Taiwan President’s camp is playing with the DPP’s future: opinion poll expert

Including smartphones in primary polling is like overtaking on a bend: TOPF Chairman Ying-lung You

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TOPF Chairman Ying-lung You (photo courtesy of You's Facebook page).

TOPF Chairman Ying-lung You (photo courtesy of You's Facebook page).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) camp is “overtaking on a bend” and playing with the life and death of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) by including smartphones in the opinion polls to select its presidential candidate, expert pollster Ying-lung You (游盈隆) said Tuesday (May 14).

While the DPP has still been working out a method how to select its candidate for the January 11, 2020 presidential election, Tsai has let it be known that she thinks people should also be polled on their smartphones, and not just on landlines.

The camp of former Premier William Lai (賴清德) on the other hand, has said the method of polling should not be changed when the selection process is already underway, and especially not at the behest of one of the parties directly involved.

The insistence of the Tsai camp to forge ahead with the issue was motivated by pure self-interest and did not correspond to the DPP’s democratic traditions, said You, the chairman of the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF), in a piece on his Facebook page.

He said he was asking DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) and President Tsai several questions about the opinion polls.

‘One man, one vote’ democracy could not be applied if no way was found to exclude foreign users of Taiwanese smartphones and people who owned more than one such phone, he said.

There was also a territorial issue, since it was impossible to tell from a cellphone number where the respondent hailed from, and the poll might thus be concentrated in one particular part of Taiwan, according to You.

Referring to legislation in the United States, the TOPF chairman also wondered whether the smartphone polls would not infringe privacy, and doubted if the Tsai camp had given any thought to the proportion of smartphone users and landline users among the poll respondents.

Including the smartphones would also take time, both to conduct the surveys themselves and first to amend the relevant DPP regulations, You remarked.

He concluded by condemning the current push for smartphone poll as an unprecedented occurrence in DPP history, and as a result of the “arrogance of power.”