By S.C. Chang CNA staff writer
●Social democrats are green
No. 13 is the Green Party and Social Democratic Party Alliance (綠黨社會民主黨聯盟), whose central platform is honoring labor right and the environment. The ways of achieving the former include shortening work hours, increasing wages, strengthening labor unions, and increasing corporate taxes.
To protect the environment, the Alliance proposes a change to the current model of economic development, which it says sacrifices Taiwan's future generations. The ecology must be restored, the quality of the environment improved and industries upgraded.
It social policy calls for a fair pension for all and state- sponsored child care that does not mistreat care providers. It also calls for equal rights for the LGBTIQ community.
●TI, that's all
No. 14 is Taiwan Independence Party, whose only platform is building and declaring a country that is called Taiwan. The reason: only an independent Taiwan can sure its sovereignty.
●Stop infighting, please!
Next, on the 15th spot, is Non-Partisan Solidarity Alliance (無黨團結聯盟). It emphasizes reforming the Legislative Yuan in such a way that it will focus on economic development and people's livelihood, rather than repeating an endless cycle of political struggles.
Non-Partisan Solidarity Alliance cares about the rights and interests of people living in off-shore islands and remote rural areas, and aboriginal and new immigrant communities.
It also advocates legal subsidies for young parents, establishing safe, fairly priced and well managed child care and pre-school institutions and providing "rare elements" nutrients to school-age kids.
Another platform of this party that might attract young voters and lower-income people is "massive construction of social housing units that are for rent only, not for sale."
●A fringe party that loves China
No. 16 is New Party, also an off-shoot of the KMT. It insists on its pro-China stance and boasts that had there been a New Party caucus in the Legislature over the past four years, Taiwan's trade-in-services pact with China would definitely have passed the legislative floor.
Only a New Party legislative caucus could call the bluff of all greedy and infighting lawmakers of the so-called mainstream parties and force Taiwan to face a rising China rationally. "We will embrace the mainland (Chinese) market and share the opportunities and glory of a rising Greater China," it says.
Its social policy, though, is very conservative. It opposes abolishment of death penalty, same-sex marriage, and police-bullying demonstrators.
●Preventive health care
No. 17 is an odd-ball single-purpose party called National Health Service Alliance (NHSA, 健保免費連線 ) which is supported by former Health Minister Yaung Chih-liang and former Legislator Hsu Jung-shu.
The national health care system should be operated on the principle of preventive medicine that promotes natural cures and traditional medical arts while busting profit-oriented medical industry, says the Alliance.
By nationalizing all aspects of health care and taking references from Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand and North European counties, its envisioned Free Health Care system would force the current "corporate-controlled government" to surrender to people's real wishes.
●Finally, give me peace
Last, at No. 18, is Tree Party whose novel ideas include holding a referendum on Taiwan's planned participation in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership and moving the capital city to "various regions" based on the administrative objectives of each of the Cabinet ministries.
While its central platform remains "protecting the environment and animals and promoting youth participation in the political process," Tree Party calls for publicly funded elections and giving 18-year-olds the right to vote and stand for elections.
It also proposes setting up a "Ministry of Peace" to make Taiwan a permanently neutral country whose national defense will not rely on the military alone but on an "all citizens" defense system.
●Colorful platforms betray Taiwan's vibrant democracy (1)
●Colorful platforms betray Taiwan's vibrant democracy (2)