Regular Issue

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Volume #2, Number #1

Published in December, 1997

Vote-buying has long been a wide -spread phenomenon in elections on Taiwan. It is most commonly practiced by the Kuomintang candidates. This essay analyzes the making and operation of the vote - buying machine of a KMT candidate. The information is collected from participant observation and in-depth interview of the KMT campaigners of different ranks. The article claims that local factions are an important instrument for the KMT in exercising large -scale vote-buying. In some towns where no factions exist, which is rare, party officers take the place of local factions to engage in vote -buying. This paper shows that large -scale vote- buying is a deliberate and carefully planned process. Moreover, its effectiveness and secrecy are insured by traditional social relations. This paper also challenges the conclusion of past findings by interview surveys that the proportion of Votes bought among the electorate is about 25-30% It is estimated to be as high as 67% by the current research. The Vote-buying machine nor only sustained the KMT authoritarian regime but has also kept it in power after democratization.

Chin-shou Wang

To modify foreign policy to suit the post-Cold War era, the United States has proposed the strategy of democratic enlargement, replacing the outdated communist containment. This paper analyzes and assesses the theoretical underpinnings and policy practices of the enlargement strategy. To export democratic systems abroad not only coincides with fundamental American values but also reflects the security concerns of the Clinton administration. The democratic -peace theory, which claims the absence of war between democracies, serves as the rationale for the curity dimension of enlargement policy. We discuss the four pillars to democratic enlargement: 1) strengthening the community of major market democracies; 2) fostering and consolidating new democracies; 3) countering internal and external threats to democracies; and 4) pursuing humanitarian agenda. A combination of tools (economic, diplomatic, political, military, etc.) is necessary to attain the above four goals. The implementation of enlargement strategy, however, has drawn much criticism, on both theoretical and practical grounds. From the theoretical perspective, the causality between democracy and peace remains vague, the definition and operation of relevant variables loom problematic, and the reliability of empirical' evidence awaits improvement. In, practice, the overconfidence in democracy-produced peace, the exaggeration of U.S. ability to transform other countries, the underestimation of other countries' likely response and intolerance of foreign intervention, and the overemphasis on the incompatibility between non -democracies and democracies may all contribute to the defeat of the enlargement strategy.

Chih-Chaeng Lo

Common understanding and previous studies tend to show that nationalized curriculum and education system have a strong unifying effect on the forming of national identity. Taiwan had been under authoritarian rule with a strong emphasis on nationalistic ideology enforced from above; but nationalistic unity in Taiwan in recent years has been divisive, reflecting people's different standings on the tong-du (unification vs. independence) issue. This article explores what the relations are between education level and tong-du standings. It suggests two hypotheses: 1) the linear hypothesis: the higher the education level , the more homogenized people become, and the more they are inclined to ward "unification", and 2) the non-linear hypothesis: the higher the education, the more diversified people become, while the chances for people to incline to ward "independence" also increase.

Using survey data, the paper finds three kinds of effect of education level: 1) the threshold effect: the junior high school level constitutes the threshold. If being under the threshold, a great proportion of the people cannot articulate the "tong -du" issue. If being above the threshold, the proportion who cannot articulate the "tong-du" issue drops significantly; 2) the homogenizing effect: when ethnic background, self-proclaimed identity, party inclinations, and cohorts are accounted for, education' level has a "net" and positive effect in increasing the direction inclining to ward unification as the linear hypothesis suggests; and 3) the dividing effect: through statistical interaction, we find that the tong-du differences between Taiwan-minan and mainlanders, self-proclaimed Chinese and Taiwanese and that between New Party and the DPP supporters is enlarged when the education level increases. The article also notes that the amount of accountable variances by education level, though statistically significant, is small. In the end, we suggest that national education not be considered as the only source of political socialization. The effect of national education on people of different backgrounds is expected to vary from group to group.

Mau-kuei Chang, Hsin-yi Wu

Existing studies on single nontransferable voting system under multi-member district (SNTV-MMD) have focused mainly on its proportionality and consequences and paid little attention to its changeablility. When Japan did replace it with a new electoral system in 1994, most works ascribed the reform to the discontent toward corruption induced by the old system. Such a theory accounted for neither the timing nor the outcome of the reform.

This article provides a different explanation by treating institutional choice as a result of strategic interaction among individual politicians. Extending a fundamental theorem in spatial theory, we propose a general proposition regarding the possibility of electoral reform: the status quo system is irreplaceable if and only if it is a median in all directions. We then ascertain two initial conditions whereby the proposition can be applied: that SNTV-MMD is roughly the median regarding the proportionality of electoral systems and that the system induces divergent preferences against itself. Three hypotheses are then derived: (1) SNTV-MMD is irreplaceable if the reform is not associated with other issues, (2) SNTV-MMD is irreplaceable if some party controls the majority of seats, (3) whenever the status quo is irreplaceable, there is more than one viable alternative. These propositions are corroborated by the Japanese experience. Attempts to change SNTV-MMD failed until the LDP broke up and electoral reform became an indispensable issue in Japan's party realignment. The final bill also reflected the common interest of the LDP and the new parties on the single -member district system. However, the stability of the new system is affected by the same logic that this study portrays.

Jih-wen Lin