Green Party Taiwan post-election statement: Celebrating our 2 seat election victory!
A big thank you to all Taiwanese voters who supported the Green Party, thank you to our good candidates andgood party - you are the trailblazers of Taiwan's new politics, and thank you to Taiwan society's voters! Since Green Party Taiwan's founding in 1996 this is our first time ever to win an elected seat; it is critical moment in the party's 18 year history and an extraordinary moment for the start of a new politics in Taiwan!
Taiwan's 2014 elections, referred to as "nine-in-one" elections for the nine categories of offices contested, saw Green Party Taiwan's two elected offices won by Haoyu Wang (王浩宇) in Taoyuan county (Chungli city) and by Jay Chou (周江杰) in Hsinchu country (Zhudong and Wufeng townships).
The Green Party is a global environmental political party, our actions are local and are connected to Green parties in 91 countries around the world who share the same progressive values. Over the years the Greens have persisted in contesting elections to change Taiwan's political structures and core political values. Our candidates and partners have also persisted, despite facing all variety of challenges in the electoral struggle, in hopes that Green Party Taiwan can play a critical role in Taiwan's politics through its role as a political platform for social activism.
In Taiwan's 2012 legislative elections, the Green party won nearly 230,000 national party votes; although just below the 5% threshold for a congressional seat, Green Party Taiwan became Taiwan's fifth largest political party. Green Party Taiwan is convinced that Taiwan society needs a healing political party and good politics to mend the wounds in our land environment, social justice and democratic system. As a responsable generation we want a politics that can restore a normal relationship between political parties and people so that we can work together on Taiwan's development.
In early 2013 we continued to review and improve the party's operations and rooted ourselves in the direction of reform and good management. In preparation for the 2014 local elections we focused on increasing our long-term work in the local environment, leadership in local political issues, and Green Party membership among outstanding youth willing to join us for achieving political reform. For our candidates and partners we invited civil society organisations from across Taiwan's sectors to think together about Taiwan's major social issues, the developmental direction of new politics, and the practices of a good political party.
Green Party Taiwan's candidates are ordinary people leading regular lives working in their hometown. They are not from political families nor members of the political and business elite, they received very little funding for their work on progressing various social issues for their constituencies. To raise campaign funds candidates held small fundraisers that connected civil society groups to develop policy; they are full of courage and passion for their hometowns, every day they stood at street corners delivering speeches, riding campaign tricycles around the city, or spending years developing online communities to replace the conventional sea of costly large billboards and flags in the streets.
We are motivated to support our candidates to stand up because we want to show that the Taiwanese choose candidates with value-based concepts and that Taiwan society is willing to reject extravagance, shouting and vote buying in our elections. We want to show that Taiwan's politics can contain diverse values and a parliamentary debate free of corruption.
This year's local council election results show that breaking the big parties' dominance in resources, media attention and the existing structure of family influence, is still very difficult. We invite Taiwanese voters to reflect together on how we can build greater ability for social change and how to breakthrough rigid political factions and financial consortiums. Following wave after wave of large-scale social movements, how can we inspire people to return to all parts of Taiwan to break the two party monopoly and bring progressive ideas into local councils?
Green Party Taiwan will produce an election report as soon as possible and support the elected members Haoyu Wang (王浩宇) and Jay Chou (周江杰) to organise their parliamentary teams. Green Party Taiwan will double up our rigorous attitude, learning, and as an international political party innovate politics at the municipal level by implementing the concepts in the Global Greens Charter. We respect the commitments we made during the elections to voters and civil society, and maintain our convention on political representatives to be committed to public transparency in our records and reports. In the next four years, Green Party representatives will serve as civil society's window into Taoyuan and Hsinchu councils and maintain responsibility to all citizens.
For the constituencies where we have fallen short, we will humbly review and strive to meet your needs better in the future. Despite the Green Party's insufficient financial and human resources for providing a better support to candidates, Green Party candidates have still shown a tremendous enthusiasm and conviction for giving their candidacy a shot. We are grateful to our voters for continuing to believe in us and giving the Green Party this opportunity. We also urge all sectors of society to enourage these candidates, campaign teams and volunteers, as we believe they will continue to take root and to work with enthusiasm and motivation for opening up a new politics.
Tonight, we believe all our friends who have looked forward to a thriving Green Party are both happy and disappointed for the candidates who did not win a seat in government. We want to thank our partners who have for a long time not given up and continued to care and support in many ways for Green Party Taiwan. We want to thank again all the leaders and civil society groups from all sectors who have stood up publicly to express their solidarity with the Green Party. Regardless of whether the walls have fallen, Green Party Taiwan will persevere to stand up and face the 2016 electoral challenge, we will work with progressive social values to open up a real third force to move society forward.
Elections are not a war, politics is not winning or losing, after tomorrow please start participating in Green Party Taiwan and continue to watch us closely.