The New Power Party’s PlatformSocial forces are exploding in Taiwan and a number of activists have decided to enter politics, some by creating their own party. Here’s the New Power Party’s vision
A new party of mass participation, continued progress, and hyper-expanded fighting ability.
About Nation: Nation, ethnic groups, and international affairs
The New Power Party (時代力量) advocates the promotion of the normalization of Taiwan’s status as a nation as well as its citizens’ enjoyment of the basic dignity, rights, and interests of the citizens of a single country.
The New Power Party advocates proactive safeguards of the collective rights of all Taiwan’s diverse ethnic groups, the implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law, and cooperation in the recovery of every ethnicity’s traditional territory under the premise of the autonomy of the indigenous peoples.
The New Power Party advocates that Taiwan actively participate in international society, that it should uphold conscience and defend human rights and justice more, and that it should carry out its international responsibilities.
About Constitution: The Constitution and demographic constitutional governance
The New Power Party advocates citizens’ comprehensive participation in the formulation and building of the nation’s basic law — the Constitution — via grassroots, bottom-up power. The party’s basic positions on constitutional governance include the following:
‧ Maintain direct presidential elections while strengthening the power of the legislature to check and balance the President;
‧ Adopt a tripartite constitutional system, abolishing the Examination and Control Yuans;
‧ Guarantee the collective rights of diverse ethnic groups;
‧ Expand the list of constitutionally guaranteed human rights;
‧ Lower the minimum age for the suffrage to 18;
‧ Strengthen direct democracy and citizens’ voting rights;
‧ Abolish the regulations that create confusion about the nation’s status.
We advocate that human dignity and protection of human rights should be the highest principles of all exercise of political power. The endowment of the Constitution with human rights provisions that have direct effectiveness will enable the citizens to effectively defend their rights.
The New Power Party advocates amending the Referendum Act and the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act. Besides the right to elections, the rights of recall and referendum must be advanced a step further, so the implementation of direct democracy will reform the flaws of current representative governance. Beyond that, the party advocates timely integration of Internet technology with democracy to make it more convenient for citizens to exercise their rights and to give democracy firmer roots.
The New Power Party advocates mixed-member proportional representation in the Legislature, which it considers necessary in order for the body to truly reflect the views of citizens. The number of party list (proportional representation) seats should be increased, and the 5% party-list-vote minimum threshold for a party to be seated in the legislature abolished. Moreover, an “open list system” should be adopted so citizens will directly choose the ordering of names on party lists. A legislative hearing system should be established to strengthen the Legislature’s monitoring of the executive branch, and party caucus consultations should be abolished. All full and committee meetings of the legislature should be broadcast to the public on a dedicated channel in order to break open the locked rooms and “black boxes” of self-motivated politicians.
The New Power Party will go all-out to promote reforming the judiciary, establishing a system of constitutional petition, allowing citizens to take part in trial judgments, amending the Judges Act to accelerate the elimination of unsuitable judges, formulating a Prosecutors Act to thoroughly separate the prosecutorial and judicial authorities, abolishing the Special Investigation Division, and pushing the indictment-only doctrine (so judges would see only the indictment, not incriminating evidence or testimony, before the trial) in order to protect the rights of those in the criminal justice system.
About Justice: Social justice and the environment
The New Power Party advocates making fairness and justice the goals of government administration. All resources and fruits of economic development should be shared by all citizens. Facing the problems of unjust distribution and generational injustice, unnecessary government expenditures should be ended; tax reform and pension reform promoted; a stronger capital gains tax levied; and military, civil service, and education pension systems comprehensively reviewed. At the same time, the rights of the salaried class and the agricultural and labor class should be strengthened. The minimum wage should be raised to a reasonable living wage. Agricultural and labor retirees should receive more retirement protections. A comprehensive social welfare system should be promoted so that children, the elderly, and the disadvantaged can all receive care from a public system and society will jointly shoulder the duty of caring for them.
The New Power Party advocates comprehensive review of national land planning, reform of housing and land policy, and reduction of the development gap between urban and rural areas. Housing and land should be taxed based on their actual prices and financial conglomerates prevented from acquiring land to engage in housing speculation. Adequate social housing should be established to guarantee the housing rights of normal people and end improper land expropriation.
The New Power Party advocates making environmentally sustainable development a necessary condition of economic expansion. It opposes industrial policy that one-sidedly emphasizes big business consortia and high levels of pollution. We believe that small and medium-sized enterprises, innovative enterprises, and green energy industry development should be strengthened through policy, and an environment of fairness in industrial competition established. Agricultural lands should be preserved for agricultural use, and the local farming industry and innovative agriculture industry should receive development assistance. The grain self-sufficiency rate should be raised. An environment for friendly and sustainable agricultural development should be established.
Founding manifesto: Bringing together the power of a new era; the time for solutions has arrived!
Taiwan, for hundreds of years we have abnegated the courage to fight for our autonomy, but we haven’t received something more in return for that. The physical foundations, economic infrastructure, education, welfare, et cetera, given to us like alms by foreign regimes and political and business elites have often just left us speechless. They have told us that if only we live well and have food to eat, it doesn’t matter who rules us. We forgot our right to speak, and we forgot how to defend those values we can be proud of.
We never want to lose to others, so we’ve gone all out for the economy and fought for high rankings. But we’ve gotten lost in a fog of numbers. A truth that we all know but run away from is that we are inside an endless loop in which we work hard but don’t receive the dignity we deserve, nor even the income we deserve.
In order to not lose to others, we’re about to lose Taiwan, and lose ourselves.
These past two years, this sense of crisis has given Taiwan new life-force to step into the breach. It’s driven powerful social momentum that’s massively shifting political tectonic plates from the local level outwards. However, we must strenuously keep this political plate movement from becoming just a one-time, superficial change of the party in power, while leaving the true problems hanging around unresolved. We cannot continue to be political observers and cheerleaders for political parties. Taiwan’s citizens must seize this opportunity to take a step forward and claim sovereignty over political and social reform.
Now we will stand up and take back our home. It’s time for solutions!
Before not losing to others, let us first become ourselves, and become people who will no longer be faceless or incoherent! Let us smash our rigid political imaginations, and through an all-new method of open participation, bring Taiwan’s progressive forces together into cohesion as the political power of a new generation.
Having waited hundreds of years, we Taiwanese citizens must be brave, keep our feet firmly on the ground, start anew, make “republic” a verb, and begin a new generation of fairness and freedom that is truly established and managed by everyone together!
Here, everyone enjoys:
‧ The basic dignity deserved by every human being;
‧ Equal status to pursue one’s dreams and protect one’s happiness;
‧ The senses of identity and belonging of the citizens of a nation;
‧ The right to participate in politics and make autonomous decisions;
The New Power Party pursues a Taiwan that everyone yearns for and can be proud of!
Translated by Anonymous/Thinking Taiwan. This manifesto originally appeared in Chinese on the New Power Party website.