Is losing big good for the KMT?

    Posted on: 2016-01-12 (台灣) 出版

Is losing big good for the KMT?

When KMT will be in crisis over the next years, will DPP become the main political party and will the New Power Party be able to use the political vacuum and become an even stronger political party that can reach all of Taiwan. This can be the start of a stronger political normalization process of Taiwan in which the question of independence is accepted by all main political parties. The wishes for the unification can then be found in only smaller parties.

By Michael Danielsen, chairman of Taiwna Corner

Is a hot burning platform the best for the KMT and the worst for an upcoming DPP government and new opposition in the long run?

The question can put differently. Is a small defeat or a big defeat the best for the KMT. How big shall the KMT crisis be in order to ensure real and constructive reforms? No matter the degree of defeat, KMT will feel an urgency for party reforms. However, the burning platform might not be as hot if KMT is correct in its latest poll showing for instance that the KMT presidential candidate Eric Chu is trailing DPP’s candidate Tsai Ing-wen with around 8%. That poll appears to be an outlier though.

In the case of a minor defeat, we could see a development in which the current groups and personalities will fight over the leadership in the KMT. Reforms will be needed but new ideas will have a harder time to surface in the party. Over time, one can imagine a split of the KMT in minimum two parties. It is also possible that KMT will be further weaken if modernization is not started swiftly when reforms of the KMT assets will begin after the new government takes office.

We may be seeing a whole other scenario being played out if KMT experiences a huge defeat on January 16. In this case, the crisis in KMT will become much deeper and pressure from a new generation of leaders both young and old will likely emerge. Contrary to what some people tend to believe, KMT do have younger blood waiting for their changes in the party.

Both scenarios have implications for the political landscape. Will DPP become the main political party and will the New Power Party be able to use the political vacuum and become an even stronger political party that can reach all of Taiwan. This can be the start of a stronger political normalization process of Taiwan in which the question of independence is accepted by all main political parties. The wishes for the unification can be found in smaller parties.

The end result will depend on many factors including the ability of the KMT to reform itself, and how it portray itself over the next few years. Over the next four years, we will be see if KMT will become stronger after the likely defeat on January 16.