Details of Referendum Law?


Let’s try this again. There’s a new referendum law. So, what is the exact process for proposing / submitting / organizing a referendum? And what EXACTLY are the restrictions? (How are they stated in the text? I want to find loopholes.)


Always nice if others do your homework… But you could start here…

Taiwan lowers threshold for referendums | Taiwan News

Could Taiwan Referendum Act trigger an empowerment of younger …


Thanks. I’ve read those, but they don’t give much specific information.


See the Referendum Act here.

See also the Constitution and the Additional Articles of the Constitution.


This is the old version.


The 2009 version is current as of Dec 15 this year. Have they changed it since then?


Articles 42, 43 and 51will be revised. I couldn’t find an English version.


There are some good parts about this revision, and also some terrible parts.

The old KMT referendum act requires “double fifty”. Meaning that the number of voter for a referendum must be at least 50% of the total voter numbers of the last Presidential election. Then over half of ballots must support the referendum for it to pass.

Using the last presidential election as an example, it means at least 9.3 million valid votes need to be cast for the referendum even to count. Then 4.6 million votes need to be in favour for the referendum to pass.

Instead of encouraging people to go and voice their take on the matter with their voting power, the old rule encourages people who aren’t in favour of the referendum not to leave home at all. They also do everything in their power to get people to not vote.

There were even more obstacles to even get the referendum going to begin with. There are two stages of petitioning (getting signatures to sponsor the referendum). The first one had to be 5/1,000th the number of voters of the last presidential election. Then the second phase had to get 5%. Using the last presidential election as an example, the first phase requires 93K signatures, and the second phase requires 930K signatures.

Even if the petitions are successful, there’s an absolutely undemocratic “Referendum Review Commission” that gets to single-handedly shot down any referendum.

The new referendum act does away with the “Review Commission”. It also cuts back the petition requirements, to 1/10,000th of voters of the last presidential election for the first phase, and 1.5% for the second phase. People can also now support the petition electronically.

As for double fifty, the new act requires only a quarter of of the voters that showed up for the last presidential election.

The downside is that there are topics now outside the limit of a referendum. Of these forbidden topics, two stands out. First is that a referendum cannot change Taiwan’s territory, and the other is that a referendum cannot change Taiwan’s constitution. It’s pretty clear why the minority party would concede amending the referendum act for these two new restrictions on what the people can or can not decide… It’s a shame it’s there though.


I repeat my earlier questions:

  1. Can I organize a referendum to make myself king* of Taiwan?
  2. Can a referendum be used to change the referendum act?
  3. Can details of the ROC flag be changed, as long as only the Flag Law is changed (the technical description of its flag design) and not the ROC Constitution (which describes the flag very vaguely)?

*A constitutional monarch, of course. Or since the constitution cannot be revised this way, a regulatory monarch!


No… since the new referendum act restricts changes to the constitution, you will not be able to crown yourself as king of Taiwan.

Although, should you have the support of the populous to become the king of Taiwan, you probably could just gather them up and take the island by force, referendum or not.

hmm… I think you can. Other areas off limits include taxes, budgets, and salaries and hiring of public workers. It didn’t say nothing about changing current legislation.

Yes, we can change the Flag Law, but unfortunately the constitution still says enough to limit design options.


Where is it written that laws pertaining to kingship must be included in the constitution?


maybe, kingship needs to change Articles 1 and 2 of the constitution?

Article 1
The Republic of China, founded on the Three Principles of the People, shall be a democratic republic of the people, to be governed by the people and for the people.

Article 2
The sovereignty of the Republic of China shall reside in the whole body of citizens.


It is possible for a republic to have a king (a “crowned republic”), as several Scandanavian countries do. And the sultans of Malaysia have only limited sovereignty. But okay–maybe I won’t run for king. Maybe I’ll run for princess. Can I put that in a referendum?

On a more serious note–for everyone watching with envy as the MOI grants citizenship to elderly priests, but not us, maybe this is our chance.


If it’s the title you care about, you still need to amend the constitution.


Is there some reason why titles have to be included in the constitution, as opposed to regular law? Lots of other titles are.

Otherwise, nobody has yet explained why we can’t change the referendum law through a referendum (eliminating the restrictions on amending the constitution, let us say), and THEN make me king with another referendum.


Titles don’t need to be in the constitution, but they are, so you need to amend the constitution to change the titles.

Either that or fill the JY with judges who have more flexible ideas about constitutional interpretation, which is already happening, slowly… probably too slowly for you to realize your monarchical ambition in this lifetime. Sorry dude. :crown: :cry:


Oh well, maybe I’ll just be pope, then. Of Taiwan’s new official religion, to be established by referendum!


I’ve brought this up before. The ROC Constitution simply stipulates a white sun in a blue sky on a red field. I think there would be a certain amount of support for replacing the KMT-style sun with a Tao/Yami/Lanyu/Orchid Island canoe style sun / eye (mata).


That sounds plausible, but has there been a constitutional interpretation of it? @hansioux


No, of course not. Bob Kao thought that the (conservative, KMT-leaning) group of grand justices they had a couple of years ago (when he was asked) would rule that the constitutional language implies the current flag design, since the drafters obviously meant that design.