The majority of Taiwanese have faith in the reforms initiated by President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration, while nearly 60 percent are not convinced that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) can reform his party, the results of a poll conducted by the Taiwan NextGen Foundation (formerly known as the Taiwan Style Foundation) showed yesterday.
Every reform launched by the Tsai administration so far has gained the approval of a majority of respondents, the poll found. The development of long-term care services and public kindergartens garnered the highest level of approval, with 88.9 percent of respondents saying the nation would benefit from the policies.
Judicial reform ranked second in terms of popularity, with 75.3 percent of respondents saying they believe it would have a positive influence on society.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Pension reforms targeting public-school teachers and civil servants ranked third, with 67.8 percent of respondents supporting the pension cuts, the survey showed.
The poll found that 64.7 percent of respondents supported the government’s efforts to seize ill-gotten party assets and that 60.6 percent backed its efforts to pursue transitional justice.
According to the survey, 57.2 percent of respondents supported the government’s decision to increase the minimum hourly wage from NT$133 to NT$140, while 37 percent said they were displeased with it.
Opinions were the most divided on the introduction of the five-day workweek, with 50.6 percent of respondents saying that society has benefited from it and 39.2 percent saying the opposite.
The poll found that 87.4 percent of respondents thought it was inappropriate for opponents of pension reform to obstruct the foreign athletes participating at the Taipei Summer Universiade from attending the event’s opening ceremony on Aug. 19.
Asked about the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office’s renewed investigations into the KMT’s sales of the Broadcasting Corp of China, China Television and Central Motion Picture Co, 46.5 percent of respondents said they believed illegalities were involved in the sales; 30.4 percent said they lacked general knowledge of the incidents; and 17 percent said the sales were likely legal.
Asked about their opinions on Wu, 59.7 percent of respondents said they did not think he would transform the KMT into a “localized” party, while 59.1 percent said they were not convinced that Wu can reform the party.
As for the KMT’s new platform, which was introduced last month, the survey showed that 41.9 percent of respondents said they were in favor of Wu replacing former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) wording of “cementing” the so-called “1992 consensus” with “one China, different interpretations,” while 34.9 percent said they were against it.
The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means. Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 said he made up the term in 2000.
Citing past surveys, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) said that most people who supported localization opposed the “consensus,” adding that the 41.9 percent who backed Wu’s version of the “consensus” in the latest survey most likely overlapped with the 59.7 percent who did not believe Wu would localize the KMT.
That could indicate that the number of respondents who said they supported Wu’s “consensus” had been inflated, because only 59.7 percent acknowledged the “consensus” to begin with, he said.
Even with 30.4 percent of respondents who lacked knowledge of the KMT’s sales of the formerly state-run enterprises, the number of respondents who supported reinvestigating the sales was roughly equal to the number who said the deals were illegal and those who admitted ignorance combined, he added.
This shows people generally had a sense of distrust toward the now-defunct Special Investigations Division and that disbanding the agency was the right move, Wang said.
The survey, conducted on Thursday and Friday last week among Taiwanese aged 20 or above, collected 1,075 valid samples and has a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.
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