People First Party (Republic of China)

People First Party
親民黨
Qīnmíndǎng
Leader James Soong
Founded 31 March 2000
Headquarters Taipei, Taiwan
Ideology Pragmatism[1]
Liberalism
Liberal conservatism
Political position Centre to Centre-right
National affiliation Pan-Blue Coalition
Legislative Yuan
3 / 113
Local Councillors
9 / 906
Website
pfp.org.tw
People First Party
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

The People First Party (PFP) is a centre-right political party in Taiwan (Republic of China).

History

The PFP was founded by James Soong and his supporters after his failed independent bid for the presidency in 2000. Soong is the chairman and dominates much of its politics. The name of the party, Qīnmín, has Confucian connotations.[note 1]

The official goals of PFP, as regards to cross-strait relationships and diplomacy, is for the ROC to: participate in more international organizations, promote Chinese culture overseas and seek economic and cultural interaction between Taiwan and the mainland. Its views are seen as generally favorable towards Chinese unification and staunchly against Taiwan independence.

The party maintains a close but tense relationship with the Kuomintang (KMT) as part of the pan-blue coalition.[2] However, since PFP had, like the New Party, grown out of the KMT, the two parties had to compete for the same set of voters. This dynamic in which both the KMT and PFP must simultaneously compete and cooperate with each other has led to complex and interesting politics.

In several notable cases, this has led to situations in which both parties have run candidates, but close to the election the party with the less popular candidate unofficially dropped out of the race. This in turn has led to some notable situations when either the PFP or the KMT has campaigned against its own candidate, which has led to intra-party resentment.[3]

To avoid a repeat of this effect, which led to the election of Democratic Progressive Party candidate Chen Shui-bian to the presidency in 2000 by a low share of votes,[4] Chairman Soong ran as vice-president on KMT Chairman Lien Chan's presidential ticket in the 2004 presidential election.[5]

After his defeat in Taipei mayoral election on 9 December 2006, Soong announced that he would retire from politics.[6] At this point, with no clear goals, the PFP faced an uncertain future, and considered merging with the Kuomintang.[7] After much negotiation, the PFP and the KMT did not merge.

2012 presidential election

In September 2011, James Soong mounted the PFP's first-ever presidential bid and selected academic Ruey-Shiung Lin to be his running mate. The PFP collected sufficient signatures to qualify for the 2012 Presidential Election ballot.[8]

The Soong-Lin ticket was listed third on the Election Day ballot as determined by a random draw. The DPP's Tsai-Su ticket appeared first, and the incumbent KMT's Ma-Wu ticket appeared second.[9]

While analysts feared that a PFP run will split the Pan-Blue Coalition vote and hand a winnable election to the DPP (as was the case in the 2000 Presidential election), Soong has insisted that his campaign is a serious one and that he will complete his run.[10][11] On election day, however, the Soong-Lin ticket underperformed and garnered a mere 2.77% of votes.

Election results

Presidential elections

Election Candidate Running mate Total votes Share of votes Outcome
2000 James Soong[12] Chang Chau-hsiung 4,664,932 36.8% Defeated
2004 Lien Chan (KMT) James Soong 6,423,906 49.8% Defeated
2012 James Soong Lin Ruey-shiung 369,588 2.77% Defeated
2016 James Soong Hsu Hsin-ying (MKT) 1,576,861 12.84% Defeated

Legislative elections

Election Total seats won Total votes Share of votes Outcome of election Election leader
2001
46 / 225
1,917,836 20.3% 29 seats; Majority opposition (Pan-Blue) James Soong
2004
34 / 225
1,350,613 14.78% 12 seats; Majority opposition (Pan-Blue) James Soong
2008
1 / 113
28,254 0.3% 33 seats; Majority opposition (Pan-Blue) James Soong
2012
3 / 113
722,089 5.49% 2 seats; Opposition (Unaligned) James Soong
2016
3 / 113
794,838 6.52% ; Opposition (Unaligned) James Soong

Local elections

Election Mayors &
Magistrates
Councils Third-level
Municipal heads
Third-level
Municipal councils
Fourth-level
Village heads
Election Leader
2001-2002
1 / 23
49 / 897
4 / 319
N/A N/A James Soong
2002
municipalities only
0 / 2
15 / 96
N/A N/A N/A James Soong
2005
1 / 23
31 / 901
3 / 319
N/A N/A James Soong
2006
municipalities only
0 / 2
6 / 96
N/A N/A N/A James Soong
2009
0 / 17
1 / 587
0 / 211
N/A N/A James Soong
2010
municipalities only
0 / 5
4 / 314
N/A N/A
0 / 3,757
James Soong
2014
unified
0 / 22
9 / 906
0 / 204
0 / 2,137
1 / 7,836
James Soong

National Assembly elections

Election Total seats won Total votes Share of votes Outcome of election Election leader
2005
18 / 300
236,716 6.11% 18 seats; Opposition (Rejecting amendments) James Soong

See also

Notes

  1. Qīnmín (親民) literally means "close to the people." The Great Learning states, "What the Great Learning teaches, is—to illustrate illustrious virtue; to renovate the people; and to rest in the highest excellence" (Tr. Legge, 大學之道明明德,在親民,在止於至善。)

References

  1. "政策綱領". pfp.org.tw. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
  2. "On the brink". The Economist. 6 December 2001. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  3. Hong, Caroline (11 November 2004). "Pan-blue tensions rising over election coordination". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  4. Suh, Sangwon (31 March 2000). "Seismic Changes". CNN. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  5. Huang, Sandy (15 February 2003). "Lien-Soong ticket a done deal -- almost". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  6. "Taiwan's James Soong: the perennial candidate ... and loser". South China Morning Post. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  7. "Taiwan's troubled politics". The Economist. 11 December 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  8. "James Soong announces Taiwan presidential bid". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  9. "DPP draws top listing on presidential ballot (update)". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  10. Malcolm Cook. "Déjà vu in Taiwan?". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  11. "Asia Times Online :: China News, China Business News, Taiwan and Hong KongNews and Business". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  12. ran as independent, expelled from Kuomintang in 1999.
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