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“There is going to be a third party alternation in 2016, unless a comet hits Earth,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je says with certainty. Ko also says that most of the emerging third force (other than the KMT and DPP) might fail to seize political power, but still should be encouraged because there is always an opportunity if you try.

Apple Daily reports, on September 13, Ko and Fan Yun, chairwoman of the Social Democratic Party, held a talk titled, “A Talk on Political Power from a Historical Perspective.” Ko used nuclear power as a metaphor to represent the political situation of Taiwan. Ko emphasizes if the situation is under control, Taiwan is like a nuclear plant; if not, then Taiwan would be a nuclear bomb.

Ko compares the Wild Lily Movement and the Sunflower Movement, pointing out that former president Lee Teng-hui received the students in the presidential office and effectively directed the situation to where he wanted. Ma’s government ran the office inappropriately, which resulted in failure of democracy and accumulation of people’s complaints. This also led to the outbreak of the Sunflower Movement. The difference between Lee and Ma is the latter was unable to guide the power of the people and resolve the issue. Ko says, “Thank God Ma did not create further problems to worsen the situation.”

UDN reports, Ko brings up his own observations of Taiwan’s democratic development from 1990 to 2000 and 2000 to 2016. Speaking of the presidential election next year, he says the presidential candidate of KMT, Hung Shiu-chu, doesn’t dare to be innovative so there will probably a third party alternation.

Ko believes that from 1990 to 2000, when Lee Teng-hui was president, is regarded as a quiet revolution when politics transformed from a single-party state to a democratic state. But after 2000, the politics of both parties spun out of control. It was unclear what the Legislative Yuan was doing and the country was idling. Complaints started accumulating when the national income fell behind South Korea and urban renewal issues increased and protests like Hung Chung-chiu and the Sunflower Movement broke out.

Apple Daily reports, when talking about the rise of the third force in recent years as well as the changes between the two main political parties, Ko emphasizes there is a lot of space for the third force, but parties with middle power come one after another and most of them will still fail.

But Ko also believes that old products won’t necessarily succeed in new markets, and it’s up to elements such as the environment and innovation to determine the success of the new forces. Ko also says the third force should ask for a chance. He can’t guarantee that he is right, but it is worth a try.

Fan believes there is no time left for Taiwan to prepare for the future. The overall strategic goal for next year is to rule out the KMT and supervise the DPP. Beneficial power needs to enter the congress, because now the Legislative Yuan is like a swamp of dead water and the democracy of Taiwan needs new resources.

She also says that many people criticize the Social Democratic Party is over idealistic but what else is left if there are no longer ideals in politics? We should create more ways for people to participate in politics and welcome politics that aren’t just about slogans and hero worship but a political culture of critical thinking.

Translated by June and Olivia Yang
Edited by Olivia Yang