independence alliances

There are three big political forces representing the independence wing of the political spectrum that have nominated candidates for city and county councilors this year. They are the TSU, Chen Shui-bian’s One Country, One Side Alliance (OSOCA), and the Taiwan Independence Alliance (TIA). If I understand correctly the TIA was formed earlier this year by a number of groups that supported independence as well as some of the Sunflower student groups.

The OSOCA published a roster of candidates it has endorsed in an ad in today’s Liberty Times. I obtained the roster of candidates endorsed by TIA from their Facebook page. (The TSU’s candidates are easily found in all the official government sources.) I’m reproducing them here so I’ll be able to find them in five or ten years.

In the meantime, let’s look at the nominations of the three forces competing to be the preeminent force for independence. From the rosters, it is clear that they have focused much more on the six direct municipalities than on the other sixteen cities and counties. This makes sense. City council elections in the six direct municipalities run much more on national issues. Local issues still matter, but not nearly as much as in the smaller cities and counties. As such, it is probably easier to convince a voter in Taipei or Taichung to cast a city council vote for independence than it is to convince a similar voter in Penghu or Yunlin to do the same. When was the last time you heard a Yunlin county councilor say anything important about independence (or anything relating to national politics, for that matter)?

There are a few weird patterns in the city and county councilor endorsements. Am I the only one shocked that every DPP candidate in Keelung City is on the TIA roster, but neither of the alliances was able to field many candidates in Yunlin? I suspect there are interesting stories, but you probably have to know all the little details of each local soap opera to really understand what is going on.

For now, let’s concentrate on the six direct municipalities. Here is a summary table of each group’s endorsements:

  OSOCA TIA TSU
Total candidates endorsed 58 40 29
# districts with zero/one/two candidate(s) 18/44/7 33/32/4 41/27/1
Party affiliations (D / T / I) 52/0/6 29/10/1 0/29/0
Newcomers / Incumbents 12/46 22/18 24/5

The normal way to judge an alliance like this is to ask how many of their candidates were elected. I don’t think that is the best way to think about things. These are, after all, local elections, and the vast majority of voters will be voting for other considerations. If, for example, Wang Shih-chien wins in Taipei 4, should we interpret it as a victory for OSOCA? There are a number of compelling alternative reasons that Wang might win, including his years of constituency service, his personal charisma, the DPP’s popularity and conservative nomination strategy in his district, and his statement earlier this year that Sean Lien could win the mayoral race “over my dead body.” Wang’s membership in OSOCA is probably only a minor part of his political strength.

Rather than thinking about things from a voter’s point of view, it is more enlightening to think about things from the candidate’s and the alliance organizers’ points of view. The alliance organizers are not like political parties in that they do not nominate candidates. Rather, they look at the field of candidates already running and offer to endorse some of them. For each candidate, the organizer has to make a decision on whether to endorse them. The organizer has to balance two goals. On the one hand, the organizer wants candidates who share the alliance’s values. On the other hand, the organizer wants candidates who will win. If you have to choose between a candidate who shares your values 100% but only has a 1% chance of winning and another candidate who only agrees 80% with your values but has an 80% chance of winning, you’ll probably advance your organization’s goals more effectively with the latter candidate.

The candidate makes a similar calculation. Endorsement by an alliance may not, by itself, secure victory. However, if the candidate judges that association with the alliance will attract more votes than it will scare off, then he or she should welcome the endorsement. If the endorsement brings 500 extra votes, great! 500 votes could be the difference between victory and defeat. Each candidate will make a different judgment of the value of an endorsement based on all kinds of factors.

In SNTV elections with multi-member districts, factions, small parties, and electoral alliances prefer to only nominate one candidate per district. This allows them to concentrate their support on that candidate instead of worrying how to ration votes among multiple candidates. For an election alliance, this also allows them to maximize their value to each potential endorsee. A candidate might also want to be the sole endorsee in the district. Association with an extreme position could scare away the same number of moderate voters regardless of how many people are endorse, so you don’t want the share the benefit with anyone else.

The alliance organizer wants to put together the strongest possible roster of candidates, while the strongest candidates will only want to be affiliated with the alliance if they can monopolize its endorsement and they judge that endorsement to be a net vote winner. Thus, by looking at what kinds of candidates are on the rosters of each alliance, we can make judgments about the political strength of each of the groups vying to lead the Taiwan Independence movement.

Looking at the summary table above, it is evident that the OSOCA has put together a very strong roster. They have endorsed a candidate in 51 of the 69 districts (not counting Aboriginal districts) in the six direct municipalities. The TIA could only find candidates for 36 districts, and the TSU only nominated in 28 districts. (18 candidates were endorsed by both OSOCA and TIA.) The best indicator of candidate quality is whether the candidate is an incumbent or not. Again, OSOCA has by far the best roster. 79% of OSOCA candidates are incumbents, while only 55% of TIA and a mere 17% of TSU candidates won four years ago.

The two alliances have somewhat different partisan strategies. Both alliances are dominated by DPP candidates. This is perhaps natural, since most of the candidates on the green side of the political divide are DPP members. As a general rule, the strongest politicians tend to affiliate with one of the two big parties, so finding DPP politicians who are willing to accept an endorsement is a mark of credibility for OSOCA and TIA. (Interestingly, neither alliance seems to have endorsed any New Tide members, though I could be wrong about that.) The main difference is in the non-DPP candidates. TIA has endorsed several TSU nominees, while OSOCA has entirely separated itself from the TSU. When OSOCA endorses non-DPP candidates, they are independents with proven electoral track records.

The main lesson of this exercise is that Chen Shui-bian evidently still appeals to a large enough segment of the electorate that many established politicians are willing to associate themselves with him, at least in elections with multi-member districts. In contrast, the TSU appears to continue to lag far behind at the grassroots level.

Of course, it is possible that a particularly large proportion of one of these rosters will unexpectedly win or lose. The politicians set up the question as they like, but the voters always have the final move.

 

Here are the rosters for the two alliances.

    OSOCA Party Inc? TIA Party Inc?
台北市 1 林世宗

陳慈慧

D

D

Y

 

王奕凱 I  
  2 江志銘 D Y      
  3 許家蓓 D   李卓翰 T  
  4 王世堅 D Y 黃向群 D  
  5 童仲彥 D Y 童仲彥 D Y
  6            
新北市 1            
  2 陳科名 D Y      
  3  

陳啟能

 

D

 

Y

鄭金隆

陳啟能

D

D

Y

Y

  4 王淑惠 D Y      
  5 林秀惠 D Y      
  6 許昭興 D Y      
  7 吳琪銘 D Y      
  8       陳永福 D Y
  9            
  10 周雅玲 D Y      
桃園市 1 廖輝星 D Y      
  2            
  3 張文瑜 I Y      
  4            
  5            
  6       曾慶章 D  
  7 黃傅淑香 D Y 黃治東 T  
  8            
  9            
  10            
  11            
  12            
台中市 1 吳敏濟 D Y 吳敏濟 D Y
  2 楊典忠 D Y 楊典忠

陳年添

D

T

Y
  3 劉淑蘭 D   劉淑蘭 D  
  4 翁美春 D Y 吳富亭 T  
  5 林竹旺 I   張雅旻 D  
  6 陳淑華 D Y 陳淑華 D Y
  7 何文海 D Y 張耀中

黃聖硯

D

T

Y

 

  8 曾朝榮 D Y 曾朝榮 D Y
  9 范淞育 D   賴佳微 D Y
  10 江肇國 D   江肇國 D  
  11 邱素貞

何敏誠

D

D

Y

Y

邱素貞 D Y
  12 何明杰 D Y 何明杰 D Y
  13 劉錦和

李天生

D

D

Y

Y

劉錦和

林明正

D

T

Y

 

  14 蔡成圭 D Y      
台南市 1       劉米山 D  
  2 賴惠員

趙昆原

D

I

Y 賴惠員 D Y
  3 侯澄財 D Y      
  4 郭秀珠 I Y      
  5 陳朝來 D Y      
  6 梁順發 D Y      
  7 林志聰 D Y 林志聰 D Y
  8 王峻潭 D Y      
  9 施重男 I Y 陳秋萍 D Y
  10 郭信良

唐儀靜

D

D

Y 郭信良 D Y
  11 陳怡珍

唐碧娥

D

D

Y

Y

陳怡珍 D Y
  12 邱莉莉 D Y      
  13 李文正 D Y 李文正 D Y
  14 蔡旺詮 D Y 陳昌輝 T  
  15 周明德 D   周明德 D  
  16 曾王雅雲

劉正昌

D

D

Y 曾王雅雲 D Y
高雄市 1 蕭育穎 D   林富寶 D Y
  2 張文瑞 D Y      
  3 陳政聞 D Y 翁瑞珠 D Y
  4            
  5 林芳如 D Y      
  6       陳冠銘 T  
  7 鄭新助 I Y      
  8       楊定國 T  
  9 陳慧文 D Y      
  10       蕭吉男 T  
  11 李雨庭 D        

 

 

 

    OSOCA Party Inc? TIA Party Inc?
基隆市 1       詹春陽 D Y
  2       陳東財 D Y
  3  

陳建雄

 

D

  游祥耀

陳建雄

D

D

Y

 

  4       施世明

張錦煌

D

D

Y

Y

  5       洪森永

蔡適應

陳志成

D

D

D

Y

Y

Y

  6       林明智 D  
  7       蘇仁和

張美瓊

D

D

Y
宜蘭縣 1 林志鴻 D   林志鴻

張曜顯

吳福田

D

D

D

 

 

Y

  3       吳宏謀 D Y
  6       黃素琴 D Y
  8       薛呈懿 Tree  
  9       陳文昌 D  
新竹市 1       楊志翔 Green  
  2       鍾淑姬 I  
  4  

李姸慧

 

I

 

Y

吳秋穀

李姸慧

D

I

Y

Y

苗栗縣 4 林一方 Green   林一方 Green  
  6 陳春暖 D      
彰化縣 1 葉孟家 D   黃秀芳

林維浩

賴岸璋

陳冠鴻

D

D

D

I

Y

 

Y

 

  2 陳秀寳 D Y 陳秀寳 D Y
  3 王國忠 D   王國忠 D  
  4 彭國成 D   彭國成 D  
  5 歐陽蓁珠 D   歐陽蓁珠 D  
  6 許書維 D   許書維 D  
  7 李俊諭 D Y 李俊諭

江熊一楓

D

D

Y

Y

  8       洪遊江 T  
南投縣 1 賴燕雪 D Y 賴燕雪

蕭文進

D

T

Y
  2 林永鴻 D Y 廖梓佑 D Y
  3 陳昭煜 D Y 陳昭煜 D Y
  4 張志銘 D      
  5 許阿甘 D Y 許阿甘 D Y
雲林縣 1 江文登 D Y 林政亨 T  
  2       林樹山 D  
  3       李錫銘 T  
嘉義市 1     蔡永泉

林瑞霞

T

I

Y

 

  2  

蔡文旭

王美惠

 

 

D

D

 

 

Y

Y

 

陳幸枝

蔡文旭

王美惠

李孟哲

D

D

D

T

Y

Y

Y

 

嘉義縣 1 林緗亭 D   林緗亭 D  
  2 黃嘉寬 D Y 黃嘉寬

林山景

D

T

Y

 

  3 詹金繪 D Y    
  4 蔡鼎三

黃嫈珺

D

D

Y

Y

蔡鼎三

黃嫈珺

D

D

Y

Y

  6       何子凡 I  
屏東縣 1       李世斌 D Y
  3       潘淑眞 D Y
  4       許展維 D  
  6       鍾乙豪 D  
台東縣 1 林參天 I Y    
花蓮縣 1       莊枝財 D Y
  3       謝明圳 I  
澎湖縣            
金門縣            
連江縣            

 

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