By S.C. Chang CNA staff writer
●The opposite of Kuomintang?
Minkuotang (民國黨), the No. 6 party, is a pan-blue party but calls for "transcending blue-green divide" to focus on revitalizing Taiwan's economy and boosting its international status.
Noteworthy in the Minkuotang's economic revitalizing project is an effort to promote urban renewal and build more public housing, cultivate local talents and attract foreign talents, ease the working people's tax burden and oppose companies' out-sourcing programs.
On the judicial front, Minkuotang says it will promote people's participation in the court trial process, reform the system for recruiting, training and firing of judges and realize judicial independence to ensure civil rights for all members of the public.
●This sounds a bit religious
The Faith and Hope League (FHL, 信心希望聯盟) is No. 7 on the ballot. It wants to promote "positive" social values and create opportunities for young people, seeing that all major parties have just been focusing on grabbing power and then enriching themselves.
On the youth front, the League sees the danger of globalization leading to overproduction of commercial goods and excessive supply of labor, a danger that it says could be averted by helping young people finds jobs in public interests-oriented businesses, including health care industry.
Youth employment can also be promoted when publicly funded start-up platforms and innovation centers flourish, digital technologies are used to create new businesses and to match talent seekers and job finders, says the League.
The social values the League wants to promote include cooperation among the public, private sectors and NPO-NGO community, rebuilding a culture of respect for each other and minimizing media chaos and Internet bullies.
●China must love this one
No. 8 is China Uniform Party (中華統一促進黨), whose name clearly states its purpose -- to negotiate a peace treaty with China on equal footing rather than "being unified on the battle ground."
But its basic position is to accept China's "one country, two systems" formula for unifying Taiwan and China, a goal that it claims will save Taiwan huge military spendings and convince Chinese enterprises to buy "peace bonds" that will generate "peace dividends" which can be used to:
--ensure the retirement benefits of all people in Taiwan; and
--pay for child care, pre-school education, elementary school and middle school tuitions.
China Uniform Party will also negotiate a zero-tariff privilege for all industrial and agricultural exports to China, a privilege that it says can ensure a "prosperous economy" for Taiwan whose problems of youth unemployment, low-income, and pricey housing can all be solved.
●A party proud of its past
No. 9 is the current ruling Kuomintang (KMT). It vows to "help people surmount difficulties" and promises a "happy future for the people" so they can live in a country ruled by a party which had led Taiwan through the 2007 East Asian financial crisis, the 2008 Financial Tsunami and the 2011 European debt crisis.
The KMT says it will continue its efforts to promote Taiwan's economy, society, politics and culture on the spirit of "government of the people, by the people and for the people."
●The party of 4 anti's
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) is No. 10 on the political party ballot. Its main platforms can be summarized in four terms: anti-China, anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, anti-exploitation.
TSU's anti-China sentiment is evidenced by its opposition to ECFA -- the landmark economic treaty between Taiwan and China. It also opposes Chinese investments in Taiwan, and Chinese immigrants and even Chinese students studying in Taiwan.
It calls for "political democratization, social liberalization and self-determination on sovereignty."
Politically, TSU will push for a campaign to "reclaim all illicit assets taken by the KMT" since it came to Taiwan in 1945. To assert Taiwan's sovereignty, it will crack down on China's "hidden spies" in Taiwan to stamp out China's political and economic infiltrations, so as to ensure Taiwan's sovereign and independent status.
And socially, TSU says it opposes "unrestricted globalization" and will work to equally distribute the fruit of economic growth, protect the less privileged and maintain multi-cultural values.
●New and young power
No. 11 is the New Power Party (時代力量), a new party whose Chinese name literally translates as "Power of the Time or Era." It aims to build a new political structure, a new economy, a new parliament and a new judicial system in a sustainable environment supported by green energy.
"We commit ourselves to being a transparent political party. We will smash 'black boxes' in politics, in the parliament and in political parties, baring everything that belongs to the public arena under the sun. We promise to ensure that political power will always serve the majority, rather than the corrupt and privileged few."
To achieve those goals, the New Power Party pledges to open itself up to all people and commits itself to acting as the locomotive of new politics in Taiwan where all progressive social forces and reform ideas will merge.
●Free services, wow!
Following the New Power Party, the 12th on the party vote, is the Constitutional Conventions of Taiwan (CCT) (大愛憲改聯盟), whose great love is shown in its calls for free education, free health insurance for the poor and exemption of fees for motorcycles below 125 c.c. as well as free Internet for all.
But the most ingenuous "free" service for citizens is freeing people from paying any fees to participate in the political process. The reason, according to the CCT, is that the current political process is dominated by rich people who have turned elections into a power grabbing and ensuing grafting, aka corruption, game.
The CCT hates political corruption so much that it demands a strict investigation into all suspicious sources and flows of political funds and confiscation of all "unjust" party assets. Those trying to move illicit gains into accounts under other people's names should be prosecuted; if found guilty of hiding ill-gained assets, the suspects should be sternly punished for corruption. Those tipping them off to authorities leading to criminal convictions should be awarded a certain portion of seized assets.
Regarding constitutional revision, the CCT calls for referenda a la Switzerland and democracy a la California -- the purpose being to return power to the people, so they can build and own a super rich country. Officials found not capable of delivering on their promises should step down voluntarily.
●Colorful platforms betray Taiwan's vibrant democracy (3)
●Colorful platforms betray Taiwan's vibrant democracy (1)