I am really curious about the influence of factions on the upcoming legislative elections.
(Note: in this post, I use the word ‘factions’, as it is used in Taiwan to indicate local power groupings, not, as it is also used, for groupings within political parties).
Older (martial law era) analyses of Taiwan politics that I have read, stress the importance of local factional loyalty in determining voters’ choice in eloections.
In this old Taipei Times article written before the last legislative elections, the Taiwan specialist Bruce Jacobs, argues that (with the exception of Taipei City), voters make their coices based on the candidate, and more important what local power faction the candidate represents, rather than on the lines of political party affiliation. Thus, we can not expect the legislative elections to represent popular support for the various parties and their policies.
Here’s the article:
taipeitimes.com/News/edit/ar … /28/113483
Now I’m curious about how much the situation may have changed. Jacobs notes that educated Taipei City has largely rejected factional elctoral politics and now votes on party lines. I am wondering if in the last few years, this change may have started to spread to the rest of the country. The crackdown on vote-buying and local corruption (though far from complete) should have cut down on the power of the factions somewhat. Also, I suspect that in the last few years, party divisions have been stressed more heavily than before, and this may have made a difference.
In short, I wonder if Taiwan will be starting to vote along party lines in this coming election. What do you think?