Regular Issue

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Volume #13, Number #1

Published in June, 2009

This paper explores the motives of legislators in seeking distributive benefits for their districts. Based on the perspective of distributive theory, the authors seek to determine whether the legislators of the Taiwan’s 6th Legislative Yuan are about to change their bill-initiation behavior, compared with the legislators of the 5th Legislative Yuan, due to the upcoming changes in the electoral system (i.e. to reduce members by 50% and replace the SNTV by a single-member-district). The negative binomial model is used to explore the factors that would affect the bill-initiation behavior of legislators favoring distributive benefits for their districts. The analyses of the negative binomial model reveal a significant effect of district size on the initiation of distributive bills in the 5th Legislative Yuan. The larger the district size is, the fewer the incentives that the legislators have, to pursue distributive policy interests. However, the statistical results do not exhibit a significant effect of district size on the initiation of distributive bills in the 6th Legislative Yuan in the sense that the discrepancies in terms of bill initiation among legislators from districts of different sizes are reduced. To be specific speaking, compared with the 5th Legislative Yuan, legislators who are from large districts in the 6th Legislative Yuan tend to initiate more distributive bills. The same pattern is also found among the 6th Legislators Yuan’s legislators who were elected from medium-sized of districts. However, this is not true for the legislators of small districts. These findings imply that the impact of the upcoming changes in the electoral system is more likely to be felt by the legislators who are from larger districts as opposed to those from smaller ones. In sum, this paper finds a significant effect of district size on the legislators’ distributive bill initiation behavior. It also finds that the impact of the coming changes in the electoral system on legislative behavior is already at work before it goes into effect. These findings have implications for distributive politics in Taiwan.

Ching-jyuhn Luor, Chien-liang Liao

The imagination regarding China, Taiwan and their relationship has changed during the democratization in Taiwan. Through the concept of ‘moral horizon’, this paper aims at illustrating how the imagination has been transformed by means of Lung Ying-tai’s works. As Taiwan’s democratization represents a shift from a Sino-centered Weltanschauung to Taiwanese subjective consciousness, Lung’s sense of national identity has changed from Chinese to Taiwanese. However, her Chinese cultural identity remains, or is even strengthened. On the one hand, political freedom related to nation and citizen has led to a change in Lung’s sense of national identity; by emphasizing the importance of economic freedom, Lung tries to advocate China by using the morals of the globalization era, on the other. In scrutinizing Lung’s narratives, this paper indicates that liberalism plays a central role in the construction of political legitimacy. However, liberalism is not static but is manifested by political liberalism during the transitional period, and is turned into economic liberalism in order to moralize China during the consolidation period.

Ming-feng Liu

This article studies the career paths of China’s political elites in the reform era, through quantitative analyses of the elites who have held on to provincial gubernatorial or ministry level positions within the Chinese government and communist party over the period from March 1978 to March 2008. Even though the rise of technocrats has recently drawn much attention from scholars, the career path of political elites remains an overlooked topic, which has not been explored systematically. Given the organizational logic, the author argues that the adjustment to the party’s course in 1978 was basically initiated and designed according to the party leader’s preferences. Since the CCP was not obliged to fundamentally change its party’s course, the intension and extension of member adjustment would be limited to the purpose of maintaining the CCP’s dictatorship. This organizational rationale has led to a consistent pattern of career paths for elites in China since 1978. Specifically, the technocrats without the political loyalty approved by the CCP would be replaced over time while those who hold strong political credentials, such as party-position experience could be promoted quickly. Such a career pattern reveals the unique way in which the regime has evolved in China, which seeks a balance between the survival prerequisite of one-party dictatorship and the functional target of economic development.

Hsin-hao Huang

Relocation involves a variety of aspects, which makes this issue more complicated. Based on previous experience, lack of stakeholders’ endorsement to the policy contents is one of the reasons why it is seldom to see successful cases for relocation for reducing losses from natural hazards. Accordingly, this study explores the political feasibility analysis of relocation for natural hazard mitigation from the viewpoint of New Institutionalism. The methods included are the methods of stakeholder analysis, interview, list of political feasibility, and scenario writing. With all the methods, this study discusses the motives, beliefs, resources, positions, and influences of stakeholders on the relocation policy of Teng-Zhi Tribe, Kaoshiung County. Hopefully, through political feasibility analysis, we can strengthen our abilities for policy formulation, and also understand the motives, beliefs, and positions of participants.

Yu-chang Ke

This article examines the formation and electoral effects of the “united campaign strategy” used by the DPP in the Taipei and Kaohsiung City elections. This campaign strategy is a peculiarly maneuvered under SNTV electoral system. Its unique feature is that, instead of campaigning alone, the candidates from a party step up their campaigns as a union to facilitate the allocation of votes, namely “vote equalization”. The empirical evidence indicates that the formation of this strategy is primarily connected with the rational thinking of a party and its candidates. The goals of this strategy are to raise the chances of winning, to decrease the campaign funds, to equalize the votes for candidates, and to optimize the party’s vote shares and seats. Based on an analysis of the outcomes of the comparative research design, “a united campaign” and “vote equalization” strategy does not have the positive electoral effects mentioned above without some contributing factors, such as the party’s nominating strategy and the gap in the approval rates among candidates. Even though there is changes are taking place in the Legislative Yuan’s electoral system, a united campaign and vote equalization strategy will still play an important role in the local legislative elections, which are still under the SNTV system.

Chang-chih Lin