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Taiwan political commentator advocates new wave of democratic reforms

Ying-lung You: The government is too strong, the opposition is too weak

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TPOF Chairman Ying-lung You. (Facebook, Ying-lung You photo)

TPOF Chairman Ying-lung You. (Facebook, Ying-lung You photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan needs a new wave of democratic reforms because its political parties have been backsliding, Ying-lung You (游盈隆), the chairman of the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF), said Wednesday (June 29).

In a Facebook post, the prominent political commentator identified the power of the ruling party with an absence of strong opposition as one of the key problems on the present political scene.

The ruling party filling the post of both president and chairperson gives President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) too much power, while the Legislative Yuan, the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan are unable to provide a suitable counterbalance.

The pollster also noted that the media barely fulfill their role as independent observers, instead often reflecting government opinions. Intellectuals, academics, civil society, and social movements have all gone silent, You added.

He criticized the government for focusing too much on reacting to short-term problems, giving no hope for the long-term future of the country. If there is still so much dissatisfaction with the government after six years of complete rule by the president and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), maybe the political system itself is the problem, You said.

The TPOF chairman referred to a February poll where respondents gave Taiwan’s democracy 65.45 points out of 100, a narrow approval rate that shows there is still room for improvement.

You saw the survey result as evidence that there is widespread support for a new wave of democratic reforms backed by all segments of society.