Regular Issue

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Volume #17, Number #2

Published in December, 2013

This article analyzes the extent to which ambiguity and uncertainty affect Taiwanese public opinion toward future cross-Strait relations. With respect to different conditions for future integration across the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, we adopt a set of survey questionnaires to explore Taiwanese unification-independence preferences. Then, by assuming that the latent sampling distributions of such preferences may comprise different means and unequal variances, we form a set of heterogeneous choice models to investigate the factors that may contribute to explaining the differences among means (i.e., differences among locations of responses) and the factors that may result in variations in the variances (i.e., differences among distributions of responses). Our findings are mainly three-fold: first, a respondent’s Taiwanese identity and assessment of mainland China’s economic prospects as well as political development have significant impacts in terms of determining his/her unificationindependence preference. Second, a respondent could form ambivalent attitudes toward future cross-Strait relations due to his/her conflicting (or competing) values regarding cross-Strait relations. Finally, the more knowledge (or information) about cross-Strait issues a respondent possesses, the less uncertain he/she may become when expressing his/her unification-independence preference. However, this uncertainty argument is not fully supported by our empirical data.

Eric Chen-hua Yu, Kah-yew Lim

This study tries to explore KMT's transformation and type of its relationships with government from 2000 to 2012. This paper discusses one of the most important issues during this period: the transformation with a major purpose of becoming “election machine”, and the relationships between party organization and government caused by this transformation, especially about constructing problems of whether president should be the chairman of the ruling party at the same time when KMT held the reins of government again in 2008. From contemporary research issues on political parties, this study deal both with “political organizations” and “political parties and the government”.

The findings reveal that the transformation of KMT to become “election machine” is the dominant opinion within the party, however, the contents of it are not specific enough. And, though after 2000 there was a certain degree of organization reform in KMT, but using the academic definition of “election machine” to measure it, KMT has not put the concept into practice, which explains why KMT was not essentially transformed before 2012. Furthermore, though the KMT is a catch-all party, but it did not fundamentally transformed into a electoral-professional party and still maintains the feature of a mass bureaucratic party. But the ruling party under semi-presidentialism could become a mere “election machine”? From the experience of the KMT, it is not the case. Finally, after KMT became the ruling party again in 2008, its elites faced with the challenge of building party-government relationship. The President Ma Ying-jeou served as the party chairman which strengthened president's control of political parties.

Hong-ming Chen

Studies in recent years have found that gender is an important factor affecting career advancement both in the public and private sectors. However, existing gender studies on Taiwanese civil servants have never been conducted based on survey results targeting all Taiwanese civil servants as the population. This paper intends to perform evidence based analysis using survey data collected from the Taiwan Government Bureaucrat Survey (TGBS) in order to better understand how gender differences have affected the promotion of public officials in Taiwan. Based on the results of the crosstabs, t-tests, ANOVA, and hierarchical multiple regression analyses, both of the hypotheses have been accepted. It is found that gender differences affect the seniority, level of education, the officials’ reasons for entering public service, and the officials’ desire to work. It is also found that these four factors have impacts on both the officials’ current ranking and the length of time the officials have been in their current position. However, it should be noted that the factors of human capital, including seniority and the level of education, have a greater impact on both the officials’ current ranking and the time they have been in their current position.

Huan-jung Huang, Kai-hung Fang

Party members are important assets to a political party, for without their help in running the daily affairs and campaigns, a party cannot be seen to exist. Therefore, there is no doubt that the party members are important. By analyzing data from in-depth interviews with central and local party branches, as well as questionnaires directed at party workers, this article aims to examine who the party members of the Kuomintang (KMT) are. Why do they join the party? What is the level of involvement of the members. The data reveal that KMT membership has been increasing steadily over the past decade, which indicates the KMT’s capacity to draw support from voters. In general, KMT members tend to be older than the electorate on average, and most of them are male, reflecting that gender and age gaps exist between the KMT members and the electorate. While many KMT members are motivated by the party’s ideas and issue orientations, to some extent, solidary incentives and material incentives also play a role in recruitin new members. The level of activism varies among the different local branches, with different degrees of participation in terms of age, region, and the party’s political strength being found. Members in rural areas participate more than those in the cities, while older members participate more than the others. Members also participate more if the KMT retains a dominant status at the national level or in the local districts.

Chiung-chu Lin

This paper examines articles on elections published in six Taiwanese journals on political science by using content analysis. The results show that what these articles have in common is that they focus on ‘voters’, using ‘survey data’, and they analyze data using ‘statistical methods’. This research therefore argues, firstly, that political parties should not be ignored in electoral studies, because elections are the process by which political parties try to attract voters. The picture of electoral competition will not be complete without political parties. Secondly, a survey is one, and not the only, method of collecting data. Collecting large-n samples is usually not possible when studying political parties, and so the case-oriented method of small-n may be more appropriate. Thirdly, statistical methods are not the only way to analyze data. When encountering data for small-n samples with a low degree of variance, set theory is better than statistics. Finally, in order to pursue methodological plurality, the ost important and efficient strategy in the short term is to establish a data base on political parties. In closing, this paper discusses the International Comparative Political Parties (ICPP) and the integrated project on Change and Continuity in Taiwan’s Political Parties (CCTPP).

Tsung-wei Liu