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Encyclopedia > ROC legislative election, 2004
This article or section is about a current or ongoing event.
Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.
Politics of Taiwan

Politics of Taiwan
Political parties in Taiwan
Elections in Taiwan:
President: 1996 - 2000 - 2004
Parliament: 2001 - 2004

The Election for the 6th Legislative Yuan (第六屆立法委員選舉) of the Republic of China on Taiwan was held on December 11, 2004. All 225 seats of the Legislative Yuan were up for election: 168 elected by popular vote, 41 elected on the basis of the proportion of nationwide votes received by participating political parties, eight elected from overseas Chinese constituencies on the basis of the proportion of nationwide votes received by participating political parties, eight elected by popular vote among the aboriginal populations.


The Chinese reunification-leaning and center-right Pan-Blue Coalition (consisting of the Kuomintang, People First Party, and New Party) retained its majority in the legislature, winning 114 seats, compared to 101 seats won by the Taiwan independence-leaning and center-left Pan-Green Coalition (consisting of the Democratic Progressive Party and Taiwan Solidarity Union). The remaining ten seats went to independents and other groups. Members will serve three-year terms beginning in February 1, 2005.


This was the first election following Pan-Blue's narrow defeat in the March presidential election. With the results of the presidential election still contested, many saw the legislative election as a referendum on Chen Shui-bian's Government and on the Pan-Blue Coalition's electoral viability. With the failure of the Pan-Green Coalition to win a majority, President Chen Shui-bian will find it difficult, as in the past, to enact his policies.


On February 2 Wang Jin-pyng of KMT and Chung Rong-ji of PFP ran and won a combined ticket for the president and vice president of the legislative yuan.

Contents

Overall results

Political Party Nationwide votes Nationwide percentage Seats won Change
Democratic Progressive Party* 3,471,429 37.9803% 89 +2
Kuomintang* 3,190,081 34.9022% 79 +11
People First Party* 1,350,613 14.7768% 34 –12
Taiwan Solidarity Union* 756,712 8.2791% 12 –1
無盟 Non-Partisan Solidarity Union 353,164 3.8639% 6 –5
New Party 12,137 0.1328% 1 0
Non-party 4
Total 9,140,067
*5% vote threshold needed for proportional seat assignment


A significant result was that voter participation was only 59% and was markedly lower than in previous elections (80% in the previous presidential election). Many commentators were concerned about this as it seemed to reflect public disillusionment with the tone of politics on Taiwan. The election also appearred to call into question the accuracy of public opinion polls, most of which failed to project a pan-blue victory just as they failed to predict the election of Chen Shui-bian. The DPP itself predicted that the pan-green coalition would capture 113 seats, and the TSU predicted that it would win at least 25 seats. On the other hand, the KMT underestimated itself by predicting that the pan-blue coalition altogether would win 109 seats.

Overall results by county: The Pan-Blue alliance usually dominates in the northern and urban areas while the Pan-Green alliance usually dominates in the southern and rural areas. Penghu and Lienchiang (not pictured) counties went to independents; Kinmen County (not pictured) went Pan-Blue.
Overall results by county: The Pan-Blue alliance usually dominates in the northern and urban areas while the Pan-Green alliance usually dominates in the southern and rural areas. Penghu and Lienchiang (not pictured) counties went to independents; Kinmen County (not pictured) went Pan-Blue.

Among the notable individual candidates elected. Independent candidate Li Ao won a legislative seat, whereas former DPP chairmen turned pan-blue supporter Shi Ming-teh and Hsu Hsing-liang failed to get elected in their seats. Also of interest is a non-party legislator from Yunlin County who was the sister of a former county magistrate who was captured by the police the day before the election on corruption charges.


Although the party strengths were similar to the election of the ROC legislative election, 2001, but the results were widely seen as a major defeat for President Chen Shui-bian, who had campaigned hoping for an absolute majority for the pan green coalition. Reasons for the result included:

  • tactical voting strategies - the pan-blue coalition greatly limited the number of candidates nominated while the pan-green coalition nominated a very large number of candidates. This had some major impact on the result due to the Taiwanese electoral system. In addition, the DPP nominated a large number of new unknown candidates, in part because the big names in the DPP were in the government, whereas the pan-blue coalition, being in opposition, found it easier to nominate people with a large amount of name recognition. The DPP's strategy was to "slit the throats" (割喉) of the pan-blue coalition by dominating the government with many candidates, following their success in the presidential election.
  • intra-coalition cooperation - many observers noted that the parts of the pan-blue coalition were much more adept at cooperating than the parts of the pan-green coalition. In particular, the NP ran seven of its candidates under the KMT banner and only ran one under NP in sure-win Kimin county. Also, the PFP was willing to give up seats in order to improve the results of the overall coalition whereas the TSU was not as willing to coordinate in this way with the DPP. James Soong leader of the PFP, was quoted earlier as stating that he was willing to have the KMT win all of the seats in the pan-blue coalition if this was necessary to keep the pan-blue in power, whereas the TSU actively campaigned for a large number of seats and in some cases sharply criticized the DPP, and Lee Teng-hui urged the husband from each household to vote for TSU, and the wife to vote for DPP so both parties would have equal representation.
  • pan-green emphasis on symbolic issues of Taiwan independence - Although the pan-green coalition began the campaign focusing on good governance and reform issues, as the campaign progressed the pan-green coalition focused more on the symbolic issues of Taiwan independence such as calling for referendum, removing the name "China" from state owned corporations and schools, moving the history of the ROC to a section on general Chinese history in textbooks, demanding that the KMT change its party emblem, which is similar to the national emblem. While these efforts were intended to placate the voters of the TSU, most analysts feel that they did nothing to attract more moderate voters.

In their post-election speeches, all of the party spokesman called for moderation as well as unity and cooperation between the parties. Significantly, the pan-blue coalition consistently referred to the government by its formal name of the Republic of China whereas pan-green referred to the government using the term Taiwan.


Some of the consequences of the election were:

  • the election appeared to call into question what many saw as a trend within Taiwan to greater separatism. In particular, the election results suggested that the pan-green coalition victory in the March 20 presidental election was not a symptom of a general realignment in Taiwanese politics. Also, the election put some serious barriers in the goal of some more extreme supporters of Taiwan independence such as Lee Teng-hui to quickly implement a new Taiwan-oriented constitution and annouce a Republic of Taiwan by 2008.
  • the election established the Kuomintang as senior party within the pan-blue coalition and set the stage for the merger between all of the parties within the pan-blue coalition into a new Kuomintang. Seven of the KMT candidates were actually members of the New Party, and it is expected that a merger between the New Party and the KMT will occur very soon after the election. Somewhat more difficult is the planned merger between the KMT and PFP. These mergers are widely seen as essential due to the electoral changes that will occur in the next legislative elections. In addition, the elections appeared to end speculation that the KMT was about to collapse, calls for the resignation of Lien Chan, and calls for the KMT to drop some of the "China"-based symbols.
  • the election completely marginalized candidates outside the pan-blue and pan-green coalitions. Even popular candidates such as Shi Ming-teh and Hsu Hsin-liang, who both served long prison terms during the democratization movement of Taiwan and were pivotal in the Kaohsiung Incident but have since distanced away from the DPP, were defeated. Out of a total of 154 candidates from both the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union and Non-Party, only 10 were elected.

Issues

In the 5th Legislative Yuan (2002–2005), the opposition pan-blue coalition holds a narrow majority, resulting in much of Government sponsored bills being deadlocked or heavily amended. The pan-blue coalition has strongly argued that having a majority pan-green legislature would lead to a "super-president" while the pan-green coalition has stated that a majority pan-green legislature is necessary to prevent deadlock and chaos and to finally eliminate the vestiges of the KMT's previous authoritarian government on Taiwan.


A major issue of the election is whether to amend or replace the Constitution of the Republic of China. In his second inaugural address in May 2004, President Chen Shui-bian proposed to hold a referendum in 2006 on an entirely new constitution to be adopted in 2008. The Pan-Green Coalition argues that the current Constitution, drafted by the Kuomintang in mainland China in 1947, is outdated and unfit for Taiwan as it was originally designed for all of China. Though President Chen promised not to change the sovereignty status of the Republic of China (which still officially claims all of mainland China and Mongolia), the symbols of the Republic of China, or to declare an independent Taiwan, this proposal has drawn intense criticism from both the People's Republic of China which sees a new Constitution as a means to further the separation of Taiwan from the mainland. In Taiwan there is a general consensus across party lines that the Constitution needs reworking, but disagreement on the degree and type of reform. The Pan-Blue Coalition opposes enacting a new Constitution, seeing the act as unnecessary, but supports amending it. In the summer of 2004, the legislature overwhelmingly passed a series of proposed Constitutional amendements to halve the size of the legislature, abolish the National Assembly, among other measures. These measures will have to be approved by the National Assembly (elected ad hoc from the results of the 2004 election).


In addition, other issues have been Chen's accusations of a soft coup after his March 2004 victory, as well as legal efforts (which most consider unlikely to succeed) by the leaders of the pan-blue coalition to overturn the results of the March presidential election. In a related issue, there were concerns that the 3-19 shooting incident was staged; a investigatory committee established by the legislature (only by overriding a Government veto) has been criticized by the pan-green coalition, which has refused to appoint any of its members to the committee as mandated by law.


Another initiative being discussed is a US$18 billion arms deal with the United States. President Chen regards the arms deal as necessary for the defense of Taiwan against the PRC, but the Pan-Blue Coalition has blocked the deal from passing the legislature, arguing the money should be spent on other measures.


President Chen has also complained that the party emblem of the KMT is too similar to the national emblem of the Republic of China, and if the KMT does not change its emblem, a newly elected pan-green legislature will force it. (In response, the KMT noted that its emblem has existed before the ROC and challenged the government to change the national emblem instead.) Chen announced on December 5 that state-owned enteprises and foreign offices bearing the name "China", such as the China Steel Corporation , Chinese Petroleum Corporation, would be renamed to bear the name "Taiwan". The U.S. government objects to this proposal, saying it would "unilaterally change Taiwan's status," but the DPP argues it is meant to avoid confusion and is not politically motivated. Chen reacted to the American concerns by blasting the United States. This appeared to cause a great deal of consternation among American officials with one analyst stating bluntly that President George W. Bush was "more than a little irritated" by Chen.


With more people seeing themselves less as Chinese and more as Taiwanese, the Pan-Blue Coaltion is also trying to prove its ability to stay electable. The KMT made major losses in the 2001 elections and lost the past two presidential elections. Lien and the rest of the KMT "old guard" will be under increased pressure to resign if the KMT continues to lose more seats and Pan-Blue loses its majority.


During the campaign, the KMT had been laying off workers and shedding millions of dollars' worth of assets it accumulated when it monopolized power. Analysts say the downsizing was prompted by fear that a DPP controlled legislature might call for new investigations of the party's finances.


Analysts say the outcome of the elections could determine how the dispute with Beijing is ultimately resolved. In the worst case scenario, some fear a DPP victory eventually could lead to an attack from the People's Republic of China. Others, however, say the consequences may not be so dire if the DPP wins a majority but not the three-forths required to approve a constitutional amendment. The latter possibility is considered to be almost impossible.


Dynamics and strategies

The legislative elections were expected to be the last in Taiwan using the single non-transferable vote, as a constitutional amendment is pending to convert the election format in the 2007 legislative elections. The SVMD system created interesting strategies such as vote allocation, as parties did not want to nominate too many candidates for a district, out of fear that it would divide party votes among too many candidates. In addition, the voting method resulted in complex negotiations between parties with similiar ideological beliefs. The need to allocate votes resulted in a system in which political parties took out newspaper ads telling supporters how to vote based on their birthday.


The leaders of the KMT, PFP, and New Party, which all share similar political views, expressed concern over overcrowding. In 2001, the DPP won 40% of the seats even though they only polled 36% of the vote, due in large part to the inability of the KMT, PFP, and New Party to coordinate their electoral strategies. To maintain its majority of the Pan-Blue Coalition, Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan and People First Party Chairman James Soong proposed in May 2004 to merge their parties, however this will not occur until a later date, due in part to opposition, especially by hardliners in the PFP and pro-Lee Teng-hui elements in the KMT not wanting to be in the same party. In the election, the New Party ran seven of its eight candidates (the minimum number required to form a legislative caucus) under the KMT banner to avoid splitting the vote though their campaigns were funded and organized by the New Party. However, one candidate—Wu Cheng-tien of Kinmen, whose strongly reunificationist district was considered safe—ran and won as a New Party candidate to signify the party's continued existence.


Similarly, negotiations between TSU "Spiritual Leader" Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian occurred, presumably over calls for the Taiwan Solidarity Union and DPP avoid splitting up their votes but not much occurred towards this result.


However, the dynamics of the election have permitted intra-coalition competition, either from candidates not wanting to be "sacrificed" to more popular candidates in another party or from party leaders seeking to increase their proportional representation. For example, the Lee Teng-hui criticized President Chen Shui-bian for equating the "Republic of China" with "Taiwan" saying "If we continue to use the "Republic of China" as the nation's title, China may view our nation (as a rebellion group)...Taiwan itself is a nation" while campaigning for a TSU candidate in danger of losing the race to five other DPP candidates.


Faced with defections by independence supporters to the TSU accusing the DPP as being too moderate (President Chen's senior adviser for international affairs, Lai Shin-yuan, resigned from the administration and won a seat as a TSU candidate), President Chen seemed to be moving his party's campaign towards stronger support for Taiwan independence, calling for the renaming of state-owned enterprises. This strategy seemed to have worked—the TSU, predicted to increase its precense to as many as 20 seats instead lost its membership by one seat. However, this might have alientated the center of the electorate and contributed to Pan-Green's overall defeat. Polls had shown the DPP doing much better than the two seat gain it eventually won.


The 2004 legislative election saw the emergence of the newly-formed Non-Partisan Solidarity Union, a loose coalition of independents who have refused to ally with either the Pan-Green or Pan-Blue Coaltion. Given the closeness of the race between blue and green camps, this group was being watched closely as a potential tie-breaker in the new legislature. Due to Pan-Blue's narrow majority, they will be courted as they have been in the 5th legislature by both sides.


Local district candidates

168 members are elected from 29 electoral districts. Additionally, there are two districts for election of 8 aboriginal members. The direct municipalities of Taipei and Kaohsiung each contain two constituencies and Taipei County has three while all other counties and cities are single constituencies.

  • - Democratic Progressive Party
  • - Kuomintang
  • - People First Party
  • - Taiwan Solidarity Union
  • - New Party
  • - Taiwan Independence Party
  • 無盟 - Non-Partisan Solidarity Union

Taipei City

Taipei City First District (Beitou, Shilin, Xinyi, Songshan, Neihu, Nangang): 10 seats


Another former DPP Chairman who had a falling out with his party, Shih Ming-teh, is running in Taipei City North, also as an independent. Both Shih Ming-teh and Hsu Hsin-Liang have fallen out with the DPP on account of the latter's support of Taiwan independence. The last day to register was October 12, 2004.

No.
Party
Name
Votes
Result
1
-
施明德
-
-
2
-
林正修
-
-
3
-
吳祥輝
-
-
4

林重謨
-
-
5
-
柯賜海
-
-
6

秦慧珠
-
-
7

李永萍
-
-
8

蔡正元
-
-
9

陳建銘
-
-
10
-
毋詩茜
-
-
11

蕭美琴
-
-
No.
Party
Name
Votes
Result
12

章孝嚴
-
-
13

陳建銘
-
-
14
-
吳朱疆
-
-
15

鄭運鵬
-
-
16

徐國勇
-
-
17
-
許甘霖
-
-
18

丁守中
-
-
19

費鴻泰
-
-
20

許淵國
-
-
21
-
許家琛
-
-
22

高建智
-
-

Taipei City Second District (Zhongshan, Datong, Zhongzheng, Wanhua, Daan, Wenshan): 10 seats


Also seeking one the 10 seats in Taipei City South are political commentator and writer Li Ao and former DPP Chairman Hsu Hsin-liang, both of whom are running as independents. Although both Li Ao and Hsu Hsin-liang are strong supporters of Chinese reunification and thus ideologically allied with the pan-blue coalition, their candidacies are somewhat unwelcome by the KMT and the PFP as they have the potential to destroy the strategies needed to maximize the number of seats and because votes for independent candidates are not counted toward party lists. In addition, there are a few members of the KMT who have not been endorsed by their party and are running as independents. Again, they vastly complicate both electoral strategies and relations between the KMT and PFP.

No.
Party
Name
Votes
Result
1
-
黃福卿
-
-
2
-
黃富義
-
-
3

藍美津
-
-
4
-
林晉章
-
-
5
-
郭忠燦
-
-
6
-
方景鈞
-
-
7

林郁方
-
-
8

郭正亮
-
-
9

段宜康
-
-
10

沈富雄
-
-
11

賴士葆
-
-
12
李慶安 - -
13 - 張耀元 - -
14 - 王芳萍 - -
15 無盟 陳源奇 - -
No.
Party
Name
Votes
Result
16
-
許信良
-
-
17

龐建國
-
-
18

潘維剛
-
-
19
-
鄭良
-
-
20
- 周金地
-
-
21

周守訓
-
-
22
-
劉戡宇
-
-
23
-
吉立豪
-
-
24

李林耀
-
-
25

陳學聖
-
-
26
-
李敖
-
-
27 黃適卓 - -
28 - 黃大津 - -
29 - 梁熾誠 - -
30 王世堅 - -

Taiwan Province

Keelung City:3 seats

No.
Party
Name
Votes
Result
1

王拓 -
-
2

徐少萍
-
-
3

謝國樑
-
-
4
- 呂美玲
-
-
5

王東暉 -
-

Taipei County First District (Banciao,Shulin, Yingge, Sansia, Tucheng): 8 seats

No.
Party
Name
Votes
Result
1
張清芳
-
-
2
李文忠
-
-
3

林鴻池
-
-
4

李嘉進
-
-
5
無盟 林憲同
-
-
6
- 陳誠鈞
-
-
7

蕭貫譽
-
-
No.
Party
Name
Votes
Result
8

周錫瑋
-
-
9
王淑慧
-
-
10

吳清池
-
-
11
廖本煙 -
-
12 -
羅福助 -
-
13

李勝峰 -
-
14
莊碩漢 -
-

Taipei County Second District (Sanchong, Sinjhuang, Danshuei, Lujhou, Wugu, Taishan, Linkou, Sanjhih, Shihmen, Bali, Jinshan, Wanli): 11 seats

No.
Party
Name
Votes
Result
1

陳景峻
-
-
2
劉一德
-
-
3
- 蘇卿彥
-
-
4

蔡家福
-
-
5
-
林麗容
-
-
6
許登宮
-
-
7

李顯榮
-
-
8

朱俊曉
-
-
9

吳育昇
-
-
10
- 謝鎮安
-
-
No.
Party
Name
Votes
Result
11
-
邵建興 -
-
12
曹來旺
-
-
13

陳茂男
-
-
14

黃劍輝
-
-
15
無盟 鄭余鎮
-
-
16

柯淑敏
-
-
17

吳秉叡
-
-
18

林淑芬
-
-
19
  Results from FactBites:
 
ROC legislative election, 2004 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2303 words)
Legislative Yuan (第六屆立法委員選舉) of the Republic of China on Taiwan was held on December 11, 2004.
In particular, the election results suggested that the pan-green coalition victory in the March 20 presidential election was not a symptom of a general realignment in Taiwanese politics.
The legislative elections were the last in Taiwan using the single non-transferable vote, as a constitutional amendment was passed in 2005 to convert the election format in the 2007 legislative elections.
ROC presidential election, 2004 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4142 words)
Elections for the President and Vice President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) were held on March 20, 2004.
The election, officially the Election for the 11th-term President and Vice-President of the Republic of China (Chinese: 第十一任中華民國總統 、副總統選舉), was the third direct presidential election in Taiwan's history and the 11th presidential election overall under the 1947 Chinese Constitution.
In contrast to the elections of 1996 and 2000, the PRC was quiet in this election until early November.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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