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The evolving party system in Taiwan, 1995-2004.

Introduction

Over the past two decades, Taiwan's democratization has earned a reputation for rapid peaceful change among the third wave democracies. The evolution of Taiwan's party system has not only been rapid, but also dramatic in nature. The establishment of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 1986 presented a strong challenge to the then-ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and a two-party system began to take shape. In 1993, the walkout of some KMT members brought about the appearance of the New Party (NP) and signaled the further decline of the KMT's dominance. It also implied the possibility of a party system other than the emerging two-party one. Even though the KMT had benefited from a strong electoral performance in the 1996 presidential election, the electoral advantage did not last long. An internal struggle, culminating in a split during the 2000 presidential election, dealt the KMT a heavy blow and led directly to its defeat. As with the NP, the internal struggle later resulted in the formation of a new party, the People First Party (PFP) in 2001. This development, together with the establishment of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), has led to a multiparty system in Taiwan. The new party system faced its first critical test in the presidential election of March 2004. The election proved to be an extremely competitive one and the incumbent DPP defeated the KMT-PFP alliance by a difference of only 0.22 percent of popular vote. (1)

It is obvious that the party system in Taiwan has undergone significant change during the process of democratization. These changes are also evidence of shifting partisan support among the Taiwanese electorate. The changing form of the party system and each party's social linkages provide researchers with fertile ground for the study of Taiwan's party system and democratic transition. This article intends to explore Taiwan's evolving party system based on party electoral performance and change of social base over the past decade. It first discusses the relationship between the party system and democratic transition that have profoundly affected Taiwan's political development. It then provides a narrative of the development of the party system through the electoral competition among the major political parties during the 1990s. This is followed by a longitudinal analysis of the social bases of each of the major political parties, underlining what has remained stable and what has changed in partisan support among Taiwanese voters. Finally, in the concluding remarks, possible future perspectives are presented for Taiwan's democratic consolidation and the evolution of its party system.

The political party and democratic transition

Political parties play an essential role in modern democracies. Scholars have repeatedly emphasized their importance and have viewed them as a major criterion for measuring democracy (Dahl, 1967; Powell, 1982). In general terms, the political party is an intermediary mechanism between citizens and government. It provides choices of political leaders and public policies and then implements its policies when it controls the government by means of winning regular elections. Clearly, the existence of political parties and their interactions with the people are integral to the functioning of democracy (Schattschneider, 1942). The beliefs and attitudes of the people will influence the emergence and development of political parties, and the characteristics of political parties will shape the mode of people's participation (Huang and Yu, 1999).

The importance of political parties is even more obvious in the process of regime transition. In particular, when democratic transition enters the second phrase of democratic consolidation, or when an effectively functioning democratic regime and democratic institutions are established and acquire legitimacy, the format and functioning of the party system become pivotal (Hagopian and Mainwaring, 1987; O'Donnell, 1992; Przeworski, 1992; Randall and Svasand, 2002). As Pridham (1995) suggests, in the process of regime transition inter-party relations and cross-party cooperation are perhaps the most important determinant of regime transition.

Nonetheless, even though the importance of the party system is widely acknowledged, there is a lack of consensus on the qualities of party system needed in the process of democratic consolidation. Some have maintained that the number of political parties is essential, others have argued for the importance of ideological distance between major parties, while still others address the issue of designing an overall institutional framework for party competition. These perspectives all have their merits, but it is the institutionalization of the party system that has attracted the most attention from scholars (Diamond, 1989; Dix, 2000; Lewis, 2001).

Institutionalization has been defined as the process of acquiring stability and values (Huntington, 1965) and in the literature of democratic transition, the institutional makeup of the party system is a common focus for study. The changing social bases of political parties, for example, have played a crucial role in the process of regime transition. Major political parties will regularly offer policy platforms in exchange for voter support in elections and this process will produce stable linkages between citizens and political parties. In addition, major political parties also compete for popular support based on their own distinctive ideological positions. These ideological positions attract loyal party followers who are core elements of political parties. A political party without a consistent ideological position will, thus, alienate its followers. Therefore, major political parties must develop stable roots in society during the process of democratic consolidation (Mainwaring and Scully, 1995).

Likewise, an institutionalized party system demands stability in the rules and practice of inter-party competition. Fair and open elections should be the primary arena for party competition and the electoral system should not be biased against any group (Valenzuela, 1992). Moreover, they should be the only legitimate mechanism for solving social conflict and the distribution of political power and should have acquired independent status and value in their own right. Therefore, leaders of major political parties should, in Linz and Stepan's terms, behaviorally, attitudinally, and constitutionally, follow the new rules of the game (Linz and Stepan, 1996).

Many researchers agree that the implementation of elections is a crucial factor that contributed to Taiwan's political transition, as well as the development of its current party system. Even during the authoritarian era, local elections and the limited national elections that were permitted did provide the political opposition with opportunities to take part in the political process. It was the mechanism of elections that nourished the growth of the opposition, led to the weakening of the KMT's authoritarian rule, and then finally to the democratic transition. The establishment of the first opposition party, the DPP, was a result of electoral politics and the democratic opening in the 1980s. Even though there was not a change of regime at the national level until 2000, there was a decade of local experience in the counties, and the Taipei and Kaohsiung metropolitan governments as new parties took power after winning elections. More importantly, the result of 2000 presidential election and its concomitant developments have resulted in a peaceful transfer of power at the national level. Compared to other third wave democracies, elections in Taiwan have been relatively fair and open. Elections, both at the local and national levels, have become an institutionalized mechanism for settling social conflicts and distributing political power for major political parties. (2)

The implementation of institutionalized elections would certainly help Taiwan to enter into the democratic consolidation phase of democratic development, but a further challenge will be the development of an institutionalized party system. This would require each party not only to follow the rules of the game in elections, but also to maintain a stable social base over time. In addition to the social roots for an individual political party, an institutionalized party system also would not suffer from internal fragmentation in elections. These new challenges would be crucial for Taiwan's political transition during the 1990s.

Party performance in elections during the 1990s

The establishment of the DPP represented a real challenge for the KMT in the late 1980s. (3) While still a minority in the parliament, it was still enough of an organized force to serve as a restraint on the KMT and so its appearance created the reality of competitive politics in Taiwan. The KMT was no longer able to monopolize the political agenda in the parliament and an internal political struggle within the KMT in the early 1990s further accelerated the decline of its hegemonic status. Several young KMT reformers led by Chao Shao-kang emerged and, frustrated within the party, ended up by organizing the New Party in 1993. The name of the New Party was intended to symbolize the rebirth of the real KMT leaving behind the pathology of money politics and its more tolerant attitude towards Taiwan independence that had developed under the leadership of Lee Teng-hui. The appeals for clean politics in particular resonated in Taiwanese society and the NP benefited from its embrace of reform.

The NP's performance in the 1995 legislative election provided a new face for Taiwan's party system. For the first time in national elections, the KMT's share of popular support fell under 50 percent. Even so, the KMT won 85 seats out of a total of 164 in the Legislative Yuan, but the narrow majority proved to be an uncomfortable one for the party. The DPP and the NP enjoyed a strong presence with 75 seats and, worse still for the KMT, the strong party discipline it had wielded in the Legislative Yuan before the 1980s no longer existed. The decline of party discipline made the KMT a minority in practice in the Legislative Yuan, despite its nominal numerical majority.

The reelection of the floor speaker of the Legislative Yuan came up as the first arena for party competition in the parliament after the 1995 election. Both the DPP and the NP argued that the floor speaker should be nonpartisan. Allied together, they nominated a common candidate to compete with the KMT and the first round of the election resulted in an 80 to 80 tie. The KMT then prevailed in the runoff, but only by a one vote margin, 82-81. The KMT's hairbreadth victory in the election underscored the substantial decline of its hegemonic status and the close result of the election encouraged further cooperation between the opposition parties. This cooperation resulted in victories on some policy issues, such as the passage and revision of the Sun Shine Laws and a resolution not to build a fourth nuclear power plant on the island. Given the fact that the KMT was becoming less dominant in the parliament, the opposition parties, in Sartori's terms, were constantly provided with opportunities to 'blackmail' the ruling party during coalitional negotiations (Sartori, 1976).

However, the cooperation between the DPP and the NP was only on a case-by-case basis, and both the NP and the DPP were happy to work with the KMT on issues where they could not agree between themselves. For example, the draft of the plebiscite law proposed by the DPP was defeated by the KMT and the NP working together in 1995. Though the DPP and the NP might work to check KMT power in the parliament and collaborate on some policies, they were quite different in their ideologies. The DPP's deep-rooted support for Taiwan's independence ran counter to the NP's ideology of unification with China and, if the NP criticized the KMT's China policy, it strongly opposed the DPP's stand on independence. As a consequence, the interaction among major political parties was strictly ad hoc in nature.

The KMT now tried to define itself as a broadly based party representing all segments of society. On the one hand, it officially maintained the ideology of reunification with China and opposed the idea of Taiwan independence. On the other hand, the KMT also reiterated its support of political reform in Taiwan and took a cautious approach to interaction across the Taiwan Strait. The KMT's stance on the issue of independence versus reunification offended both the DPP and the NP, but this ambiguity helped the KMT to play a centrist role with regard to the sharp differences between the NP and the DPP on this issue.

Even with the appearance of meaningful opposition parties in the parliament, the KMT continued to maintain its narrow majority under the leadership of Lee Teng-hui through the 1998 legislative election. Thanks to Lee's popularity, the KMT then won a larger majority by winning 123 of a total of 225 seats at stake. In contrast, the NP's performance in 1998 did not measure up to its debut in 1995 due to internal fighting, and the DPP also lost support. As a result, the KMT was able to keep its competitive edge in national elections and maintained power at the national level.

In addition to the effects of the legislative elections of the 1990s, the presidential elections of 1996 and 2000 strongly affected Taiwan's party system and its democratic transition. The 1996 election was the first time that people on the island could elect their president directly and the KMT won with a landslide victory. The DPP fared poorly with slightly more than one fifth of the popular vote and so it seemed that the KMT's electoral victory might serve to revive its dominant status. The results also suggested that the KMT might be able to avoid the phenomena of 'stunning elections' that occur in many third wave democracies during the process of regime transition (Huntington, 1991) and its improved electoral performance in the 1998 legislative election further supported this point of view.

However, the KMT's triumph did not last long as the NP's split from the KMT in 1993 was repeated again in the 2000 presidential election. The exit of James Soong from the KMT dramatically split the party's electoral support and resulted in a first ever electoral defeat for the party. The defeat was a major one as the KMT received less than one quarter of the popular vote, placing the party a poor third behind both Soong and the victorious DPP, which won with a plurality of the vote.

The dramatic and unexpected election results have shed light on several important developments of the party system in Taiwan. As indicated in Table 1, there is a sharp and decisive electoral change between the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections. Compared to the 1996 election, there was a major increase in voter turnout in 2000 as many new voters entered the electoral process. Since the KMT had won the smallest share of the vote, it would seem that the 2000 presidential election could be an example of a critical election, as suggested by Key (1955), and the beginning of a new party system.

The changes begun in the 2000 presidential election continued in the following year. In the 2001 legislative elections, the KMT lost its parliamentary majority and the DPP became the largest party but also fell short of a majority. The election also saw the PFP participating in its first legislative election and it became the third party in Taiwan. It was obvious that Soong's leaving the KMT had not only cost the KMT the 2000 election, but also had attracted significant numbers of former KMT supporters to Soong's PFP candidates in the 2001 election. The PFP proved attractive as well to many NP supporters as that party fared poorly in the 2000 presidential election, and did even worse in the 2001 legislative election. However, still more problems lay in wait for the troubled KMT. Its leader, Lee Teng-hui, reacted to attacks laying the blame on him for the 2000 election by leaving the KMT and organizing a new party, the TSU, in time to participate in the 2001 elections. Lee proved to be still popular with enough voters to give the TSU 13 seats in the new parliament, a performance that not only embarrassed the KMT but also supplanted the NP to become the fourth party in Taiwan.

The new parliament was now composed of the DPP, the KMT, the PFP, the TSU, and the NP along with a number of independent members. No single party had a majority in parliament and the five parties began to form partnerships. The TSU, under the leadership of Lee, maintained a close working relationship with the DPP but they were still short of a majority in the Legislative Yuan. The KMT, PFP, and NP formed a legislative alliance in opposition to the DPP's policies. For example, in order to carry out its anti-nuclear policy, the DPP ceased construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in October 2000. Just 110 days after that announcement, KMT legislators, supported by their allies, were able to reverse the DPP's policy. The passage of the Referendum Law in 2003 was another successful joint effort of the three parties over the opposition of the DPP. Besides cooperating in parliament, the opposition parties also formed an electoral alliance in the elections for county magistrates and city mayors for the Taipei and Kaohsiung metropolitan areas in 2002.

As a consequence, party competition has settled into two camps, one composed of the DPP and the TSU, and the other made up of the KMT, the NP, and the PFP. They are stable enough to be labeled as the 'pan-green' and 'pan-blue' respectively in popular parlance. This two camp competition continued through the 2004 presidential election when the pan-blue camp collaborated to nominate Lien and Soong for president and vice presidential respectively, whereas the TSU actively helped the DPP presidential candidate.

Taiwan's party system entered a new era after the elections of 2000 and 2001. The DPP has become a ruling party and has steadily increased its popular support over time. The KMT, on the contrary, had trouble facing challenges from the DPP on the one hand and the PFP on the other. It suffered a historical low of popular support after the 2000 presidential election, and there is some question as to whether it can reverse this trend. Good performances by the PFP and the TSU have provided credible alternatives to Taiwanese voters in elections. Nonetheless, the competition between the pan-green and the pan-blue has become the dominant mode of party competition in the parliament after 2000.

Changes and continuity in party identification and social base

The general trend of electoral competition among political parties provides a broad outlook on the development of the party system in Taiwan. It is now necessary to explore the citizen's individual linkage with the major political parties. This linkage is twofold: the individual's party identification and the party's social base. The former focuses on individual feelings toward certain political parties, whereas the latter focuses on the relationships between the individual's sociopolitical attributes and party support. Both have contributed to the evolution and development of an institutionalized party system in Taiwan's democratization.

Party identification refers to individual's psychological attachment to a specific political party (Campbell et al., 1954, 1960). This attachment will act to frame an individual's party support and this attachment is highly stable. Once an individual has formed their party identification, it may well turn into a lifetime commitment (Campbell et al., 1960). Therefore, it is reasonable to argue that the development of an institutionalized party system rests on the stability of the individual voter's party identification.

The differences and similarities of social bases among major political parties will also facilitate the development of a party system. As suggested by Lipset (1994), a stable democracy depends on a permanent significant base of support for political parties which provide different policy alternatives. The social bases that contribute to the emergence and growth of a political party have been a core concern in the study of comparative party systems. For example, social cleavages originating from the confrontation of religion and state, periphery and center, agriculture and industry, and workers and owners, have all been widely discussed in the literature of party system change (Lipset and Rokkan, 1967; Gallagher, Laver and Mair, 1992). Even though the theory of party decline has, to some extent, questioned the utility of this approach, the social cleavage perspective of political parties may still provide insights into the study of party systems.

The impact of sociopolitical cleavages is particularly important in the development of the party system in Taiwan. Besides the demographic factors, one notable political factor that affects the development of the party system in Taiwan is the issue of provincial origin and its political impact via ethnic and national identity. (4) Many researchers studying Taiwan's political development have used these issues to explain individual voting decisions and party preference. In a sense, these sociopolitical issues not only affect people's voting behavior but also differentiate party boundaries in Taiwan (Shyu, 1993; Chen, 1994, 1995; Liu, 1995; Wang, 1995; Chu and Lin, 1996; Hsieh, 1996b).

Tables 2 through to 5 present a general picture of the demographic, social, and political bases of political parties from 1995 to 2005 in multinominal logit analyses. (5) As Table 2 and Table 3 demonstrate in 1995 and 1998, it is obvious that there are clear differences of social base between the KMT, the DPP, and the NP. Firstly, less educated voters are more likely to support the KMT rather than the DPP. Also, the KMT enjoys stronger support from public sector voters than the DPP does. However, younger voters and voters of Taiwanese origin are more likely support the DPP than the KMT. On the issue of ethnic identity, Taiwanese identity voters are more strongly supportive of the DPP than the KMT as are voters having a pro-independence position.

Secondly, in addition to the different sociopolitical bases of both the KMT and the DPP, there are also sociopolitical differences between the DPP and the NP. Both parties have sharp differences in voters' provincial origin, occupation, and ethnic identity. In contrast to the DPP, voters having a mainland origin and working in the public sector are strongly attached to the NP whereas Taiwanese origin voters, Taiwanese identity voters, and pro-independence voters are strongly negative toward the NP. Also, less-educated voters are more likely to support the DPP than the NP.

Thirdly, both tables indicate that there are considerable overlaps between the KMT and the NP in terms of voters' occupation and ethnic identity. On the one hand, the overlapping social bases create an opportunity for both parties to work together to counteract the DPP. The 1998 election for city mayor of Taipei provided an unusual example as the NP mayoral candidate openly supported the KMT candidate. On the other hand, the existence of overlapping social bases implies intense electoral competition between the two parties over these voters. In particular, in multi-member district elections, such as the elections for legislators and city councilors, candidates of both parties often promoted similar appeals in some constituencies. Nonetheless, given these similarities, a closer examination of the coefficients in Table 2 reveals moderate differences between the two parties in terms of education, provincial origin, occupation, geographical area, ethnic identity, and preference on the issue of unification versus independence. It is anticipated that voters with higher education and mainlander origins will be inclined to support the NP over the KMT.

Table 4 shows the latest development of the demographic and sociopolitical characteristics of political parties after the 2001 legislative election. It indicates some similarities and differences from those of 1995 and 1998. On the one hand, in spite of the DPP's growth to become the largest political party, its core sociopolitical bases show little change. Younger voters, highly educated voters, Taiwanese origin voters, Taiwanese identity voters, and pro-independence voters are still the major components of its social support. On the other hand, the KMT's sociopolitical bases have split upon the appearance of the PFP. Voters from the public sector, those having mainland origins, who maintain a Chinese identity, and who are pro-unification, have all split their support between the KMT and the PFP. Electoral competition between the KMT and the PFP is stronger than was the case between the KMT and the NP in 1995 and 1998. Worse still for the KMT, some of its sociopolitical bases such as public sector voters, private mangers/professionals, and farmers/fishermen/herdsmen, all KMT strongholds in 1995 and 1998 have become less supportive of the KMT as the DPP has gradually captured these new constituencies.

Table 5 presents the latest take on the social bases of the major political parties after the 2004 presidential election. (6) The presidential election was essentially a two-party competition between pan-blue and pan-green candidates. The party alliances of the 2004 presidential election have not only caused intense electoral competition between the two camps but have also brought about a significant redistribution of the parties' social bases. As Table 5 suggests, both the KMT and the PFP enjoy similar social support when they are compared to the DPP. A voter's provincial origin, ethnic identity, and position on the issue of unification or independence are the main differentiating factors between the KMT-PFP and the DPP. The DPP receives stable support from voters of Taiwanese origin, who profess a Taiwanese identity, and those who hold a pro-independence position. Table 5 also indicates that younger voters, less educated voters, private sector managers and professionals, and farmers/ fishermen/herdsmen, all relatively supportive of the DPP in 2001, became less hostile to the KMT and the PFP in 2004.

It appears that the parties' sociopolitical characteristics between 1995 and 2004 have not changed a great deal despite the shifting balance of power. The issues of provincial origin and independence versus unification have played important roles in the shaping of Taiwan's party system. The 'frozen theory' of party system, proposed by Lipset and Rokkan (1967), seems applicable to Taiwan. Nonetheless, it would be over-simplifying to suggest that the party system was frozen in the last decade.

Taking Table 2 to Table 5 together, the cleavages that differentiate political parties are not always identical in each period. For example, there are important signs of changing popular bases within each party in the three elections. For the KMT, its popular bases have changed in voters with lower education, Taiwanese origins, an affiliation to the public sector, and those holding a Chinese identity. Moreover, as opposed to the DPP, the KMT has experienced an overall decrease of social support in these surveys. On the one hand, voters who were KMT strongholds in the mid-1990s, such as less educated voters and public servants, became insignificant for the KMT in 2004. On the other hand, voters who were not strongly against the KMT in the mid-1990s, such as young voters (ages 20 to 39), Taiwanese origin voters, private managers/professionals and farmers/fishermen/herdsmen, have all switched their loyalty to the DPP over time. Overall, the DPP's base has generally changed dramatically. In addition to Taiwanese origin and pro-independence voters, the younger and middle-aged voters, public servants, private sector managers and professionals, private employees, and farmers/fishermen have all become the DPP's new supporters from 2001.

To sum up, there has been both continuity and change within the political parties' popular bases. The DPP has gradually expanded the components of its popular base. The KMT, the NP, and the PFP share similar sociopolitical bases; a development that can cut two ways. It can lead to strong competition among the three parties, but it also provides an opportunity for cooperation against the ruling DPP. It is likely that these pan-blue partners will collaborate in the executive elections, such as the elections for country magistrates, city mayors, and even the president, as they did in 2004 presidential election.

In addition to party competition, another crucial development will be the political impact of different social bases among the major political parties. When compared to the overlapping popular bases of the KMT and the PFP, the DPP's social bases seem unique. It is true that the DPP has gradually expanded them during the past decade, but the increase of DPP strength has not come from a 'catch-all' electoral strategy that tries to attract maximum popular support in society, but rather in a strategy that focuses mainly on Taiwanese origin voters. The DPP has historically supported promoting the political rights of the Taiwanese in past elections. Given the fact that Taiwanese origin voters constitute a majority of the population in Taiwan, and the undemocratic political structure of the political system at the time, that strategy has been effective so far. However, it alienates the DPP from mainland origin and pro-unification voters that might otherwise support its policies. This keeps the DPP from transforming itself into a broadly based party and it also accentuates the effects of differences in provincial origin, ethnicity, and national identification in Taiwan's political development. An extreme scenario might even see the DPP taking on hegemonic status with the emergence of a polarized society. This impact will certainly be detrimental to Taiwan's democratization.

Concluding remarks

The 2000 and 2004 presidential elections have brought about changes in the party system of Taiwan, perhaps even to the point of a party realignment, and so far the electoral data seem to support this perspective. Nonetheless, one or two elections are not enough to ensure the formation and continuity of a new party system. The legislative election to be held in December of 2004 will be the critical test of the DPP's ability to consolidate its recent gains.

So far, the pan-blue still maintains effective control of the Legislative Yuan. Based on its performance in the 2004 presidential election, it would seem likely that the KMT, the PFP, and other pan-blue allies should continue to be able to cooperate with each other in order to secure a majority in the 2004 legislative election. However, the prospect of cooperation for the pan-blue members in the 2004 legislative election is more complex than expected due to the peculiar electoral system for legislators on the one hand and the overlapping of social bases of the pan-blue members on the other.

The current electoral system for legislators is the single non-transferable voter system (SNTV), and there are plenty of studies providing data on the political consequences of the use of this system. It is widely agreed that the SNTV will encourage inter-party competition as well as intra-party competition. Therefore, a political party has to nominate an optimal number of candidates in a given district and coordinate its party candidates in the campaign process. Hence, it is reasonable to find that larger political parties, with more resources, will fare better than the minor political parties (Hsieh, 1996a). Besides, the overlapping social bases which were sources of cooperation in the 2004 presidential election could become the source of competition between pan-blue members in the 2004 legislative elections. Past experiences have shown that intra-party competition is often more intense than inter-party competition. It is reasonable to argue that there will be intense intra-pan-blue competition in the 2004 legislative elections. Unlike the presidential election where both parties can develop a cooperative strategy against the DPP, a successful alliance in the legislative election will be very difficult to maintain even though the results will be crucial for both parties.

In addition to the coming 2004 legislative election, the demographic and sociopolitical bases of political parties in Taiwan have both changing and constant components over the past decade. In terms of changes, the KMT has continuously competed with the NP, and later the PFP, for the same voters as it also competes with the DPP for Taiwanese origin voters and voters with Taiwanese identity. For its part, the DPP competes with the NP and the PFP for younger and more educated voters. As for constants within the party system, the KMT, the NP, and the PFP have strong continuing connections with pro-unification voters, and the DPP has strong and steady support from voters having a pro-independence position and Taiwanese origin.

Researchers of democratic transition theory have argued that in fledgling democracies, major political parties must have stable roots in society to channel people's political preferences institutionally on a regular basis (Mainwaring and Scully, 1995). Therefore, political parties in new democracies should be consistent in their policy positions that reflect societal differences while sharing a consensus on enough basic political values so as to ensure the continued functioning of their governments. The emergence of confrontational sociopolitical factors will obstruct the establishment of a stable party system if they destroy the needed consensus.

It is true that a political party strictly based on ethnic cleavages or on a polarizing national identity will be detrimental to the consolidation of democratization. In Taiwan, the positioning of the KMT, the DPP, and the PFP on the issues of provincial origin, ethnic identity, and unification versus independence do not help to ensure the existence of a stable party system and a consolidated democracy. These issues, to some degree, can be regarded as the basic ground conditions for a country to complete its democratization (Rostow, 1970). The political elites of Taiwan need to deal cautiously with these issues and try to move towards an acceptable consensus in the coming decade.
Appendix
Descriptions and Measurement of Variables used in Table 2 to Table 5

Variable         Description and Measurements

Age              Respondent's age (1 = 20-39 years old;
                 2 = 40-59 years old; 3 = 60 years old
                 and above).

Education        Respondent's highest level of education
                 (1 = No schooling or primary school;
                 2 = Junior high school and Senior high
                 school; 3 = College and above).

Provincial       Based on the provincial background of
origin           respondent's father (1 = Hakka;
                 2 = Taiwanese; 3 = Mainlander).

Occupation       Respondent's occupation (1 = Public
                 servants; 2 = Private Managers/Professionals;
                 3 = Private sector employees;
                 4 = Farmers/Fishermen/Herdsmen; 5 = Others)

Areas            Respondent's residence area in Taiwan
                 (1 = North; 2 = Center; 3 = South;
                 4 = East)

Ethnic           Respondents were asked the following
identity         question: 'In Taiwan, some people
                 think they are Taiwanese. There are
                 also some people who think that they are
                 Chinese. Do you think you are Taiwanese,
                 Chinese, or both Taiwanese and Chinese?'
                 (1 = Taiwanese; 2 = both; 3 = Chinese).

Unification      Respondents were asked the following
versus           question: 'Concerning the relationship
independence     between Taiwan and Mainland China,
                 which of these six positions do you
                 agree with: 1) immediate unification,
                 2) immediate independence, 3) maintain
                 the status quo, move toward unification
                 in the future, 4) maintain the status
                 quo, move toward independence in the
                 future, 5) maintain the status quo,
                 decide either unification or independence
                 in the future, 6) maintain the status
                 quo forever?' (1= Pro-unification:
                 immediate unification and maintain the
                 status quo, move toward unification
                 in the future; 2 = Pro-independence:
                 immediate independence and maintain the
                 status quo, move toward independence in
                 the future; 3 = Status quo: maintain the
                 status quo, decide either unification or
                 independence in the future and maintain
                 the status quo forever)

Party            In 1995 and 1998, respondents were asked
identification   the following question: 'In our society,
                 some people say they support the KMT,
                 some people say they support the DPP,
                 and some people say they support the NP,
                 do you think you support the KMT, the DPP,
                 or the NPT (1 = KMT; 2 = DPP; 3 = NP;
                 4 = Party Neutral). In 2001, the PFP
                 and the TSU were also included in the
                 questionnaire.

Source: Election Study Center, Chengchi University.

Table 1
Partisan Support in Legislative and
Presidential Elections, 1983-2001

            1983       1986   1989       1992   1995

KMT         69.4       69.9   60.1       52.7   46.1
DPP         18.9 (a)   22.2   28.2       31.4   33.2
NP                                              12.9
PFP
TSU
Others      11.7       8.0    11.7       15.8   7.8
Turnout     62.7       65.9   74.9       72.3   67.8

            1996              2000
            (b)        1998   (b)        2001   2004 (b)

KMT         54.0       46.4   23.1       28.6   49.89 (d)
DPP         21.1       29.6   39.3       33.4   50.11
NP          14.9       7.1    0.1        2.6
PFP                                      18.6
TSU                                      7.8
Others      10.0       17.0   37.5 (c)   9.1
Turnout     76         68.3   82.7       66.2   80.2

Note:
(a) In the 1983 legislative election, the DPP did not
exist. The Tang-wai was its predecessor.

(b) Presidential elections.

(c) James Soong was classified as independent candidate
in the 2000 presidential election.

(d) Both the KMT and the PFP formed an electoral
alliance in 2004, so this number is for
both the KNIT and the PFP.

Source: Election Study Center, 2004.

Table 2
The Sociopolitical Bases of Party Identification
(versus DPP Identifiers), 1995

                                    KMT
                                    Coefficient (S. E)
Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                             -0.696 (0.342) *
  40-59                             -0.447 (0.319)
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                  0.806 (0.311) **
  Junior/Senior high                 0.495 (0.221) *
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -1.098 (0.292) ***
  Mainlander                         0.129 (0.448)
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                    1.049 (0.339) **
  Private managers/professionals     0.438 (0.228)
  Private sector employees           0.186 (0.251)
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures         0.052 (0.364)
Area (East = 0)
  North                              0.109 (0.457)
  Center                             0.122 (0.482)
  South                             -0.086 (0.464)
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -0.942 (0.194) ***
  Chinese                            0.185 (0.267)
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                        0.287 (0.227)
  Independence                      -1.786 (0.238) ***
Intercept                            2.064 (0.663) **
n = 1485
                                    [chi square] = 531.23

                                    NP
                                    Coefficient (S. E)
Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                              0.117 (0.481)
  40-59                             -0.488 (0.490)
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                 -1.041 (0.503) *
  Junior/Senior high                -0.280 (0.259)
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -1.379 (0.361) ***
  Mainlander                         0.966 (0.488) *
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                    1.292 (0.403) ***
  Private managers/professionals     0.923 (0.297) **
  Private sector employees           0.340 (0.321)
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures        -1.834 (1.577)
Area (East = 0)
  North                             -0.607 (0.556)
  Center                            -0.924 (0.605)
  South                             -0.973 (0.579)
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -1.939 (0.342) ***
  Chinese                           -0.212 (0.318)
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                        0.479 (0.276)
  Independence                      -1.183 (0.352) ***
Intercept                            1.660 (0.835) *
n = 1485                               df = 51

                                    Neutral
                                    Coefficient (S. E)
Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                             -0.702 (0.336) *
  40-59                             -0.458 (0.311)
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                  0.975 (0.307) ***
  Junior/Senior high                 0.277 (0.223)
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -1.053 (0.292) ***
  Mainlander                        -0.206 (0.459)
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                    0.575 (0.348)
  Private managers/professionals     0.304 (0.226)
  Private sector employees          -0.106 (0.256)
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures         0.108 (0.346)
Area (East = 0)
  North                              0.471 (0.495)
  Center                             0.843 (0.515)
  South                              0.553 (0.499)
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -0.892 (0.190) ***
  Chinese                           -0.225 (0.276)
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                       -0.389 (0.239)
  Independence                      -1.680 (0.223) ***
Intercept                            1.887 (0.685) **
n = 1485                            Pseudo [R.sup.2] = 0.1394

Note: *** p < 0.001, ** p < 0.01, * p < 0.05, two-tailed test.
Entries are unstandardized coefficients (standard errors
are in parentheses).

Source: Election Study Center, 1996.

Table 3
The Sociopolitical Bases of Party Identification
(versus DPP Identifiers), 1998

                                     KMT
                                     Coefficient (S. E)
Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                              -0.888 (0.323) **
  40-59                              -0.634 (0.293) *
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                   0.054 (0.292)
  Junior/Senior high                  0.277 (0.216)
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -0.289 (0.254)
  Mainlander                          1.411 (0.426) ***
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                     1.227 (0.420) **
  Private managers/professionals      0.418 (0.296)
  Private sector employees            0.308 (0.109) **
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures          0.151 (0.391)
Area (East =0)
  North                              -0.447 (0.382)
  Center                              0.050 (0.394)
  South                              -0.591 (0.392)
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -0.870 (0.187) ***
  Chinese                             0.183 (0.293)
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                         0.522 (0.218) *
  Independence                       -1.310 (0.210) ***
Intercept                             0.716 (0.716)
  n = 1207                           [chi square] = 450.86

                                     NP
                                     Coefficient (S. E)
Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                               1.662 (1.182)
  40-59                               1.394 (1.147)
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                   0.230 (0.759)
  Junior/Senior high                 -0.009 (0.448)
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -0.006 (0.705)
  Mainlander                          3.332 (0.783) ***
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                     0.666 (0.999)
  Private managers/professionals      1.086 (0.656)
  Private sector employees            0.346 (0.268)
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures         -30.81 (-) (a)
Area (East =0)
  North                              -0.168 (0.820)
  Center                             -0.749 (0.911)
  South                              -2.091 (0.957) *
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -3.292 (0.940) ***
  Chinese                             0.260 (0.510)
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                         0.582 (0.456)
  Independence                       -0.566 (0.628)
Intercept                            -4.367 (1.965) *
  n = 1207                            df = 51

                                     Neutral
                                     Coefficient (S. E)
Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                              -0.632 (0.317) *
  40-59                              -0.727 (0.285) *
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                   0.887  (0.291) **
  Junior/Senior high                  0.355  (0.228)
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -0.545 (0.247) *
  Mainlander                          0.219 (0.457)
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                     0.938 (0.431) *
  Private managers/professionals      0.196 (0.302)
  Private sector employees            0.309 (0.107) **
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures         -0.041 (0.382)
Area (East =0)
  North                              -0.690  (0.371)
  Center                             -0.172 (0.383)
  South                              -0.985 (0.383) *
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -0.817 (0.187) ***
  Chinese                            -0.513 (0.322)
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                        -0.269 (0.234)
  Independence                       -1.615 (0.214) ***
Intercept                             1.157 (0.704)
  n = 1207                           Pseudo [R.sup.2] = 0.1570

Note: *** p < 0.001, ** p < 0.01, * p < 0.05,
two-tailed test.

Entries are unstandardized coefficients (standard
errors are in parentheses).

Source: Election Study Center. 1999.

Table 4
The Sociopolitical Bases of Party Identification
(versus DPP Identifiers), 2001

                                     KMT

                                     Coefficient (S. E)

Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                              -0.825 (0.292) **
  40-59                              -0.195 (0.254)
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                  -0.462 (0.278)
  Junior/Senior high                  0.045 (0.205)
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -0.575 (0.214) **
  Mainlander                          1.470 (0.402) ***
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                     0.279 (0.267)
  Private managers/professionals     -0.473 (0.243) *
  Private sector employees            0.088 (0.233)
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures         -0.538 (0.233) *
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -0.736 (0.177) ***
  Chinese                             0.890 (0.320) **
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                         0.482 (0.182) **
  Independence                       -1.147 (0.261) ***
Intercept                             0.535 (0.397)
n = 2022                             [chi square] = 638.23

                                     PFP

                                     Coefficient (S. E)

Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                              -0.212 (0.353)
  40-59                              -0.190 (0.337)
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                  -1.175 (0.345) ***
  Junior/Senior high                  0.193 (0.206)
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -0.679 (0.230) **
  Mainlander                          1.991 (0.401) ***
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                     0.207 (0.297)
  Private managers/professionals     -0.083 (0.253)
  Private sector employees            0.091 (0.258)
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures         -0.260 (0.258)
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -1.409 (0.221) ***
  Chinese                             0.439 (0.343)
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                         0.613 (0.187) ***
  Independence                       -1.748 (0.405) ***
Intercept                             0.135 (0.464)
n = 2022                             df = 42

                                     Neutral

                                     Coefficient (S. E)

Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                              -0.730 (0.211) ***
  40-59                              -0.628 (0.177) ***
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                   0.224 (0.207)
  Junior/Senior high                  0.140 (0.157)
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -0.117 (0.168)
  Mainlander                          1.186 (0.375) **
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                    -0.297 (0.219)
  Private managers/professionals     -0.503 (0.170) **
  Private sector employees           -0.397 (0.176) *
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures         -0.334 (0.152) *
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                          -0.698 (0.119) ***
  Chinese                             0.401 (0.292)
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                        -0.477 (0.152) **
  Independence                       -1.155 (0.149) ***
Intercept                             1.680 (0.298) ***
n = 2022                             Pseudo [R.sup.2] = 0.1260

Note: *** p < 0.001, ** p < 0.01, * p < 0.05, two-tailed test.

Entries are unstandardized coefficients (standard errors
are in parentheses).

Source: Election Study Center, 2002.

Table 5
The Sociopolitical Bases of Party Identification
(versus DPP Identifiers), 2004

                                    KMT

                                    Coefficient (S. E)

Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                             -0.483 (0.279)
  40-59                             -0.181 (0.255)
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                 -0.086 (0.263)
  Junior/Senior high                -0.027 (0.174)
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -0.460 (0.217) *
  Mainlander                         0.548 (0.314)
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                    0.596 (0.286) *
  Private managers/professionals     0.249 (0.207)
  Private sector employees           0.089 (0.185)
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures        -0.386 (0.364)
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -1.385 (0.157) ***
  Chinese                            0.778 (0.406)
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                       -0.390 (0.245)
  Independence                      -1.519 (0.198) ***
Intercept                            1.275 (0.378) **
n = 1875                            [chi square] = 509.191

                                    PFP
                                    Coefficient (S. E)
Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                              0.428 (0.376)
  40-59                              0.352 (0.355)
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                 -0.456 (0.370)
  Junior/Senior high                 0.072 (0.206)
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -1.017 (0.251) ***
  Mainlander                         0.956 (0.333) **
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                    0.791 (0.334) *
  Private managers/professionals     0.364 (0.254)
  Private sector employees           0.094 (0.232)
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures        -0.470 (0.552)
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -1.880 (0.213) ***
  Chinese                            0.632 (0.443)
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                        0.131 (0.268)
  Independence                      -1.698 (0.299) ***
Intercept                            0.259 (0.481)
n = 1875                            df = 42

                                    Neutral
                                    Coefficient (S. E)
Age (60 and above = 0)
  20-39                             -0.123 (0.242)
  40-59                             -0.060 (0.220)
Education (college and above = 0)
  Primary and below                  0.246 (0.222)
  Junior/Senior high                 0.037 (0.151)
Provincial origin (Hakka = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -0.220 (0.193)
  Mainlander                         0.619 (0.291) *
Occupation (Others = 0)
  Public servants                    0.365 (0.257)
  Private managers/professionals     0.072 (0.181)
  Private sector employees           0.180 (0.156)
  Farmers/fishermen/pastures         0.111 (0.288)
Ethnic identity (Both = 0)
  Taiwanese                         -1.073 (0.133) ***
  Chinese                            0.437 (0.397)
Unification versus Independence
(Status Quo = 0)
  Unification                       -0.327 (0.220)
  Independence                      -0.948 (0.142) ***
Intercept                            1.157 (0.334) **
n = 1875                            Pseudo [R.sup.2] = 0.238

Note: ***p < 0.001, **p < 0.01. *p < 0.05, two-tailed test.

Entries are unstandardized coefficients (standard errors
are in parentheses).

Source: Election Study Center, 2004.


NOTES

Parts of the data used in this article also come from the research project of Portraying Taiwan's New Party System (NSC92-2414-H-004-021), sponsored by the National Science Council, the Executive Yuan, Taiwan, Republic of China. The author is also grateful to the National Science Council for its support through all stages of this project. The author appreciates the valuable comments from anonymous reviewers of this article and the views expressed herein are the author's own.

(1.) This close margin led the KMT-PFF candidates to demand a recount. The process of ballot recounting is still going on as this article was written.

(2.) Whereas the dispute over the results of 2004 presidential election seems to contradict this point, the courts were soon asked to investigate the campaign process by the opposition parties and both the DPP and the opposition parties agreed to organize a formal investigation committee to examine the shooting incident that immediately preceded the election. Therefore, both the courts and the committee will become the institutional locus to solve these disputes.

(3.) The story of the growth of the DPP in Taiwan can be found in (Huang, 1992).

(4.) Generally speaking, studies refer to Minnan Taiwanese (the so-called Taiwanese), Haaka Taiwanese, Mainlanders, and Aborigines as the four major ethnic groups in Taiwan and the demographic distribution of these four groups is around 74 percent, 11 percent, 13 percent, and 2 percent respectively.

(5.) Descriptions of relevant variables in the logit models are presented in the Appendix.

(6.) Unlike those data of Tables 2, 3, and 4 are collected by face-to-face interview; the data of Table 5 is a telephone interview collected from 20 to 27 March in 2004.

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Ching-Hsin Yu is an associate research fellow at the Election Study Center of National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan. His research interests include the theories of parties and party system, electoral system, and public opinion survey. His recent publications include 'Effects of Campaign Strategies: A Study of 'Chung-shing Securities Event' in the 2000 Presidential Election' (2001), 'Electoral Mechanisms and Democratization' (2003), 'Party Identification and Party Image: A Combination of Face-to-Face Interview and Focus Group Interview (2003)', 'Exploring the Electorate's Ideal Presidential Candidate: The Case of 2000 Presidential Election in Taiwan' (2003), and 'Direction and Strength of Voter's Party Identification in Taiwan after 2000' (2004).

Address: Election Study Center, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan. (csyou@nccu.edu.tw)
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