Citizens occupying politics: Green Party Taiwan takes root in 2014, and turns Taiwan around in 2016

綠黨"公民佔領政治" 號召投入年底選舉 20140524 公視晚間

Green Party Taiwan is an open platform for civil society, and welcomes all who share in a Green political philosophy, values and goals. This is our time to turn Taiwan around!

Green Party Taiwan shares the spirit of Greens around the world, and since 1996 Green Party Taiwan (GPTW) has been operating from the grassroots building a party genuinely concerned about democracy, human rights, our environment, labor, gender and diversity.  For many years the Greens have been actively building a platform for political social movements. Despite Taiwan's electorial system being unsupportive to small parties, GPTW continues to work towards elected office.  Through sustainable development, values of fairness and justice, and a fresh way of doing participatory democracy, the Green party is creating a new political culture and is gradually gaining social recognition.

In 2012, Green Party Taiwan won nearly 230,000 party votes, constituting approximately 1.8% of the vote and a four-fold increase above the Greens' achievements in Taiwan's 2008 elections.  Following 2012, Green Party Taiwan has continued dialoguing with communities and opinion leaders across various social sectors.  Green party members are also active in Taiwan's important social movements including the occupy campaign against the "Black Box Cross-strait Agreement on Trade Services" (「反黑箱服貿」) and the "Implementing Democracy, Stop Construction of the 4th Nuclear Power Plant" (「落實民主、停建核四」) campaign.  In March 2014, about 500,000 people took to the streets in Taipei creating a new page in the nation's history of civic movements and also demonstrating that increasingly more people are willing to actively participate in politics.  In this process, Green Party Taiwan deeply recognised that citizens, especially youth, are eager for political reform; and we recognise that changing politics requires ongoing demonstration, deepening grassroots democracy at the community-level, and creation of new social values by directly participating in political action.

Green Party Taiwan will contest in 2014‘s "nine in one" elections!  Through the Greens' six core values of participatory democracy, nonviolence, social justice, respect for diversity, ecological wisdom and sustainability, Green Party Taiwan has already established a bottom up candidate election system that strengthens and connects with civil society and demonstrating our determination to "take root".  Green Party Taiwan is also broadly inviting academic and civic leaders to join in a policy adisory group to develop solutions to address our nation's challenges.  We aim in Taiwan's 2016 general elections to enable the nation's many progressive forces to work together in turning around Taiwan's political impasse!

Currently eight candidates are ready to represent Green Party Taiwan in the 2014 elections; they include the Taoyuan mayoral candidate Dongjia Lu and parliamentary candidates from various counties: Ming-li Zhang (Keelung), Chung-ming Wang (New North Taiwan: Tamsui, Sanzhi, Shimen, and Bali), Mu-wan Yang (New North: Tucheng, shulin, Sanxia, and Yingge), Haoyu Wang (Taoyuan and Chungli), Tanglin Xiang (Taoyuan and Ping-zhen), Yi-zhi Liang (Kaohsiung and San-min), Jing-fan Fu (Penghu ma-gong).  They come from different social sectors, including farmers, ecology academics, young entrepreneurs, students, heads of parent associations, medical professionals, social workers, local environmental and cultural workers, yet they share the same long-term vision of enabling political reform to take root through cultivating the Greens' six core values.  In the words of Greens candidate Dongjie Lu,

"I like the life of being a farmer, patting the bugs and butterflies, but when I and the other 500,000 take to the streets and are still unable to change the nation, I start to think, if fifty people from among us were to stand on the streets in the elections, the nation would be different!  I must take a stand and be the first!"

Dong Jie believes that elections start with people power, from the Green Party's "political representatives" system and "citizens policy deliberation", it begins with people's power to gradually change this nation!

 

1. An open nomination system: actively seeking candidates to support civil society

In 2014 the Green Party introduced a candidate nomination system; any party member willing to contest in the election needs to demonstrate a minimum level of individual and civic society organisation supporters from the community in order to serve as representative of that locality.  The purpose of this open nomination system is to institutionalise a bottom-up approach to connect candidates to civil society, and to encourage more outstanding professionals and youth to take root in community-based political reform actions and to shape Green Party Taiwan into a truly social movement platform.  The first round of nominations for Green Party's candidates ends June 30.  We welcome anyone who shares the Greens' values, vision and campaigns to contest in the elections.

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2. Mechanisms are introduced to ensure that Green Party Taiwan's policies derive from progressive social movement politics and participatory democracy

Green Party and candidate policies must be formed through deliberative democracy using open policy forums using a bottom-up approach to incorporating citizen's views while also inviting the support of citizen activists as policy advisors to ensure that each concrete political practice is compliant with progressive values.  

After policies are formed, the candidate and the party give our promise to citizens through a "Political Representation Convention" expressing a commitment that the elected candidate will share policy information through reports to voters and civil society groups, continually build the party, mutual trust with citizens and deepen democracy.

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3. Transparent election finances:

Taiwan's politics has alraedy shacked itself with a history of vote buying and a system in which from campaigning to elected office, political parties face increasingly higher election fees and barriars to participation, making contesting in elections something for only elites.  Moreover, political factions, special interest investors, and false declaration of election expenses is a significant problem.  The consequences are a homogeneous parliament void of the diverse views of the general public and youth who have no opportunity to engage in the decision-making process.

Green Party candidates are average people who care about the land and the next generation, who because they empathise with society's hardships and dissatisfaction with politics, decided to jump in and stand up for change!

Green Party Taiwan will openly publish the Party's fundraising sources and campaign expenses, and we refuse to accept corporate donations.  Only by decoupling money and politics will politicians avoid the inclination towards vested interests and our elected representatives can then play a real governance oversight function for society.  Green Party candidates promise that their income and expenses will be fully transparent and open on the internet.  For those who care about political transparentcy, please support the Green Party candidates and join us in suprervising the election expenses.


Green Party Taiwan's 2014 policy platform: 

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1. Abolish nuclear power plants and take nuclear power to zero

Green Party Taiwan stands along with Green Parties around the world against nuclear; and we call for the immediate abolishment of Taiwan's nuclear power plants.  We advocate for reducing society's electricty demand, and the development of a long-term municipal green energy policy to encourage citizens and businesses to use renewable energy and to reduce peak summer temperatures particularly in the urban areas, to advance education in sustainable environmental, and to actively prepare nuclear disaster contingency measures.

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2. Open parliament and election reform 

Despite Taiwan's current open legislature efforts, information is still difficult to inspect, some localities lack public access to meeting minutes and frequency of elected officials' participation in meetings.  The Greens advocate for an open city council, parliamentary transparency, regular policy reports to voters, and to encourage citizens to join with the Greens in conducting congressional oversight.

The Green Party advocates for the multiple seats in local elections to be changed to a "two-vote" system wherein half of the seats would be elected by party vote in order to avoid the creation of an ecology of factions and money politics, and allow for small parties to have the opportunity to join the parliament and contribute the voice of our pluralistic society.  Only by breaking the monoply of power held by the two largest parties can the function of municipal oversight really be fulfilled.

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3. Diverse families and friendly campuses

The Green Party supports gay marriage, and calls on local governments and businesses to lead by good example by opening employee spouse benefits to gay couples.  Education, we advocate for gender diversity education in campuses and to make significant efforts to eliminate school bully and to improve information and support systems.  through specific policies and advocacy our country will gradually become a more friendly and inclusive pluralistic society.

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4. Cross-strait human rights agreements

Strengthen cross-strait links through a consensus on human rights, developing oversight regulations on cross-strait agreements by strengthening parliamentary and citizen oversight.  Before establishing cross-strait equality, society must have mutual trust, democracy, freedom and human rights.  The Green Party opposes any signing of the cross-strait economic and trade agreements which lack supervision by an appropriate democratic deliberative mechanism.  Regarding the legislature's consideration of a free economic demonstration zone, Green Party Taiwan echoes civic groups' call to adhere to strict review of the agreement, deletion of any provisions that would harm Taiwan's environment and agricultural resources, and strongly urge the city council to provide an oversight functions.

Currently the majority of parliament seats are held by the Nationalist party (KMT), and with the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) influence by corporate financial interests it is unable to play the surpervisory role of checks and balances, Taiwan's democracy is facing a crisis point.  As large cross-strait political and business groups loom, the only way for citizens to regain political power, self-determination and action, the only way to turn around the depletion of natural and economic resources is through Green lifestyle practices to open up a new path for contemporary Taiwan!

We believe that openness and transparency are the first steps to expanding political participation.  Green Party Taiwan is leading the way by opening up our candidate nomination system, holding open policy deliberations, instituting political representative agreements, adopting open source community practices to facilitate discussion, and expanding a recruitment team so that more citizens can contribute their limited time and special abilities for us all to excel in the elections, welcome to join us! 


Green Party Directors: 余宛如、李根政、張育憬、邱花妹、賴美惠(希婻.瑪飛洑)、呂東杰、廖本全、吳銘軒、林正修

Supervisory Committee:洪輝祥、林子淩、文魯彬

Green Party Taiwan has an ongoing invitation for thought leaders from all sectors of soiety to join our policy advisory team.  The first round of advisors are:

Land and Environment Policies

  • *徐世榮(政治大學地政學系教授)
  • *崔愫欣(綠色公民行動聯盟祕書長)
  • *廖本全(台北大學不動產與城鄉環境系副教授)
  • 杜文苓(政治大學公共行政學系副教授)
  • 莊秉潔(中興大學環境工程系教授)
  • 洪輝祥((屏東縣環境保護聯盟理事長)
  • 蔡嘉陽(彰化縣環保聯盟理事長)

Green Economy Policies:

  • *蔡培慧(世新大學社會發展研究所助理教授、台灣農村陣線)
  • *文魯彬(台灣蠻野心足生態協會理事長)
  • *徐文彥(生態綠共同創辦人、台灣公平貿易協會理事長)
  • 陳吉仲(中興大學應用經濟系教授)
  • 戴興盛(東華大學自然資源與環境學系副教授)
  • 賴偉傑(綠色公民行動聯盟理事長)
  • 劉力學(臨海農場負責人)
  • 陳來紅(資深環保、合作社運動者)

Democracy and Governance Reform Policies:

  • 顏厥安(台灣大學法律學院教授)
  • 王金壽(成功大學政治系暨政治經濟學研究所教授)
  • 陳尚志(中正大學政治系助理教授)
  • 徐偉群(中原大學法學院副教授)

China Policies:

  • 吳介民(中央研究院社會學研究所副研究員)

Gender Policies:

  • *簡至潔(台灣伴侶權益推動聯盟協會祕書長)
  • 范雲(台灣大學社會系副教授)
  • 楊佳羚(國立高雄師範大學性別教育研究所助理教授)
  • 彭渰雯(中山大學公共事務管理研究所副教授)

Law and Human Rights Policies:

  • *詹順貴(環境法律人協會理事長)
  • 劉靜怡(台灣大學國家發展研究所教授)
  • 李佳玟(成功大學法律系副教授)
  • 王金壽(成功大學政治系教授)

Labor Policies:

  • 邱毓斌(屏東教育大學社會學系助理教授)
  • 陳政亮(世新大學社會發展研究所副教授)

Culture and Media Policies:

  • 管中祥(中正大學傳播系副教授)
  • 何東洪(輔仁大學心理系副教授)

Indigenous Policies

  • 林淑雅(靜宜大學法律學系助理教授,長期關注原住民族土地議題)

Migrant Labor and Immigration Policies:

  • 王宏仁(中山大學社會系教授)
  • 藍佩嘉(台灣大學社會學系教授)

Social Welfare Policies:

  • *蔡宏政(中山大學社會系副教授)

Education Policies:

  • 張茂桂(中央研究院社會學研究所研究員)

 

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Although Green Party Taiwan's resources are limited, we rely on citizen's power to reshape Taiwan's election culture, and regain the dignity and worth of politicians.

Media Contact:Ms. Jiazhen Wang (王佳真) [email protected]

Green Party Taiwan office: Tel:02-2392-0508, Fax:02-2392-0512

E-mail:[email protected]

Website: http://www.greenparty.org.tw

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