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280 article(s) found.
The Effect of Social Context on Individual Vote Choices: Evidence from Taiwan’s 2016 Presidential Election
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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
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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
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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
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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.
Associate Professor, Department of Hakka Language and Social Sciences, National Central University.
The Electoral System and Ethnic Politics: The Case of Legislative Redistricting in Hsinchu County Download
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The design of the electoral system includes seats, voting, and electoral districts. From the Seventh Legislative Yuan, the single electoral district and the two-vote system have been adopted. According to Article 35 of the “Civil Servants Election and Recall Act,” seat distribution in the Legislative Yuan is reconsidered every 10 years to account for changes in the population. In 2020, the number of lawmakers’ seats increased from 1 to 2 in Hsinchu County. This study employs a literature review to explore the voting system and legislative redistricting, as well as voting-behavior theory to discuss the issue of redrawing electoral districts in Hsinchu County. The findings include: (1) The legislators’ electoral districts of Hsinchu County are divided into a “Minnan-Hakka mixed constituency” and a “Hakka constituency”. Learning from Miaoli’s experience, Hsinchu may have one Minnan lawmaker and one Hakka lawmaker. (2) In or-der to win the 2020 legislative election, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is employing a new campaign strategy, namely, the “dual identity of political parties and ethnic groups” model, via nominating Hakka candidates in Hsinchu and Miaoli.
PhD student, National Development Department, National Taiwan University.
Professor, Department of Sociology, Tunghai University
Public Orientation on the Nuclear-free Homeland Issue: A Big-Data Analysis of Online Comments Download
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In November 2018, a nuclear-free homeland issue in Taiwan was rejected by voters in a nuclear referendum. A question thus arises: When voters are making a choice over a type of energy source, do they consider only the pros and cons of the issue, or do political emotions underlie their decision? Our study aims to answer this through a big-data analysis. Compared to 2016, we find that negative online comments concerning Tsai Ing-wen, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and a nuclear-free homeland increased during 2018, basically matching various polls with a relatively small amplitude of variation. The inference of “when the public is more dissatisfied with Tsai and the DPP administration, they become more opposed to a nuclear-free homeland issue” supports this finding. One potential reason could, in part, be the influence of political emotions. Dissatisfaction toward Tsai and the DPP administration by the public appears to have extended to DPP-related issues such as the nuclear-free homeland issue. In terms of negative online comments, compared with the topic of Tsai, the topic of the DPP greatly influences the topic of a nuclear-free homeland and vice versa. In others words, negative online comments of a nuclear-free homeland are more likely to increase if negative online comments of the DPP increase.
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Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration, Tamkang University.
The Perception of Issue Salience and Its Influence on the Evaluation of Government Performance Download
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Issue position is undoubtedly an important factor in accounting for individuals’ political attitudes and behaviors from the approach of rational choice. But the possibility that the perception of issue salience plays a moderating variable has been neglected in the literature. It is hypothesized in this study that people are more likely to be aware of their and the parties’ positions on a particular issue when they consider the issue important. Meanwhile, people tend to exaggerate the distance between major parties’ positions on such an issue. People’s perception of issue salience, therefore, shapes their political attitudes.
Survey data are used in this study to analyze people’s perception of salience regarding “unification-independent “and “nuclear power” in order to examine their hypothesized role of moderating variables shaping people’s evaluation of government performance. It is found that the results of data analysis support the above hypotheses. However, such results depend on the nature of the issues. If people hold rigid attitudes toward an issue over the long term, its moderating effects on shaping people’s political attitudes are reduced.
Professor, Dept. of Civic Education and Leadership, National Taiwan Normal University.
Critical Citizens in Taiwan Revisited: 2008-2016 Download
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From a typological perspective, this paper addresses Taiwanese citizens’ attitudes to democracy and applies the modernization paradigm and the ‘election losers’ explanation to clarify the origins of critical citizens. By examining the TEDS survey data conducted after the three presidential elections held from
2008 to 2016, we find that, first, the proportion of critical citizens remained stable over time, while those of the other types changed along with the election results. Second, the comparison across different types of democratic attitudes suggests that critical citizens in Taiwan hold some critical traits, but they are older citizens rather than representatives of the young generation as expected. Also, the explanation that ‘election losers tend to be critical citizens’ can be confirmed only when the green camp of voters is on the losing side; when the blue camp loses the election, voters on the losing side are inclined to be democratic alienators, carrying negative implications for democratic legitimacy. Overall, the critical citizens in Taiwan originate from the combination of the modernization paradigm and the election-losers explanation. The findings of this paper imply that democratic legitimacy in Taiwan continues to deepen after two elections resulting in a change in the ruling party; however, the young generation’s view and electoral competition, as shown, may result in different meanings.