NPP implosion

With 5 seats in the Legislative Yuan, NPP was the third largest party, until a couple of weeks ago, when NPP imploded out of the blue. With one legislator caught abusing her privileges, and two other who left the party due to schism within the party.

The media would claim that the schism is between those who want to become a wing of the DPP and those who want NPP to be a actual party with its own values.

In reality, the schism is over those party founders who seek to win local elections, and those who have the pull to get on the party list and seek to gain enough party votes to get a legislator-at-large seat.

Due to Taiwan using the first-past-the-post voting rule, and having a decreased number of legislative seats compared to the past, it is extremely difficult for small parties to survive. First-past-the-post voting rule tends to promote partisan politics, and for the two major parties to go more and more extreme, especially when there are issues that can override all other policies, such as religion, and in Taiwan’s case, the survival of the nation.

For those running for a constituency, they need to have enough draw from pro-independence voters who are worried about Taiwan’s sovereignty. In order to do so, they need the support and cooperation from the DPP, which is what they have done in 2016. The most prolific members of this camp includes death metal singer turned legislator, Freddy Lim, and Hung Tzu-yung.

For those wishing to gain a legislator-at-large seat, they need to distinguish their positions from the DPP, so that more people would have a reason to caste their party vote for the NPP. The most prolific member of this group and arguably the political star of NPP, Huang Kuo-chang.

So despite the fact that currently there is no other candidate more aligned with the NPP’s position on Taiwan’s national identity than the DPP and Tsai Ying-wen, a faction led by Huang refuses to clearly endorse a presidential candidate.

They have also attacked the DPP for not being left-leaning enough. The Tsai administration has suffered severe backlashes for their progressive agendas, such as labor reform, pension reform, and marriage equality. Many of those policies aims to address systematic issues that would cause serious issues down the road, however hurts the bottom line of many DPP supporters in the mean time.

So a faction of conservative DPP members, led by William Lai tried to backtrack on some of these policies. Post the massive DPP defeat in 2018, this faction is basically calling the shots with in DPP, leading to washed down versions of the Farmland Factories Management Act, and the Housing Price Registration Act.

Those halfhearted “reforms” plus a scandal involving the secret service purchasing an illegal amount of cigarettes with China Airline on the return flight of President Tsai’s state visits became the rallying cries for Huang’s faction within NPP and KMT and Ko Wen-je supporters alike.

Trying to portray the DPP as corporate pawns or corrupt to the core is probably exaggerating the facts, which is also damaging for the relationship between the two once allies. The NPP legislators seeking to win at local elections wants the party to at least publicly endorse Tsai as president, to ease the pressure from their supporters.

Huang Kuo-chang on the other hand, who is currently the representative of Xizhi, decides not to run this time around. He will likely try to get on the party list, most likely at the 8th place. That means NPP would need way more party votes than 2016 for him to return to the Legislative Yuan. As such, he made repeated public statements in June and July, saying that he would leave the party of the party decides to be nothing more than a wing of the DPP.

Ideally these differences could be resolved in the NPP’s Policy-Decision Council meetings. Unfortunately, many council members aligned with Huang would not let these issues go to a vote, and prefer to leave party position ambiguous to avoid alienating supporters, which at this point shows some overlap with KMT and Ko supporters.

The indecision and a NPP scandal of their own caused Freddy Lim and eventually Hung Tzu-yung to leave the party. The party chairman Chiu Hsien-chih also quit for failing to bring members to a consensus.

Since Chiu stepping down as the party chair, one person, Taipei City Councilor Lin Liang-jun, have registered to run for the next party chair. However, legislator Hsu Yung-ming, a close ally of Huang Kuo-chang, is announced as the next party chair without a vote instead.

At this point NPP has essentially became a one man party. Even though Huang already stepped down as party chairman back in January, his allies seems to be able to control the discourse within party, despite not being an majority of the party.

It is sad to see a party of such high ideals disintegrate like this. The selection of the new party leader can hardly be called democratic.

I guess unless Taiwan adopts some form of preferential voting, like ranked voting or instant-runoff voting, small parties are destined to be no more than one man parties and fade into obscurity.

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It would be in everyone’s interest, including Ko that the presidential elections are IRV, while parliament should be MMP.

IF Ko, NPP and other presidential candidates were smart. He’d demand IRV in exchange for withdrawal of himself IN THIS race.

Let the one [candidate] Taiwanese can at least agree on should win instead of the perceived lesser of 2 evils.

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Whoah, translator needed here. Help!

Guy

Taiwan uses first past the post voting, where the winner only needs a plurality, or the most votes to become president. Chen Shui Bian won this way after James Soong split the blue vote. Since voting has to become strategic, people often think that "I really like this candidate, but they are not likely to win, so I am going to vote the guy closest to me that I think is gonna win, however. Some do vote for the third party, sucking votes from the candidate most similar, creating a situation where the least desirable candidate actually wins. The losing candidate’s voters feel like their votes are wasted and stuck picking two people they dont really like. Plurality always ends up being a two party system.

An IRV (Instant Runoff Voting) system would enable voters to rank their preferences, elminating the least favoured candidate until someone wins the election. This allows extra candidates to run without fear of stealing votes away from someone that has similar ideas.

NPP favours independence,

Under the plurality vote. NPP voters would pick Tsai as a second choice. Running a popular candidate with Tsai would surely cause Han to win, out of the interests of both parties.

IRV would enable people like NPP voters to say ‘well… if Huang Kuo Chang cant win…then Tsai is my second choice. I dont really like her but i REALLY dont like Han.’

NPP is a separate party that wants to form its own ideas. Some in agreement with DPP, some in disagreement. But there are people who recognise that if they push, then they will cause Han to win, which is the uglier option. But if they side with the DPP, then…are they just a green parrot?

IRV would solve this. We would have the full range of ideas. We wouldnt be saying ‘at least i’m not the other guy.’

https://youtu.be/s7tWHJfhiyo
https://youtu.be/3Y3jE3B8HsE

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Yes. Exactly what I think should be done to fix Taiwanese politics (or the US politics for that matter)

I have tried to get a conversation going so that people start realizing it’s the system that’s broken, but I get no response from the politicians.

The by-standers are more interested in the political drama rather than finding out the cause and fixing the problem.

I think this video explains ranked voting/instant runoff very well

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHRPMJmzBBw

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Spare a thought for Canada too!

And that’s all I’m going to say about that. :zipper_mouth_face:

Someone wrote why they’ve given up on the NPP for this election. They listed a bunch of things the NPP have accused of the DPP of not doing, but failed to live up to their own standards.

Things like…

  1. giving up on nominating an Aboriginal legislator on NPP’s party list. Treading back on a guaranteed female position on the Central Decision Committee.

  2. Party members were allowed to make ethnically discriminatory statements, such as Aboriginals all live on the mountain, most Aboriginals are rich, Aboriginal privilege and minorities and women should live off their own abilities, during high level party meetings, and Huang Gou-chang being the chairman of the meeting didn’t stop such abusive language. The party also only made a delayed apology 2 days later, only after people exposed the languages being used in the party online.

  3. NPP, and especially Huang Gou-chang has been very vocal in criticizing the DPP on labor reforms. First the NPP wanted fixed 2 day weekends, and then bashed DPP even harder when William Lai made adjustments to One fixed one flexible rest days. However, even till now NPP isn’t compliant with the new version of the One fixed one flexible rest days, especially during election cycles. Instead of paying for overtime, NPP is only willing to convert overtime to makeup vacation time. There have also been cases where NPP didn’t sign workers up for labor and health insurance.

  4. NPP once pushed for making names of assistants to representatives and officials public, and disclose how assistant expenses are spent. However, none of NPP’s elected representatives disclosed such information to lead by example.

  5. This led to when NPP party list legislator Kawlo Iyun Pacidal and her assistant were found to have embezzled government grants, NPP also back tracked on their proposed legislation to punish the party that nominated corrupt legislators. A proposal Huang Gou-chang pushed for himself.

  1. After Kawlo Iyun Pacidal was kicked out of the party, NPP nominated Zheng Hsiu-ling to take her place as NPP’s party-list legislator. However, Zheng had declared that she left the party in order to be considered for the dean of NTU. So she technically wouldn’t be eligible to be an NPP legislator. Yet, NPP declare that Zheng didn’t complete the process to leave the party. Either Zheng or the party had not told the truth.

  2. After Huang Guo-chang had decided to be deliberately vague on whether or not NPP supports Tsai for her re-election, and fractured the NPP, in order to show Huang isn’t doing this just to benefit NPP’s party-list legislators and leaving NPP’s district legislators out to dry, Huang guaranteed he would NOT be on the party-list for the 2020 election. He made that promise on a live interview. Yet, when the time comes, he’s right there as NPP’s 4th nominated party-list legislator.

  3. Huang Guo-chang’s recall. Huang Guo-chang once pushed for amending the recall elections so that a legislator would be recalled by a simple majority. However, in the end DPP made sure that at least a quarter of eligible voters should have voted in the recall election for the recall to be valid.

So when Huang’s own district held a recall for Huang Guo-chang, more than half who voted agreed with the recall, and Huang only managed to keep his seat because less than 25% of eligible voters voted. If Huang had convictions for his original proposal, he should have quit himself to show that he believes a simple majority is sufficient for a recall.

  1. When De-fen Ho held a press call to smear President Tsai’s doctoral thesis, she held the event at a legislative yuan conference room. Ho De-fen isn’t a legislator and she can only get access to a legislative yuan conference room if she is invited by a legislator, and the said legislator would need to book the conference room for her. The rule also asked the legislator who invited the guest to host the conference.

It was later reveal Huang Guo-chang was the one who invited Ho and booked the conference room for her. But Huang had since denied that he had anything to do with it.
10. After the party fractured, Chiu Hsian-chi stepped down as party chairman, forcing the party to hold a party chairman election. There was only one person, Taipei city councilor Lin Liang-jun, who signed up to run for party chairman. However, instead of voting, the Central Decision Committee revoked Lin’s bid for party chairman, and elected party-list legislator Hsu Li-ming instead, who wasn’t even in the running.

  1. NPP nominated Ben Jai as one of their 2020 party-list legislators. However, by NPP’s own rules, the party’s nominated candidates shouldn’t hold dual-citizenship or another country’s permanent residency. Yet Ben Jai has dual-citizenship of Taiwan and the US. When asked about it, neither Ben Jai nor NPP made any attempt to prove Ben Jai has given up his dual-citizenship.

That’s a very sad list for me to go through, as I had very high hopes for the NPP.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxDunrtpsKs

I’m glad to say there are still people I support within the NPP, but they aren’t running for a legislative seat this time around. People such as Taipei city councilor Lin Yin-meng, featured in the interview above, and Kaohsiung city councilor Huang Jie.

I’m not certain bout Huang Jie, but from the interview above, Lin Yin-meng sounds like she still follows the path laid out by Freddy Lim, which is making NPP a social-democratic and a progressive party while cooperate with the DPP to maintain Taiwan’s sovereignty and liberties.

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This was probably a mistake.

Who’s going to hold the DPP accountable? Are you waiting for the KMT to do so? Or James Soong?

Guy

This is a good question. All the other parties are a shitshow at the present time.

Yeah, hence the hopes invested in start-ups like the NPP.

Guy

In the interview I posted, which is mainly councilor Lin talking about the NPP implosion, she confirmed that the split was along local district legislators and party-list legislators.

She also said Huang’s camp wanted to go to war on all fronts with the DPP.

From my observations, in order to do this, apparently they are willing to be deliberately vague about whether or not they support Tsai’s re-election.

That’s when they got it wrong.

First, the current Party-list system isn’t friendly to smaller parties. So when your party have actual incumbent local district legislators, which NPP at once at 3, it is mathematical madness to give them up for a chance to get more party-list seats.

If party-list seats are especially up for grabs in an election cycle, someone else would try to get those seats. For 2020, that someone else is Ko Wen-je’s TPP.

TPP right now is NPP’s biggest competitor, yet Huang Guo-chang would attack DPP, yet he never criticizes Ko Wen-je and the TPP, even though the TPP is doing a lot of power grab stunts worthy of ridicules.

Second, you can be on the left on social and economic issues, criticize DPP for being too pro-corporations, yet still be on the same page for maintaining Taiwan’s sovereignty, democracy, and liberties. DPP wouldn’t mind that at all. Having two main patriotic parties, one on the right and one on the left is exactly what you’d expect from a normal country with a first-past-the-post election system.

Taiwan doesn’t just need a left-leaning party. Taiwan needs a socially-democratic, progressive party can cooperate cross-parties when it comes to defending Taiwan’s sovereignty.

If the NPP is going to be on the same page as the TPP and Ko Wen-je, saying Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy are of secondary concern, people would either vote for the TPP, vote for another small party that has a clear stance on the matter, or vote for the DPP.

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Indigenous Taiwanese and their culture has often been treated as a sideshow by the hard-line pro-independence partisans. The problem with nationalists is that their nation doesn’t look like everyone’s. They’re more me-ists.

About IRV, Taiwan’s electoral system is fairly simple. Elections are expensive and can be disruptive. But it’s nice in theory and it does, in theory, produce a fairer outcome. I just prefer a larger number of different parties with differing policy goals which can align with or oppose one another.

I guess that depends on how you define hard-line pro-independence partisans. There are some that believe Taiwanese Holo should be restored to being Taiwan’s sole prestige language, but they aren’t the majority, and they are usually pretty old.

More pro-independence supporters know that every identity unique to Taiwan is important for forging a new shared identity away from China.

That’s why every DPP administration works hard at promoting Aboriginal rights, language and culture, for example, TITV, the national languages act, and the indigenous peoples basic law. While the KMT only cares about buying tribal political leaders’ support with money.

First past the post is only fair when you just have two choices. The math is all geared towards choosing from two options. You can deliberately sabotage the actual majority by forming a small party with a popularist running on mostly identical values.

Without something like the IRV, Taiwan would never have a larger number of different parties with differing policy goals.

I think their “promoting” is what I meant by a sideshow. Their policies are tokens. It suits their narrative, but things haven’t really gotten much better. The DPP has used the concept of restorational justice to keep the focus on the KMT’s past. What would happen if the Indigenous Taiwanese had their own restorational justice?

That would the indigenous peoples basic law. If you think these laws are token, I don’t think you’ve read any of them.

The indigenous peoples basic law gives each tribe or village their right to form a council with its own annual budget, promises tribes their traditional area, guarantees if the government prohibits certain activities, such as hunting or logging, in aboriginal traditional areas for conservation reasons, local tribes are compensated, guarantees indigenous languages have national language status.

I hope the DPP and other pro-independence parties will get a majority in 2020, so we can get the autonomous region act passed.

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Who cares? We need the Pirate Party.

I realize this is an aside to this thread. But I still wanted to say that the term you’re thinking of here is “transitional justice,” right?

If so, you’re right that the damage done during White Terror (in which so called “waishengren” were disproportionately targeted) is indeed the focus of the current administration’s transitional justice work.

The inclusion/exclusion of Indigenous concerns was hotly debated when this transitional justice commission was formed. The eventual compromise was to set up a separate Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee, which remains active. Details about this committee are posted here:

https://indigenous-justice.president.gov.tw/EN

Cheers,
Guy

That would be most of the island, but there’s no turning back the clock.
Really, since A-bian, have their lives improved? They’re a showpiece to show Taiwan’s non-Chineseness. Nevermind that China has so many minorities they can’t bury them fast enough.

That’s what I call a token. You can’t compensate for a lost culture.

Yes, that’s the right term. I was combining restorative justice and transitional justice and typed that.

I think the new laws are set up so that when non-Aboriginals, be it individual businesses or corporations wishes to use lands in designated traditional territories, they will have to pay for it, and there would be no way for them to obtain the lands and get it out of the tribal control.

That is essentially what New Zealand setup for its Maori Iwis. You see a petrol station, or a McDonalds in Rotorua, they paying local tribes for the use of that land, and the local tribes can use the money for education and culture restoration.

No one is saying that by doing these things the past wrongs are negated. However if these laws aren’t put into place, there would be no way to curtail further lost of culture.

From a political capital point of view, these laws are bad for the party that pushed them. Han Taiwanese living around the Sun Moon Lake have protested, claiming they are the actual majority in the region and they should have a say in how the Ita Thao traditional territory is drawn. Would the DPP gain many votes by pushing for these laws? Probably not. They did it because it needed to be done. If these laws are so token, the KMT could have done them in their 70 years of ruling the island.

The government does not yet recognize former Pingpu Aboriginals as actual Aboriginals. So the current 14 tribes would not cover the entire island.

In 2017, DPP made sure there is a law for figuring out the traditional territories. A lot goes into it than just drawing lines on a map.

https://law.apc.gov.tw/LawContent.aspx?id=GL000327

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