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Aspects of local politics in Taiwan Y’s Day “Wednesday Youth Day” explores who is the owner of the land

The 27th show of Y’s Day “Wednesday Youth Day” was held on the evening of the 15th. From left to right on the stage were Shen Youzhong, Yan Wanling, Chen Fangyu, Zhang Chenyu, Chen Naiyu, and Dong Siqi.Picture: Provided by Y’s Day “Youth Wednesday”

[Newtalk新聞] On the evening of the 15th, Taiwan Public Policy, Taiwan Think Tank, Taiwan Civil Rights Alliance, Taiwan Youth Foundation, Taiwan Professors Association, China Central Radio, New Head Shell, Taiwan Inspirational Association, Asian Political Economics and Peace Exchange Association and US Taiwan Watch United States Taiwan The Observatory, the Taiwan Young Lawyers Association, and the Hello Taiwan Association jointly held the 27th session of Y’s Day “Wednesday Youth Day” (the 3rd session of the “Seeing Taiwan” series) at the Scienjoy Forest Cafe. The theme was: “Who is the land?” The master? A look at Taiwan’s local politics.”

The host of this event, Assistant Professor Chen Fangyu of the Department of Political Science at Soochow University, said, “All politics are local politics.” This is a wise saying that political science tells us. However, for many people who study or work in other places, they are often not familiar with their hometowns; even local people may not understand local political disputes, but these political networks have a profound impact on our lives. On all levels. This lecture cuts through the perspective of local politics and provides a discussion framework for “Understanding Hometown.”

Dr. Dong Siqi, deputy CEO of Taiwan Think Tank, who is also the convener of Taiwan Public Policy Interest Group, said that whenever we mention local politics, the first keyword that comes to mind is “local factions”, and these factions mainly rely on ethnic groups. Local sub-groups formed by kinship, clan, geography, blood or interest relationships, often in the form of grassroots offices, agricultural and fishermen associations, water conservancy associations, women’s associations, volunteer police, civil defense or temples, etc., and are often associated with kidnappers Negative impressions such as piles, package projects and black gold are equated.

Dong Siqi said that the reason why Taiwan had such a political culture in the past can be traced back to the retreat of the Kuomintang government to Taiwan. Due to the insufficient foundation of rule in Taiwan, there was an urgent need to consolidate local gentry and important people to strengthen the legitimacy of government rule and benefit the country. The method of transportation thus creates a special relationship of “servant of patronage”. However, local factions do not have specific political ideas. They control local politics in a profit-oriented manner. Although they have become a force that cannot be ignored by political parties, they have also caused a major obstacle to the deepening of Taiwan’s democracy.

Dong Siqi said that after the March 18th student movement, youth participation in politics became a craze in Taiwan and they also achieved considerable results in elections. Changes such as those in the Central Second District gradually dismantled the long-term monopoly of local factions in the local area. In recent years, the widespread establishment of youth advisory committees or county and city government youth bureaus in various places has also helped to inject a new and progressive force into Taiwanese politics. Dong Siqi hopes that by reading books and “arming themselves with knowledge,” Taiwanese youth can inherit the spirit of their democratic predecessors and continue to change the phenomenon of local factions monopolizing politics, promote the deepening of Taiwan’s democracy, and strive to build Taiwan into a political community for different generations. .

Yan Wanling, director of the Tainan Sprout Association and editor of the “Taiwan Local Politics Reader”, said that she has long been exploring various possibilities for discussing local politics and encouraging ordinary people to “approach” and “use” politics, because “near-use” politics is the core of contemporary civil society. Attitude is most needed. The 10 articles introduced by Yan Wanling in “Taiwan Local Politics Reader” cover important topics of local politics, explaining what “air votes” and “organization votes” are, and how companies, farmers’ associations and local factions influence local politics. Yan Wanling hopes to encourage readers to pay more attention to local political changes and trends in their daily lives, and then invest in and change political systems that seem to have “nothing to do with us.”

Zhang Chenyu, editor of “Social Affairs – Victory Manual for the Powerful: 50 Keywords in Taiwan’s Local Political History” said that when compiling this book, he found that local groups tried every means to make money and used gray means to control projects, even for well-known listed companies. Companies that go to local construction sites need to provide “good-neighbor money” from the “pier”. Otherwise, “accidents” such as tools being subcontracted, materials not being delivered, temporary workers not being recruited, etc. will happen one after another. In addition, Zhang Chenyu mentioned that money power has introduced new ways of intervening in local politics and elections, and now even uses gambling and virtual currency to bribe votes to avoid leaving evidence. This can be said to be advancing with the times.

New Taipei City Council Member Chen Naiyu shared her experience as a front-line political practitioner. She revealed that the most frequently asked question when running for election is: “Are you so-and-so’s daughter?” It seems that if you don’t have a family blood relationship, you shouldn’t participate. Politics, but that’s not right. Chen Naiyu said that Taiwan’s unique political ecology is that public opinion representatives are expected to attend “red and white posts” at weddings and funerals. People seem to want to see people’s representatives come to power and donate money to “sponsor” them on specific occasions to be considered “serious”, but they ignore the people in the parliament. Real political oversight, budget reviews and legal proposals often leave young political workers feeling very frustrated and alone.

Shen Youzhong, a professor at the Department of Political Science at Tunghai University, analyzed that during the period of authoritarian rule, the Kuomintang, as a foreign power, needed “agents” to help govern local areas. This was the background for local factions to control local politics. Later, the cycle of “using gold to seize power” and “using power to support gold” continued to form a local “gold power” culture, which was controlled by families through marriage or hereditary inheritance, forming a bad custom similar to “feudalism”. Shen Youzhong hopes that more young people will participate in politics, inject vitality and vitality into local politics, so that the owners of the land can truly become the real head of the land, take root downwards, and become the nutrients for the deepening of democracy.

After the discussion, the host and young people also discussed “How to choose good public opinion representatives?”, “Are local factions a necessary evil?”, “The light and dark sides of local politics”, and “How does Tainan’s new sprouts supervise local politics?” , “Local government’s management of historical buildings” and other questions were raised, and the panelists also analyzed and answered them one by one in depth.

Y’s Day “Wednesday Youth Day” series of activities continues, and the 27th event and the 4th event of the “Connecting the World Series” will be held at the Scienjo Forest on the evening of November 22. The theme is “There is trouble in China, and there is trouble in the world! Details “The Past and Present Life of the Indo-Pacific Strategy” was hosted by Chen Fangyu, Assistant Professor of the Department of Political Science at Soochow University, and invited Professor Guo Yuren of the Institute of China and the Asia-Pacific Region at Sun Yat-sen University to give the lecture, Professor Ma Zhunwei, Assistant Professor of the Institute of International Affairs and Strategy of Tamkang University, and Professor Ma Zhunwei of the Institute of International Affairs and Strategy of Tamkang University. Song Wendi, a Ph.D. from the University’s School of Asia and the Pacific, and Dr. Dong Siqi, Convener of Public Policy Interests/Deputy CEO of Taiwan Think Tank, held talks. Everyone is welcome to sign up to participate.

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The 27th session of Y's Day
The 27th session of Y’s Day “Wednesday Youth Day” was held on the evening of the 15th. Y’s Day「Youth Day on Wednesday」

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