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Title: The Paradox of the National Identity Issue in Chen Shui-bian's 2004 Presidential Campaign: Base Constituencies vs. the Moderate Middle
Authors: Clark, Cal
Keywords: presidential elections;campaign strategy;Chen Shui-bian;national identity;party competition
Date: 2005-03
Issue Date: 2016-10-24 15:23:32 (UTC+8)
Abstract: The 2004 presidential election in Taiwan was certainly dramatic: in a bitterly contested race, incumbent President Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won by the razor-thin margin of 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent. In addition, the issue dynamics of the election took a surprising turn, at least from the perspectives of both political science theory and recent historical trends in Taiwan's electoral politics. Chen Shui-bian clearly centered his campaign on an appeal to Taiwanese nationalism, seemingly giving more importance to activating his base constituency than to appealing to the moderate middle of less ideologically committed voters. This contradicted the normal tendency of politicians and parties to appeal to the median voter which had marked Taiwan politics during the 1990s, when the ma] or parties moved toward the center on the inter-linked issues of national identity and cross-Strait relations. There appear to be three possible explanations for Chen Shui-bian's victory. The first is that the outcome was determined by idiosyncratic factors, in particular the failed assassination attempt on President Chen and Vice-President Lu Hsiu-lien on the eve of the election. Second, there is at least some evidence that the growth of a Taiwanese identity has changed both the nature of public opinion on this issue and its political consequences. Finally, President Chen has been fairly skillful in creating strategic ambiguity about his pursuit of Taiwanese nationalism, a skillfulness which almost certainly has helped him at the polls. In combination, these three explanations suggest that appealing to the DPP ”base” turned out to be an inspired strategy.
Relation: Issues & Studies,41(1),53-86
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[Issues & Studies] 期刊論文

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