, 74.4 percent of respondents said the government should establish a “basic pension system” to ensure all retirees receive NT$8,000 per month, while 18.6 percent disagreed with the idea.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
The poll found that 64.7 percent of respondents believed Tsai “had lied to” Aborigines and failed in her promise to restore Aboriginal rights, because a newly announced Aboriginal land policy infringes upon their rights to their traditional territories, while 25 percent disagreed with the statement.
According to the survey, 78 percent said a draft act on institutionalizing an oversight mechanism for cross-strait negotiations should be passed immediately to guide bilateral relations, while 14.3 percent disagreed.
Asked if they agreed that the acceptance of the so-called “1992 consensus” would guarantee the safety of Taiwanese in China, 56.6 percent of respondents disagreed and 35.5 percent agreed.
The poll found that 84.3 percent of respondents approved of the idea of the president, as the nation’s highest executive officer, making an annual report to the legislature, while 10.4 percent disapproved.
According to the survey, 67.4 percent of respondents said the government should launch constitutional reform, as it has difficulty formulating and implementing policies due to constitutional restraints, while 23.6 percent said the government should not reform the Constitution.
When asked about their favored method for legislating marriage equality laws, 19.2 percent of respondents said it should be enacted by the Legislative Yuan, 11.6 percent said it should be decided by the Council of Grand Justices and 10.1 percent said it should be put to a referendum.
According to the poll, 95.1 percent of respondents said a cost-benefit analysis should be conducted prior to the legislative review of major infrastructure proposals, apparently in reference to the ongoing legislative review of the NT$882.4 billion (US$29.19 billion) Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program.
“Transportation infrastructure was given the lowest priority, but it receives the most funding from the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, while Tsai has hardly any policies regarding public childcare services,” Awakening Foundation researcher Tsen Chao-yuan (曾昭媛) said, criticizing what she said was the government’s “misplaced priorities.”
“We doubt that pension reform would lead to wealth redistribution when the government does not address the issue of a basic pension when cutting the pension benefits of public-sector employees,” Tsen said.
“The online poll shows a collapse of support for Tsai among the ‘Internet demographic.’ The Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] suffered a landslide defeat to Tsai in this voter group in last year’s presidential election,” former DPP legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) said.
That Tsai is losing young voters’ support was confirmed by another online poll conducted by Yahoo and released on May 9, Lin said, attributing Tsai’s unpopularity to her government’s failure to engage the public in key legislation.
The Taiwan Democracy Watch poll was conducted between Monday and Wednesday, with 833 valid samples collected via e-mail. There was no estimated margin of error.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no