Party Transformation Toward “Election Machine” and the Construction of Its Relationship with Government: The Experience of KMT(2000~2012)





Published date: 

December, 2013


Hong-ming Chen


This study tries to explore KMT's transformation and type of its relationships with government from 2000 to 2012. This paper discusses one of the most important issues during this period: the transformation with a major purpose of becoming “election machine”, and the relationships between party organization and government caused by this transformation, especially about constructing problems of whether president should be the chairman of the ruling party at the same time when KMT held the reins of government again in 2008. From contemporary research issues on political parties, this study deal both with “political organizations” and “political parties and the government”.

The findings reveal that the transformation of KMT to become “election machine” is the dominant opinion within the party, however, the contents of it are not specific enough. And, though after 2000 there was a certain degree of organization reform in KMT, but using the academic definition of “election machine” to measure it, KMT has not put the concept into practice, which explains why KMT was not essentially transformed before 2012. Furthermore, though the KMT is a catch-all party, but it did not fundamentally transformed into a electoral-professional party and still maintains the feature of a mass bureaucratic party. But the ruling party under semi-presidentialism could become a mere “election machine”? From the experience of the KMT, it is not the case. Finally, after KMT became the ruling party again in 2008, its elites faced with the challenge of building party-government relationship. The President Ma Ying-jeou served as the party chairman which strengthened president's control of political parties.