My approach to Taiwan's 2020 Presidential election

I’ve been struggling a lot with this year’s election. Personally I want to see smaller parties gain a foothold, despite knowing the current first past the post system doesn’t encourage voting for smaller parties. However, a growing number of parties seem to have decided that not disclosing a view on the China issue is a good campaign strategy, leaving voters guessing. That made things difficult for me, especially when it comes to NPP, who traditionally seemed very anti-China.

After quite a bit of thought, and discussion with friends, I’ve made my conclusions. I’m not disclosing my final decision here. Instead, I am going to list out how one can make up their mind based on what’s important to them.

1. If passing difficult legislation at a cost of a party’s own political interest, just because it’s the right thing to do, is very important to you.

Prior to 2016, KMT had the majority in the legislative body for close to 70 years. The KMT could have enacted laws to allow same sex marriage, to fix the pension system, to rectify illegal party assets, to make Taiwan’s democracy safe from China’s infiltration, and to allow laborers to get time off. But they didn’t because they don’t want to anger their voters.

Tsai’s government did all these things because they needed to be done, knowing full well passing these laws will hurt the DPP in subsequent elections.

I have a friend whom I’ve known since I was a kid. She finally got engaged with the woman she loves. She said she will cast all 3 votes to the DPP because they’ve passed the same sex marriage act, and they shouldn’t be punished for it.

2. If like me, you want to see smaller parties in the legislature, but at the same time is worried about pro-China parties winning seats

A. Tsai is the only clearly anti-China presidential candidate

B. Vote for the anti-China local legislator candidate with the highest polling number. Get everyone you know to vote for that candidate.

C. Vote for a small party that has clearly and openly stated they are Anti-China, stays clear of other pro-China parties and candidates, and actively criticizes China’s actions in Tibet, East Turkistan and Hong Kong.

For me, that means no TMD (TPP) and NPP, both parties have deliberately vague about their official position towards China, claiming such matters are not important. The TMD went as far as putting people from the Terry Gou and Want Want media’s camp on their party-list.

Vote for the Green party or the TSP (Taiwan Statebuilding Party) instead.

3. If you do not fit in with the two categories above, I don’t think you feel all that conflicted about who and which party to vote anyway.


Good post. One thing that concerns me even more than the points above abiut parties avoiding the China topic is that many of their supporters also seem to feel it is not so important. When/If that happens, China officially won the long game and now its just about slowly reaping their rewards.

I am no big fan of DPP, but it is clear they are the only option if Taiwan cares about its long term future as a country with human rights. Otherwise…plan b :frowning: