The Role of Issue in Taiwan's Politics, 1996-2004

Chiung-Chu Lin
March 2008
Issues & Studies;Mar2008, Vol. 44 Issue 1, p71
Academic Journal
This article investigates the role played by issues in Taiwan's politics during the period 1996-2004. This is done by examining the electorate's attitudes toward the unification of Taiwan with China or Taiwanese independence (the UI issue), economic growth versus environmental protection (the EE issue), the expansion of social welfare programs (the SW issue), and social and political stability versus political reform (the SR issue). The findings suggest that Taiwanese people are more aware of the positions of the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on the four issues. They are more aware of the positions of the People First Party (PFP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) on the UI issue than on other issues. The discriminant analysis suggests that the UI and SR issues persistently structured party competition during the research period. From an issues perspective, it is also important to note that Taiwan's party system is sometimes not so much affected by the emergence of a new issue as by the old parties moving their positions on existing issues.


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