Taiwanese Attitudes toward the Political Newcomers in 2016
Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan (LY) is commonly seen as an institution comprised of career politicians. In fact, candidates without prior experience in elected seats of the island’s political structures are no strangers to the LY. Moreover, in the 2016 parliamentary elections, the political novices enjoyed unprecedented support and achieved relative success. The New Power Party (NPP), which only formed in early 2015 and popular mainly due to the several debutants it fielded, including Freddy Lim, Hung Tzu-yung and Huang Kuo-chang, emerged as the LY’s third-largest party. Although it garnered only five of the 113 seats (4.4%), it was a great win for the fledgling party, ranking it third behind the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which have reigned over the island’s political scene for the past several decades. This article examines the phenomenon of Taiwanese novices. It looks at them from the voters’ perspective. It surveys the demographic profiles and political preferences of Taiwanese who support the newcomers’ engagement in the political process, and compares them with citizens who express negative attitudes toward the newcomers.