United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
July 2, 2015
Executive Summary: Former blue camp legislator Chang Shuo-wen has defected to the People First Party (PFP). Yunlin Legislator Chang Chia-chun is "seriously considering quitting the KMT" because he disagrees with Hung Hsiu-chu's One China, Same Interpretation. Changhua legislator Cheng Ru-fen cited health and family reasons for politely declining when the KMT leadership recruited her as a candidate. Do these developments suggest a rush to jump ship? That will depend on how the KMT and the Hung Hsiu-chu campaign respond.
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Former blue camp legislator Chang Shuo-wen has defected to the People First Party (PFP). Yunlin Legislator Chang Chia-chun is "seriously considering quitting the KMT" because he disagrees with Hung Hsiu-chu's One China, Same Interpretation. Changhua legislator Cheng Ru-fen cited health and family reasons for politely declining when the KMT leadership recruited her as a candidate. Do these developments suggest a rush to jump ship? That will depend on how the KMT and the Hung Hsiu-chu campaign respond.
Inside the party, Hung must defend against backstabbing. Outside the party, she must defend against red-baiting. These are Hung Hsiu-chu's internal and external threats. They are testing her ability to cope. Hung Hsiu-chu's best response is to show tolerance. She must appease fickle elements within her party. She must also broaden her appeal. She must swiftly rebutt any charges of "Communist sympathies". If Hung Hsiu-chu can do all these, then she can turn the tide. She can catch up to Tsai. In a worst-case scenario, she would be powerless to keep comrades from jumping ship, and the green camp from painting her red. She would then lose any chance of seizing the middle ground.
According to the most recent poll conducted by this paper, Tsai Ing-wen leads Hung Hsiu-chu, 45% to 33%. But of course Tsai Ing-wen has prepared many years for this day. Hung Hsiu-chu, meanwhile, has yet to be officially nominated by her own party. Therefore the shortfall in numbers is understandable. Besides, before her breakout she trailed by 40 to 50%. Since her breakout, she has closed that gap significantly. Note also that these numbers reflect 90% green camp support for Tsai Ing-wen and 68% blue camp support for Hung Hsiu-chu. They also reflect 23% blue camp support for Tsai Ing-wen. They reflect 42% centrist support for Tsai Ing-wen, and only 23% centrist support for Hung Hsiu-chu. Clearly Hung Hsiu-chu has more room to grow.
Recently nativist faction legislators within the KMT have been threatening to quit the party or refusing to run. These are the obstacles the Hung campaign faces. Hung Hsiu-chu began by initiating a dialogue. She has now turned a sow's ear into a silk purse. All along the way, her own comrades mocked her, second-guessed her, and obstructed her. Clearly party regrouping has yet to take place. Chang Chia-chun recently disagreed with Hung Hsiu-chu's One China, Same Interpretation. The disagreement turned out to be a misunderstanding. But it showed how difficult it is to explain her position to grassroots voters. During the first phase of the campaign Hung Hsiu-chu's straight talk enabled her to boost blue camp morale. But during the next phase, if cannot afford to fight this same battle. Otherwise she will find it impossible to broaden her base of support.
The legislative or presidential nominations for the 2016 campaign require blue camp regrouping. This however is not Hung Hsiu-chu's individual responsibility. One. The plenary session dragged its feet. The party showed no sense of urgency. It lacked any battle plan. Two. Blue camp regrouping remains stalled. The KMT party leadership remains helpless. Its elders sit on their hands, doing nothing. Three. Mayor Eric Chu is also a party vice chairman, Chu seems to be popping up everywhere. The Formosa Water Park dust explosion incident has left him physically and mentally exhausted. Does that mean party matters are being handled by Hau Lung-bin and Lee Si-chuan? If everything is hit or miss, how can this campaign have a clear theme?
Policy formulation and party regrouping are two challenges Hung Hsiu-chu and the Kuomintang must overcome. Academics and elected representatives have urged Hung Hsiu-chu to move toward the center. Hung Hsiu-chu's reaction was straightforward. She said she is already at the center. "How then can I move toward the center?" In fact, Hung Hsiu-chu's One China, Same Interpretation is essentially the 1992 Consensus, Version 2.0. It insists that Beijing accept the existence of the Republic of China. It denies that Taiwan is part of the People's Republic of China. It upholds the sovereignty of the Republic of China. It rejects the use of force as a solution. It refuses to change our constitutional framework and way of life. Clearly this is new thinking, and is very different from immediate reunification.
Hung Hsiu-chu must understand that as a presidential candidate she cannot run on the reunification vs. independence issue alone. She must offer her thoughts on political, economic, social and other issues. She must allow voters concerned about different issues to identify with her. Hung Hsiu-chu has reiterated her position, but only on cross-Strait relations. She has yet to present her own positions on issues of fairness and justice, social ethics, economic development, cultural identity, and north-south imbalances. She needs to fill in these blanks. She needs to be more aggressive. Hung Hsiu-chu must attack Tsai Ing-wen's equivocations on economic and social issues. That presents her with a golden opportunity to win over swing voters.
According to our poll, voter approval of Tsai Ing-wen and Hung Hsiu-chu is about the same. In fact, those who dislike Tsai Ing-wen outnumber those who dislike Hung Hsiu-chu. But in terms of actual votes, those who like Hung Hsiu-chu may not translate their liking into votes. Those who like Hung Hsiu-chu's straight shooting manner and personal courage, want more in the way of ideas and opinions. Only then can they decide whether she is a capable leader. Hung Hsiu-chu has broken out. Her most important challenge now is to quell internal dissent and seize the strategic middle ground. This of course, also requires an effort on the part of the blue camp.
一中同表」不能苟同為由，揚言「認真考慮退黨」； 彰化立委鄭汝芬則以身體及家庭因素為由，婉謝黨中央徵召參選。 接二連三的演出，會不會演成「跳船潮」， 要看國民黨和洪秀柱陣營如何因應。
考驗她的因應能力。最好的情況，是洪秀柱展現宏大包容， 安撫這些黨內「驛動的心」，同時擴大多元面向的政策論述， 及時甩開紅帽的欲加之罪。如此，洪秀柱即有可能翻轉戰局， 後來居上。最壞的情況，是這廂無力阻止同志跳槽棄船， 那廂又被綠營以紅帽緊緊套牢， 則要往中間地帶開展的機會必然受阻。
領先洪秀柱的三成三。蔡英文厲兵秣馬備戰多年， 而洪秀柱尚未獲黨正式提名，兩人民調有此差距可以理解。何況， 比起「破磚」前四、五成的差距，已大幅拉近。但值得注意的是， 蔡英文擁有九成以上綠營支持者的力挺， 洪秀柱僅獲藍營群眾六成八的支持，甚至有二成三的藍營選民挺蔡。 此外，蔡英文擁有四成二中立選民的支持，也高於洪秀柱的二成三。 可見，洪秀柱的選戰策略仍有很大的開拓空間。
更說明洪陣營的局限。洪秀柱從「拋磚引玉」到「破磚成玉」， 一路走來，黨內嘲諷、質疑、扯腿的聲音未曾中斷， 這顯示黨內的整合仍未成功。張嘉郡近日直指難以苟同洪秀柱「 一中同表」之說，雖出於誤解， 也說明此一議題其實不易向基層民眾說清。洪秀柱的直白， 協助她在第一階段凝聚了藍營渙散的士氣；但選戰進至下一階段， 如果她一味死守這個戰場，恐怕難以打開局面取分。
藍營的整合自是當務之急；然而， 這不應當只是洪秀柱一個人的責任。其一， 把全代會的正式提名拖那麼久，顯示黨內沒有急迫感， 也缺乏一鼓作氣的戰略；其二，藍營的整合，看不到任何具體動作， 黨中央竟似束手無策，大老們則全袖手旁觀；其三， 朱立倫以市長兼黨主席似顯得分身乏術， 八仙塵爆事件更讓他心力交瘁；那麼， 黨務大局難道竟由郝龍斌和李四川當家？如果一切只是且戰且走， 這場選戰怎麼可能有清晰主軸？
學者及民代均建議洪秀柱應該更向中間靠攏，洪秀柱的反應直白， 說她本來就很中間，「要怎麼再往中間靠？」其實，洪秀柱的「 一中同表」，作為「九二共識2.0加強版」，主張「 北京接受中華民國存在的事實」， 又有著不同意台灣屬於中華人民共和國政府、 不同意中華民國喪失主權、不同意武力解決問題、 不同意改變憲政體制與生活方式等「四個不同意」的堅持， 確實有新意，與急統截然不同。
她不僅要在統獨的座標上找到自己的定位，她還必須在政治、經濟、 社會等層面都理出頭緒，讓關心不同面向議題的選民， 都可以從不同的座標上辨識她的位置。 而現在洪秀柱不斷複述的座標，只是她對兩岸關係的詮釋； 但她對公平正義、社會倫理、經濟發展、文化認同、 南北平衡等議題，卻仍未提出自己的想法。這方面的空白或不足， 顯然有待填補。如果更積極一點， 洪秀柱陣營可以針對蔡英文打迷糊仗的經社議題發動攻擊， 那才是爭取中間選民認同的大好機會。
對蔡英文沒有好感的民眾，甚至多於不喜歡洪秀柱的民眾。 但若換算為實際選票， 喜歡洪秀柱的民眾卻不見得都願意把這份好感化成相挺的選票， 究其原因，可能是民眾喜歡洪秀柱的直白與勇氣， 唯仍期待她提出更多的主張與見解， 才能決定她是否一個具有全面觀照能力的領導人。因此， 在破磚效應逐漸消退之後，洪秀柱最重要的課題， 是務實地彌合蕭牆之爭，搶回中間戰略位置；當然， 這也需要藍營舉黨傾力以赴。