The Interaction between the Amendment Issue and Party Identification:Voting Behavior under Proportional Representation in the National Assembly Election





Published date: 

December, 2008


Ding-ming Wang


Three hundred National Assemblymen were elected to make the Constitutional amendment in May 2005. Since the National Assembly itself was abolished as a result of this amendment, these so-called missionary assembly representatives became the first and last of their kind. The implications of this amendment election are as follows. First, compared with the general Congressmen, the duty of the amendment representatives is very straightforward. Since each party and alliance is required to express its amendment standpoint in advance, voters have better information as to why they are voting and also for what reason. Second, the conventional party spectrum was realigned momentarily during this campaign. Both the DPP and KMT supported the amendment standpoint, while other pan-blue and pan-green representatives stood together to veto the proposal. Third, proportional representation has been adopted for the first time in Taiwan. We also have implemented a national single list system that corresponds to this system, which is very rare in other countries.

This paper makes a couple of observations that differ from those of previous electoral studies. First, the importance of four major amendment bills is not consistent. Of the four amendment issues, the electoral reform for the Legislative Yuan has played the most important role for the voters. Second, the voter's independence/unification preference has turned out to be insignificant in this election. Furthermore, party identification and ethnic identification have also been inconsequential. Such a result is essentially important in the sense that it surpasses the fairy tale of party identification and political ideology in explaining Taiwan’s voting behavior.