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3 article(s) found.
Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration, Tamkang University.
The Perception of Issue Salience and Its Influence on the Evaluation of Government Performance
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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.
Wang-ying Yang, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, National Cheng-Chi University.
Pei-ting Lin, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science, National Cheng-Chi University.
Why Do Women Vote for Ma? The Gender Gap in the 2008 Presidential Election (in Chinese) Download
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Since the direct presidential election was held in Taiwan 12 years ago, for the first time a significant voting gender gap appeared in the 2008 presidential election. Women voters supported candidate Ma which boosted him winning the president election. This study attempts to explore why there was such a substantial gender gap in that election. To explain the gender gap, we first compared the factors in explaining voting decision-candidate evaluation, issue positions, socioeconomic factors, and party identification, to see if gender gap exists in these factors. Furthermore, we applied the logit models to examine whether gender differences in these factors lead to voting gender gap. The models show that although gender gaps were evident on voters' candidate evaluation, party identification, some issue positions and socioeconomic conditions, not all of these differences translated into voting gender gaps. Gender differences in party identification remained the strongest factor in explaining gender difference in voting choices. Comparatively, the voting gender gap caused by party identification is evident in that women were less likely to identify with pan-Green party, and pan-Green women might vote across their party line. We further examine respectively the interaction between voters' party identification and candidate factor, and the interaction between voters' party identification and issue evaluation. The results show that candidate factor is not the underlying factor linking the gender gap in party identification and voting gender gap. But the distance of issue positions between voters and parties/candidates on social welfare and environment might explain why women voters identify differently from men with parties and how these differences transfer into voting gender gaps.
Emile C. J. Sheng, Assistant professor at Department of Political Science, Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan.
President Elections Forecast-Using Feeling Thermometer to Predict Undecided Voters (in Chinese) Download
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In election forecast, the ability to predict the intentions of undecided voters plays an important role in determining its accuracy. This article uses discriminant analysis with demographic variables, issue positions, and attitudinal variables, respectively, to classify voters who stated their voting preferences. We found that comparatively speaking, attitudinal variables can correctly classify voters with the highest percentage, followed by issue positions and demographic variables. However, none of the above models displayed satisfying results, not even the combined model including all three types of variables. Therefore, there are reasonable doubts employing these variables to construct models predicting the vote intention of undecided voters. The author then attempts to use feeling thermometer scores to classify voters who expressed their vote intention sand to predict the inclinations of undecided voters. After contrasting the results with the actual election outcome, we found that feeling thermometer scores have better discriminant power than previous models. The author also found that among the supporters of the three major candidates, ideologically speaking, Chen Shui-Bian's and Lian Chan's supporters are furthest away from each other on their average positions, while James Soong's supporters' average ideological position is closest to that of Lien Chan's supporters.