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Volume #14, Number #1

Published in June, 2010

In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court’s treatment of commercial speech has undergone transformations, from total non-protection under the First Amendment to less protection or even to qualified protection. However, why is commercial speech entitled to only less protection? The
transformations indicate that commercial speech may not be less valuable than political speech according to truth or individual rationale but not democratic rationale. Even though the Court has not been unanimous on the issue, there are plenty of important precedents and studies in the U.S. Despite significant alterations in judicial outcomes in recent years, certain aspects of commercial speech may be much the same as before, and the theoretical justification for this deferential approach has thus far not been clearly spelled out. Compared with that, Judicial Yuan interpretations and academic discussions on commercial speech are still limited in Taiwan. This paper will sum up the main treatments of the Courts and review the main claims and viewpoints of that topic in both countries.

Weber H. W. Lai

In a democracy that features elections as the main mechanism for its representative government, the interests and values of minority, disadvantaged and non-mainstream groups in the pluralistic society can never be fully pursued and reflected. On the other hand, under the increasing influence of globalization, the importance and jurisdiction scope of the agencies which are capitalist in nature inside the executive branch have specifically crowded out other socially functioning agencies which aim to mainly serve minority, disadvantaged and non-mainstream groups. Thus, doubly confined by the representational deficit of representative government and the institutional imbalance of the executive branch, the notion and theory of representative bureaucracy has been brought forth into the contemporary study of public administration. It also facilitates the representation of various branches in terms of race, ethnic groups and gender via the personnel composition of bureaucracy. These efforts are to protect minority, disadvantaged and non-mainstream groups so as to ensure the core values of democracy. Furthermore, in regard to the protection of ethnic groups, a modern government shall further institutionalize representative bureaucracy by establishing representative agencies for respective ethnic groups in order to ensure their respective interests and values. However, to avoid bureaucratic partiality and better justify the representative agencies for ethnic groups, this article further analyzes the development course of citizenship and the related ideological background of cultural citizenship. This article then focuses on the functions of representative agencies for ethnic groups in Taiwan in order to explore the features of the representative agencies for ethnic groups while looking at Taiwan’s historic development course and social-political context. In conclusion, this article proposes relevant policy recommendations with a culturally competent public administration in mind for the executive branch in order to protect the interests and values of ethnic groups, and foster harmonious relationships among various ethnic groups.

Way Sun

Voters are nested in electoral districts and are therefore often affected by the macro-level characteristics of the districts. By incorporating both the individual-level and district-level variables, we construct a two-level model to analyze voters’ voting choices on the single-member-district ballot in the 2008 legislative election. We find that indeed some theoretically important variables at both levels play significant roles in voters’ decisions. At the micro level, we confirm that candidate evaluation, party identification, political generation, ethnic origin, as well as ethnic identity are significant factors. Furthermore, the evaluation of the then President Chen Shuibian’s performance also figures significantly; that is, the more negative the evaluation is, the less likely it is for a voter to vote for the DPP candidate. This finding fits the expectations from the referendum voting and retrospective voting theories. At the district level, on the other hand, we also find that regardless of whether the candidate is an incumbent legislature, whether the candidate’s party affiliation coincides with that of the county magistrate/city mayor, the unemployment rate in the area, as well as the percentage of population in the farming and fishery industries also affect voters’ choices. In particular, we find that in the 2008 legislature election voters in districts with a higher percentage of population in the farming and fishery industries were more likely to vote for the KMT candidates. This may indicate that the KMT has more or less maintained its mobilization capability through local networks in rural areas.

Yi-ching Hsiao, Chi Huang

Contrary relations between utility and beauty are conceived by Han Fei: one is that the two are incompatible and utility should take the place of beauty, while the other has to do with redefining beauty in light of utility, and thus not only making the two compatible, but also having the former provide support to the latter. How these contrasting relations between utility and beauty constitute a major portion of his political philosophy is the concern of this study. Han Fei’s political philosophy rests on, among other things, what Tocqueville called individualism, or the pursuit of utility in a small or intimate group. Since he did not believe that common folk could envision the abstract entity of a society or nation, laws were necessary to extend human economic rationality so that people would always regard common welfare as being in their best private interests. The greater utility or common welfare will, however, be hindered if people are diverted toward beautiful things, hence Han Fei’s condemnation of the beautiful. As far as moral things are beautiful, he condemns what can be properly be referred to as social aesthetics. Yet, despite the hostility, he still accommodates aesthetics when he sees the possibility of bringing it to the service of the state. That would be state aesthetics, i.e., the doctrine that all values and instruments installed by the state are beautiful.

Kang Chan

Whether people identify themselves as Taiwanese or Chinese has been an issue of importance since the beginning of democratization in Taiwan. This article explores whether the strength-of-association statistic between education and self-identity among Taiwanese people has changed over the past 15 years during which Taiwan has undergone substantial political and social change. If the statistic did change during this time period, it is necessary to further clarify which factors contributed to this change. The analysis of survey data collected between 1992 and 2007 shows that the strength-of-association between education and self-identity has steadily weakened among the young cohorts and the mainlanders. Furthermore, the variation in the strength of association between education and selfidentity has been accounted for by the diminished functions of political indoctrination in formal education as well as by the varied dispersion of the two variables, namely, “education” and “self-identity”, over time.

Kuang-hui Chen, Chi-lin Tsai