Issues Impacts and Vote choice in Taiwan Elections, 2004-2016
Taiwan politics enters a new stage of democratic competitions. The 2016 elections redefine not only the party system featuring the two major parties DPP and KMT but also the impact of issues on voters’ decision of support. While the 2014 and 2016 elections witnessed public disapproval of KMT’s cross-Strait policies (Copper, 2014, 2016), DPP president Tsai Ing-wen’s handling of the same issue caused her poor ratings also (W.H. Chen, 2017; also see Hickey and Niou, 2017). In this study, we examine the evolution of issue impacts on vote choices in the last two decades and reevaluate the issue voting in the Taiwan democracy. Specifically, we amass the longitudinal election data and investigate the issue effects in the party support and vote choice functions. Through an inventory of the long-standing central issues such as national identity, economic evaluations and political alienation, we track the ebb and flow of how issues influence voters’ party support and in term voting decisions. Employing Taiwan Election and Democratization Study (TEDS)i data from 2004 to 2016, we scrutinize how this change of issue significance sheds light on future directions of Taiwan’s electoral developments.