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Taiwan’s new parliament to see tripartite alliance; Experts stress DPP coordination

Taiwan’s new parliament

The results of the legislative election in Taiwan’s general election on January 13, 2024, were announced. None of the three parties, blue, green, and white, failed to reach a majority in Congress. Experts believe that this reflects the Taiwanese people’s thinking about power checks and balances, prompting the ruling party to learn to coordinate with the opposition parties.

Checks and balances of power chosen by the people in a mature democracy

The 2024 Taiwan Presidential and Legislative Council elections have come to an end. Candidates Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (Green Camp) won president and vice president, respectively. Of the total 113 seats in the Legislative Yuan, the Kuomintang (Blue Camp) won 52 seats and the Democratic Progressive Party There are 51 seats, 8 seats from the Taiwan People’s Party (referred to as Baiying), and 2 seats without party membership that are closer to the Kuomintang. None of the three main political parties achieved a majority of seats in Congress.

Masumi Kawasaki, a professor at the Department of International Relations at Tokyo International University who once served as the Taipei branch director of the Sankei Shimbun, said that Taiwanese voters basically take the balance of power into consideration when voting.

He told the media: “The people of Taiwan have chosen to keep the Democratic Progressive Party in power, but they believe that if even the power of the Legislative Yuan is given to the Democratic Progressive Party, it may lead to dictatorship, so they believe that a certain sense of power balance needs to be achieved.”

Masumi Kawasaki believes that the people of Taiwan do not want to give all power to one political party, but they do not want political parties to rotate. Such checks and balances are a sign of a mature, democratic country.

In this regard, Huang Jiezheng, director of the International Department of the Kuomintang, believes that the Taiwanese people will indeed automatically implement checks and balances in strategic voting, but this also shows that there are many people who want political parties to rotate.

In an interview with the media, he said that although the people of Taiwan do not have much opinion on Tsai Ing-wen’s external policy, they are dissatisfied with the results of domestic affairs such as domestic finance, housing prices, and wages. Therefore, they hope that the rotation of political parties will continue in the past six months. It is very high, but it is not reflected in the presidential election but in the regional legislators.

He said, “Basically, the people of Taiwan don’t like to do things too fast or too slowly. When the administrative department is slow, they will vote for someone who can speed it up or when they feel that the administration is satisfactory. When the degree is very low, you will think of checks and balances.”

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Political commentator Wu Kunyu, former deputy director of the People’s Party’s Cultural and Propaganda Department, pointed out that in the past four years, the DPP was completely in power. The people found that without proper checks and balances, there was no benefit to one party being dominant, so they chose three parties, but only half of them.

He told the media: “The Taiwanese people are quite tired of one political party being in power for a long time. They feel that political parties should be rotated, but they dare not rotate so rashly under national security, which makes the Taiwanese people themselves do a certain thing. The blending of seeds.”

Wu Kunyu believes that this time the people are hinting at a small lesson for the DPP, suggesting that they have not done well enough in the past, but it will not lead to party rotation; they must learn to coordinate. Such voting is very wise. “It is this hegemonic and authoritarian new mentality, or the legacy of authoritarianism, that must be removed. Then democratic politics itself is coordinated politics, and the DPP must also learn to coordinate.”

Blue and White or Green and White may join forces with the People’s Party

Since the blue and green parties have failed to reach a majority in Congress, the eight legislators of the Popular Party will become a key minority in the new Congress.

Ke Wenzhe, chairman of the People’s Party and presidential candidate, once said that the People’s Party has “cooperated with different people on different issues” in the Legislative Yuan in the past four years and must “reason rather than engage in ideology.” For example, he worked with the Kuomintang in Taipei City. , the Democratic Progressive Party, and the People’s First Party’s deputy mayors. Therefore, it is not necessary to cooperate with the Kuomintang, and it is not impossible to cooperate with the Democratic Progressive Party.

Wu Jianzhong, an adjunct associate professor at the Department of Political Science at Soochow University in Taiwan, believes that based on past offensive and defensive observations on cross-strait and domestic affairs issues, the Kuomintang (White) will be more inclined to cooperate with the Kuomintang (Blue).

He told the media: “In terms of the past Tsai Ing-wen line of the DPP and the so-called two views of moving from the world to the mainland, or from the mainland to the world, I think cooperation on issues and cooperation on concepts, From a spectrum perspective, the probability of blue-white cooperation is relatively high.”

Wu Jianzhong said that in terms of cooperation on many concepts in the past, the People’s Party and the Kuomintang were relatively similar, while the Democratic Progressive Party was completely different. This will also be reflected in the way the legislative president is elected in the Legislative Yuan, where only three parties account for less than half.

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He said: “Blue and White may coordinate a set of candidates for the President and Vice President of the Legislative Yuan, while the DPP should seek to introduce its own candidates for the President and Vice President of the Legislative Yuan.”

Masumi Kawasaki, a professor at the Department of International Relations at Tokyo International University, believes that cooperation between the Popular Party and the Democratic Progressive Party is more likely. He pointed out that former Kuomintang secretary-general Soong Chuyu left to form the People’s People’s Party, but its basic line is still similar to that of the Kuomintang. It is equivalent to the second Kuomintang, and it is easy to cooperate. Now the People’s Party is similar to the Democratic Progressive Party.

He said: “A group of people who were anti-Kuomintang split and became the People’s Party and the Democratic Progressive Party. Although they are called the third force, they are basically opposed to the Kuomintang. Therefore, the DPP and the People’s Party are relatively close. In the Legislative Yuan, Easier to work with.”

Huang Jiezheng, director of the International Department of the Chinese Kuomintang in Taiwan, pointed out that Ke Wenzhe’s first goal is to maintain the existence of the People’s Party, and his second goal is to force the Kuomintang to become the third largest party and the People’s Party to become the second largest party, so he will not compete with the People’s Party for the time being. If the Democratic Progressive Party breaks out, it will not cooperate with the Democratic Progressive Party in everything. Instead, it will adopt both a vertical and horizontal approach.

He said, “The People’s Party will not stand alone, so it will not wrap up everything in the form of alliances. It will run here and there (based on) issues because its electoral base is There are many people who are dissatisfied with the DPP.”

Huang Jiezheng believes that the Young People’s Party needs resources to maintain its existence. The DPP will also use administrative resources to attract the People’s Party to cooperate. For example, it will arrange for several People’s Party members to join the first cabinet to restrict the People’s Party’s influence in the Legislative Yuan. However, the Popular Party leadership crisis may bring more instability.

He said, “Ke Wenzhe himself said that the People’s Party makes collective decisions, but many people don’t believe it. I think the relationship between Ke Wenzhe and the future People’s Party’s legislative group will determine many future operations of Congress.”

Wu Kunyu, former deputy director of the People’s Party’s Cultural and Propaganda Department, pointed out that the People’s Party must first solve the party’s power distribution before it can be a key minority. “Then does your party chairman have any way to control it? So when other political parties want to come to talk about things, do they talk to your party chairman? Or do they talk to your party group?” Wu Kunyu believes that the internal power of the People’s Party’s distribution and control are bound to go through a struggle.

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The fact that the three parties are less than half may not necessarily have a negative impact

Since the three parties in the Legislative Yuan are less than half, and many Kuomintang legislators with a strong questioning style have entered Congress for the first time, the number of cases of resistance to bills in the future may increase significantly, making it difficult for the government to implement policies.

In this regard, Wu Kunyu, former deputy director of the People’s Party’s Cultural and Propaganda Department, said that no political party has more than half of the legislators in the Legislative Yuan, which may make many things easier to handle.

He said: “All political parties, whether in government or in the opposition, are very clear that we have to work hard to get things done; otherwise, the three of us will be ruined, so we are more willing to sit down and talk about things. .”

Wu Kunyu believes that, compared with the Legislative Yuan under the dominance of one party, the opposition parties will all oppose the ruling party’s policies or bills as long as they encounter them and even throw flour, water balloons, and other irrational resistance. Everyone must think calmly and learn to coordinate, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Wu Jianzhong, an adjunct associate professor at the Department of Political Science at Soochow University in Taiwan, believes that Taiwan is already a highly democratic country. Rather than whether and how to cooperate between political parties, whether it fully reflects public opinion is the key.

He said, “In the past ten years, Ke Wenzhe has upheld the so-called citizen power. In fact, we have seen that after the Sunflower Student Movement, there has not been a path of so-called citizen power.”

Wu Jianzhong pointed out that no matter who they choose to cooperate with on which issues, if legislators cannot make mainstream public opinion the focus of political affairs, the people are still likely to restart the civil movement.

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