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United Daily News: DPP has become rural party

United Daily News: DPP has become rural party

In the Jan. 14 elections, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) garnered more presidential votes and won more legislative seats than it did four years ago. Generally speaking, however, there is a confirmed trend in which the DPP's political footprint is being confined to farming-dependent localities in southern Taiwan, with a loss of momentum in the northern region and urban areas. It seems the DPP has become a "rural party." This phenomenon signifies that the party's ability to convince progressive voters is becoming weaker and weaker and its platform is losing touch with reality. Urban voters are usually more open and ready to accept new ideas. They also have stronger political discernment and are less vulnerable to blind following. It was due to the support of urban voters that the DPP was able to shake the foundation of the 100-year-old Kuomintang in the past. Today, however, the DPP can no longer relate to urban voters. One reason is that the DPP no longer has a fresh image. The other reason is that the party's ideology has lost its progressive nature. During those early years, the DPP was touting "democracy" and "reform" and was thus able to create a following among progressive urban voters. After Chen Shui-bian came to power, he played the "Taiwanization" and "ethnicity" cards. This strategy helped consolidate the party's support base in rural regions and among native Taiwanese, but it also tore Taiwanese society apart, which was seen as a regression of democracy. This time, Tsai Ing-wen could not bear to drop the "Taiwanization" card and further played the "anti-China" and "class" cards. Her divisive strategy not only contradicts the spirit of democracy and progressiveness but also pushed voters into fear and anxiety. The estrangement of urban voters is a warning sign for the DPP. Unless the party moves ahead with these people, how can it expect them to follow? (Editorial abstract -- Jan. 19, 2012) (By Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-10-29 04:55 GMT+08:00