Shih Ming-teh miffed as 'negative vote' scheme gets negative vote
Former Democratic Progressive Party chair Shih Ming-teh said Tuesday he was taken aback by what he called rancorous personal attacks by the party he once led after he made proposal for an addition to the national electoral ballot.
In light of the DPP's response, it would be unfortunate if the opposition party were returned to power under the leadership of Tsai Ing-wen in the 2016 presidential election, Shih said.
Shih and other political and financial figures recently formed an NGO called the Negative Vote Alliance to advocate that voters be allowed to express disapproval of candidates by marking "no" on the ballots in nationwide elections.
Several DPP legislators, including Tuan Yi-kang, have panned the proposal, saying it would cause greater animosity in society. Tuan took the criticisms one step further, saying that there is something wrong with the brains of the people who put forward the idea.
In a similar tone, DPP legislator Kuan Bi-ling said the Interior Ministry officials who have endorsed the proposal have exposed the government's innocence and stupidity.
In a radio interview Tuesday, Shih said that whenever a new idea is floated, vested interests usually respond with vehement opposition.
It is understandable that legislators, presidents and other elected officials would reject the idea of voters giving them a mark of disapproval, Shih said. He said he was shocked, however, at what he called the vicious verbal assaults leveled at him by a party that is seeking to return to power.
Shih said it was simply a proposal put forward for discussion, and he questioned whether he did not have the right to speak freely.
Though a former leader of the DPP in the 1990s, Shih has not been aligned with the party since he resigned his membership in 2000.
Tuan Yi-kang 段宜康
Kuan Bi-ling 管碧玲