by Matthew Strong
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – With presidential and legislative elections just a week away, Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen on Friday urged voters to consider the use of the three votes each of them was holding.
At a news conference at her national campaign headquarters, the opposition leader said the public could save Taiwan if they “refused vote-buying, concentrated votes, and returned home to vote,” which she described as the “three votes.”
In effect, the three votes held by each Taiwanese are votes for president, local legislator and party list of at-large legislative candidates.
By concentrating votes, Tsai meant that voters should cast ballots for an at-large list from the same party as the presidential candidate. The DPP recently expressed fears that too many Tsai supporters would pick a smaller party from the “green” camp for the at-large list, particularly since a total of 18 political groups have submitted lists in that category.
The DPP has also worried that voters who are registered in remote areas will not return home from college or work in the major cities, thus forsaking the right to vote.
Tsai said that with only a week left until the January 16 election day, it was important that DPP supporters all over the island mobilized and went out to canvas for votes. If she visited a location, all local elected DPP officials should accompany her to talk to voters, but in the villages and towns she did not visit, they should also come out and help her win votes, she said.
The choice in this election was between reform and stagnation, between progress or regression, Tsai said. She also described the opponent, the Kuomintang, as the wealthiest political party in the world. Voters should not let money, vote-buying, violence and corruption affect their unique opportunity to effect change, she said.
Tsai also said she had found out that some supporters felt their vote was not important because they thought she and the DPP were certain to win. If one voter did not go to the polls, that would be hundreds of voters less in one village, but hundreds of thousands in all of Taiwan, she said, calling on all voters to come out on January 16.