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3 article(s) found.
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.
Assistant Professor, Department of International Business, Tamkang University;Professor, Department of Public Policy and Management, Shin Hsin University.
Effects of Survey Questionnaire Design: A Random Experiment in Measuring Political Knowledge as an Example (in Chinese) Download
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A survey is designed to explore the participants’ opinions, attitudes and actions towards certain topics. The amount of information possessed by participants is not the only factor that influences their willingness to participate; question types and options design also influence participants’ responses. In reality, given cost constraints and questionnaire length, it is not feasible to provide a multiple survey design for a single concept, or to verify participants' response mode under different survey designs. This study used an experimental design to measure political knowledge from Taiwan’s Election and Democratization Study (TEDS) as an example, based on (1) an “open-ended vs. close-ended” question design; (2) whether it provides “non-response” as an option, to design four different types of surveys. The study uses a posttest-only control group design with university students as participants. We randomly released the questionnaires to participants and had 1,110 valid questionnaires.
The study found that question type and non-response design affects the participant response mode; a close-ended questionnaire design does increase the correct response ratio from participants, but it also produces a higher proportion of incorrect answers than an open-ended questionnaire. An openended
questionnaire design does not have options as reference, and so it could lower the willingness of participants to take part in the survey, and it therefore resulted in a higher non-response ratio. From the composite design of question type and non-response option, we were able to precisely estimate types of participants as in Mondak (1999), but the combinations of different types of participants vary significantly as results from the level of difficulties in a questionnaire designed to measure political knowledge.
Wen-jong Juang, Associate Professor, Department of Public Policy and Management, Shin Hsin University.
Mei-rong Lin, Assistant Professor, Department of International Business, Tamkang University.
An Index or a Scale? Measuring Political Knowledge in TEDS (in Chinese) Download
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Citizens’ political knowledge has always been believed as an important dimension of the quality of democracy. A citizenry that possesses basic knowledge of political affairs is helpful for the development of democracy. Although many political scientists have theoretically explored the origins and determinants of political knowledge, as well as empirically developed a number of measurement techniques to gauge the level of citizens’ political knowledge and in turn analyze its relationship with other concepts, at present the evidence for the effectiveness of these techniques is still lacking. That is, from a methodological perspective, discussion about the reliability and validity of political knowledge measures is rare, let alone an analysis of whether the degree of difficulty of questionnaire items that were created by using a composite measurement method is sufficient in distinguishing citizens with different levels of political knowledge. In fact, whether in the end these composite measurement items should be considered as an index or a scale currently draws little scholarly interest. The study’s objective is to examine the validity of political knowledge items found in the 2012 TEDS, and to verify whether or not the questions, in addition of possessing the form of an index, also fit the special structure of a Guttman scale.

The study has obtained the following research findings. First, TEDS has seven questions that cover different aspects of political knowledge, but there seems to be too many measures focusing on political figures. Second, level of political knowledge is found to have a statistically significant and consistent relationship with individual background variables which founded in past research, thus indicating that the measurement validity is satisfactory. Third, although the seven questions’ degrees of difficulty are within the range (between 0.1 and 0.9) set by convention, there remains room for improvement in the difficulty levels between questions. Fourth, the survey questionnaire items measuring political knowledge fit the logical structure of a Guttman scale, and are cumulative in nature. Last, from standpoint of scale construction, items measuring political knowledge can be simplified further, although future surveys may also consider designing – and incorporating – questions of appropriate difficulty level that are related to the role of government, policy accomplishments, or political environment, thereby increasing the item discrimination power of the political knowledge scale.