The Predicament of Minority Government in the Legislative Yuan





Published date: 

六月, 2003


Shiow-duan Hawang


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.