A Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) initiative to reinstate former members and attract new ones has shown positive results, drawing nearly 50,000 people to the party within four months, the KMT said on Saturday.
The KMT has in the past few years been experiencing a membership exodus in what some have characterized as “jumping ship.”
In an attempt to reverse the trend, the party on Nov. 1 last year launched the “Same Boat” project, aiming to “return 10,000 people to the family.”
Photo courtesy of KMT
Under the initiative, those whose membership had lapsed after not paying party dues could pay NT$300 to reinstate their membership, while those whose membership had been revoked could return by paying NT$600.
Originally scheduled to run until Nov. 24 last year, the initiative was extended to Feb. 17 due to the enthusiastic response, the party said in a statement.
The KMT said that members are drawn to the party because of shared ideals, not political interests.
As an example, it highlighted the story of Liu Yu-chen (劉裕珍), owner of the Fun Wow Hydroponics Farm in Changhua County’s Fangyuan Township (芳苑).
Liu responded to the “Same Boat” program when it began last year, paying dues of NT$10,000 to become a lifetime member.
Through her organic farm, Liu is advancing agriculture in Taiwan to help make it more refined, internationally recognized and competitive, the party said.
Liu serves as an example of the ways people across the nation are “in the same boat,” working hard to create a more beautiful future for Taiwan, it added.
The project has also drawn younger members to the party, it said.
One new member, 27-year-old Lin Tzu-ping (林子平), used to support pan-green camp parties, but after starting a business, came to realize that “the personal is political,” the KMT said.
Lin over the past few years has noticed the increasingly untrustworthy and rash actions of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), it said.
After what the KMT called last year’s “Medigen vaccine debacle” and referendums, Lin more deeply understood how the DPP has failed to live up to its promises to improve social ills, even going against public opinion, it said.
Lin therefore came to believe that “Taiwan should have a strong opposition party to serve as a check on the government,” it added.
High-school student Lee Chia-yu (李家宇) also joined the KMT after spending his childhood attending party activities with his father, who led the local KMT chapter in Chiayi County’s Puzih City (朴子).
The experiences showed Lee the achievements of the party, as well as the services offered to local residents, the KMT said, adding that Lee formally joined the party to give back to his country and hometown.
While many young people have joined the KMT for the first time through the “Same Boat” project, the party said they are not the only demographic who have taken advantage of the opportunity.
The nearly 50,000 new or returning members have come to the realization that the DPP is unable to offer Taiwanese a stable livelihood, with worsening inflation, stagnant wages and food safety concerns, among other issues, the KMT said.
They are fed up with a ruling party that has gone against its word and have taken action, giving the KMT the power to serve as a check on the government for the betterment of all, it added.
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