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Volume #7, Number #2

Published in December, 2003

The recent debates on the impact of globalization upon the nation-state increase among political scientists in the past decade. However, there still lacks systematic investigation on the relation between globalization and democracy. This article aims to fulfill this theoretical gap. Firstly, democracy is analyzed as three forms: liberal, social democratic and deliberative democracy. Given the different forms, the development of modern democracy is based on the territorial-bounded nation-state. The impact of globalization on democracy is channeled via the nation-state. This article argues that the increasing trend of globalization will strengthen the liberal democracy while weaken the social democracy. There results in a dilemma for the future of democracy. Whereas the increasing social inequality and structural unemployment is accompanied by the globalization, the foundation of social democracy as a form of risks compensation for the disadvantaged has been eroded. This article suggests that the alternative solution lies in the emerging global civil society and a redefinition of democracy. Theoretically, the meaning of democracy is broadened to the global deliberative democracy. Practically, this emerging global public sphere could contribute to the formation of transnational government and agenda setting of global issues.

Jen-Der Lue

In this paper, longitudinal data has been employed to explore the changes and continuity of political trust among the electorate in Taiwan. This has been done so that the relation between people’s evaluations of ruling party performance, their views on the macro-economic situation, and levels of political trust might be better understood. In addition, the relationship between people’s political trust and their perspectives on democracy in Taiwan has also been investigated.

It was demonstrated, through surveys conducted between 1992 and 1998 that the distribution of people’s political trust declined. These results reversed, however, after the rotation of ruling power brought the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to power in the 2000 presidential election, as people’s political trust subsequently rebounded in 2001. It was also found that people’s evaluations on the performance of the ruling party and the macro-economic situation significantly affected their levels of political trust. Evidence provided also demonstrated that political trust is correlated with perspectives of democracy as people with higher levels of political trust were more likely to be optimistic on the prospective of Taiwan’s deepening democracy.

In conclusion, it was demonstrated that political trust is an important factor in explaining people’s political behavior in Taiwan. It was not only an indication of government performance but also a crucial indicator of healthy democratic development in Taiwan.

Lu-huei Chen

The purpose of this article is to examine the relative influence of the legislative branch and executive branch in the process of lawmaking, under different periods of time of the unified and divided government. This research focuses on the fourth term of the Legislative Yuan. The research period of time ranges from 1999 February to 2002 January, divided into two periods: the first begins from February 1999 to May 2000, in which the KMT dominates the executive and the legislative branches. The second period of time begins from May 2000 to January 2002, in which the DPP dominates the executive branch and the KMT dominates the legislative branch. The research focuses on all initiations in the fourth term of the Legislative Yuan. The research findings show: First, the executive branch plays an important role in the process of lawmaking. However, the influence of the executive branch is quite different in the unified and divided governments. The initiation of the executive branch can be passed much easier and faster in the unified government than in the divided government. This finding shows that if the party of the executive branch cannot get a majority of seats in the legislative branch, it is more difficult for it to lead in the policy-making process. Secondly, The KMT and DPP legislators play quite different roles in the legislative process. In the unified government, the DPP legislators are much more aggressive in the legislative process. However, the DPP legislators are much more inactive in the legislative process since the DPP gets the executive power. On the contrary, the KMT legislators are much more aggressive in the legislative process in the divided government since the KMT loses the executive power.

Shing-Yuan Sheng

Divided government is not only a political phenomenon, but also becomes one of the most salient issues in the study of politics. When two elections are held at the same time, whether divided government appears depends on how many voters split their votes. If voters prefer divided government to unified government, then they split their votes in order to make divided government possible. If split-ticket voting is a phenomenon instead of a mean, then divided government is just the result of that voters prefer different parties in elections held at the same time.

If each political party has one position in the policy space when two elections are held at the same time, then sincere and strategic voting can only provide partial explanations for split-ticket voting. If political parties should have, and in fact they do, two positions in two elections, it is spatial theory that can explain the relationship between split-ticket voting and divided government. The reason for split-ticket voting is that voters do not prefer the same party in different elections. Therefore, divided government is just a phenomenon and has nothing to do with the idea of checks and balances.

Tsung-Wei Liu

After the 2000 presidential election, for the first time in Taiwan history, a Democratic Progressive Party candidate was elected as the President of the Republic of China. However, in the Legislative Yuan, KMT still had majority of seats. As a result, one party controlled the presidency, while the other party held a majority in the Legislative Yuan.

What are the consequences when the presidency and congress are controlled by different parties? Will it lead to institutional conflict and mutual antagonism? Or, will the Legislative Yuan try to expand their check on the Executive Yuan and president? Will it lead to legislative stalemate or gridlock?

This study focuses on the interaction between the Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan, especially the budget review and legislation review. If we just consider what percentage of the executive’s budget is cut by the legislature, there is no major difference between minority and majority governments. However, if we examine the number and content of resolutions accompanying the budget review, we find that the opposition parties take advantage of their legislative majority to pass resolutions that bind or restrict the behavior or the policy of the Executive Yuan.

During the era of divided party control, the bills proposed by the Executive Yuan take a longer time to pass than the bills proposed by opposition party members. Moreover, the records of roll-call votes also reveal that the DPP lost more than 60 percent of their votes, compared with the less than 2 percent that the KMT lost during the majority government period. The roll-call vote data also show that more party votes and more pan-blue and pan-green competition occur and at the same time party cohesion increases. All these statistics point to the same conclusion, that is, the DPP government does face serious challenges from the opposition parties in the Legislation Yuan because they do not have a majority of seats in the Legislative Yuan.

Shiow-duan Hawang