Vol.28 No.1

Date of publication: 2021-05
cover
The Effect of Social Context on Individual Vote Choices: Evidence from Taiwan’s 2016 Presidential Election
pp.01-52
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In recent years, the internet has become more and more important in elections.Since the internet has become a major source of information for voters whilst also providing a platform for people to discuss politics, it can be concluded that the internet has a major impact on voters’ decisions. Therefore, it has become important for more studies to be focused on this phenomenon. Due to the social nature of the internet with the fast-paced societal changes which it brings about, this study uses a sociological approach of voting behavior to understanding this phenomenon. However, this does not suggest that the internet and new social media are eclipsing the more traditional forms of social contexts. Instead, this study suggests that new social media and social contexts are indicative of new and interesting changes taking place.

This study concentrates on the 2016 presidential election and specifically looks
at different contextual factors. These include social environment, interpersonal discussion, traditional media and social media. This research conducted both a telephone survey and a web survey. After controlling for party identification, we find that interpersonal discussion and TV news have significant effects on voter choice in the telephone survey. Social media only showed their impact in the web survey. Ourresearch suggests that we cannot ignore social context factors.
Professor, Department of Public Policy and Management, Shih Hsin University. E-mail:
jwj@mail.shu.edu.tw

Associate Professor, Center of Holistic Education, Mackay Medical College. E-mail:
zhang@mmc.edu.tw(corresponding author)

Assistant Professor, Department of International Business, Tamkang University. E-mail:
134660@mail.tku.edu.tw
The Phenomenon and Interpretation of Removal of the Party Labels: Evidence from the 2018 Local Elections in Taiwan
pp.53-102
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Political parties enlist voter support from electoral mobilization. It not only helps the party’s candidate win the election but also cultivates political talents and builds the party’s strength for sustainable development. In the election of local public officials in 2018, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led to social controversy due to the implementation of a few reform policies in the central government, which led to a significant reduction in the seats of mayors and county magistratesand a decline in the share of votes. On the contrary, the Kuomintang (KMT) benefited from the atmosphere of “Dislike DPP,” and the “Han Wave (韓流)” originated in Kaohsiung city, which made a huge gain in the mayor and county magistrate elections and got higher vote shares. From the perspective of party politics, beneath the surface of one party’s gain and another party’s loss in the local-level elections, one topic that deserves attention is whether the political power of the political parties in local politics has changed after Taiwan has experienced three times party alternations? And from the perspective of the analysis of the aggregate data, what is the political meaning of the topic of removing the party label in the local election?

This study mainly took the 2018 local public officers’ elections in Taiwan as an example. We collects the data of the local elections in the past 10 years and cross-checks the results of the national referendum held at the same time as the 2018 election. The methods which are used in this study to examine difference and correlation of votes gained by the DPP, KMT, and independent candidates in various levels of local elections included descriptive statistics, data visualization, analysis of (partial) correlation, ecological regression, and principal component analysis. The findings including: (1) the phenomenon of de-labeling of political parties in the lower-level elections is more obvious in local elections, especially the KMT label; (2) while the party label will still reduce the votes of independent candidates, but the party label may also be hidden in the election; (3) the voter’s attitude towards referendum issues can assist in judging their political affiliation and establishing an “alternative”political map; (4) in addition to mayoral elections, the more support the KMT’s position, the less vote for independent candidates.
Research Assistant, Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica. E-mail: as0191121@gate.sinica.edu.tw.

Research Fellow, Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica. E-mail: polclw@gate.sinica.edu.tw.
Social Distance and Cross-Strait Relations:Taiwanese Attitudes toward the Independence/Unification Issue
pp.103-148
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This study probes Taiwanese perception of social distance toward China and its impact on their political attitudes toward the issue of independence/unification. Taking advantage of social distance and social identity theories from social psychology, we hypothesize that the Taiwanese people with a smaller perceived social distance toward China would indicate an inclination for China unification; otherwise, they would prefer Taiwan’s independence. We modify the relational models theory to construct two variables to approximate social distance: we ask respondents first whether they regard China as a family member or a partner, and second, whether China views Taiwan as a family member or a partner. To examine our arguments, we utilize the “2019 Survey of the Image of China” to investigate the association between different types of relational cognitions and their impacts on cross-Strait relations. The findings by and large confirm the validity of the relational models
theory, revealing that the Taiwanese electorate is prone to support unification when
it perceives a closer social distance toward China. The results also demonstrate that
those who are willing to accept China as an in-group tend to expect reciprocity from
China. In contrast, those perceiving a greater social distance toward China exhibit ambivalent independence/unification preferences; they express less intimate attitudes but also do not exhibit great hostility toward China.
Assistant Professor, Department of Diplomacy and International Relations, Tamkang Univer-
sity.
Opposition Parties’ Electoral Strategies and the Defeat of Dominant Parties: An Empirical Study of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) and the 2018 Malaysian General Election
pp.149-189
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Since Malaysia’s independence in 1957, the United Malay National Organization (UMNO)-led Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government governed Malaysia for 61 years, maintaining a competitive authoritarian system. However, Malaysia experienced its first-ever party turnover in May 2018. To understand the reason why Malaysia’s competitive authoritarian system collapsed, the existing literature suggests two key explanations for BN’s electoral defeat: increasing urbanization, and Mahathir causing a split among the governing elites. Combining the theoretical perspectives of party politics and ethnic voting, this paper argues that Parti Islam Se-Malaysia’s (Malaysian Islamic Party, PAS) change of policy objective also was a factor in explaining BN’s electoral defeat. Specifically, the PAS changed its goal from “office-seeking” to “policy seeking.” In order to promote Islam, the PAS cut ties with the opposition coalition that it had joined for the past 20 years, because the Democratic Action Party (DAP) conflicted with the PAS with respect to its Islamization policy. The PAS established a new party coalition and focused on promoting Islam, which helped the PAS gain support from the Malay Muslim voters who had not voted for PAS because of its previous alliance with the DAP. Accordingly, this study hypothesizes that the PAS undermined BN’s electoral performance. To test this hypothesis, this study conducts a quantitative analysis using data from 165 electoral districts in West Malaysia. The empirical results demonstrate that BN’s electoral support was largely undermined in the districts where the PAS contested the election.
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Last modification time: 2021-07-06 14:56:16