The DPP held their annual conference over the weekend, and the big news was that they have voted to abolish their factions:
The decision [to abolish factions] was adopted at the party’s 12th national congress that opened the previous day, with 153 of the 279 delegates present at the session giving a thumps-up to the resolution. Most members of the party’s decision-making Central Standing Committee, including Vice President Annette Lu, Presidential Office Secretary-General Tan Sun Chen and acting Kaohsiung Mayor Yeh Chu-lan, lent their support to the resolution,initiated by Legislator Wang Hsing-nan.
The DPP has always been a horribly divided party – with internal battles between the different factions an on-going issue. The idea of abolishing them was a major issue during the DPP Chairmanship elections last December, and it seems it gained enough support to be pushed through.
I doubt that this will have any major short-term effect, as the people who used to be in the same faction are still likely to group themselves together informally. However, over the long-term, there is the possibility that DPP members might actually start thinking for themselves a bit more, without waiting to be told by their faction head what they should be thinking. As an outsider, I’ve always been amazed at the power the different factions exercised – so I think this is a positive move.
There’s another perspective on this over at Mutantfrog travelogues.
Incidentally, I had better things to do over the weekend than follow the DPP conference, but the snippets I saw on TV all seemed to be people giving speeches in Taiwanese. I found myself wondering whether I would join the DPP if I was a Hakka or 48’er who fully supported all their policies …
Final note: It’s a cheap shot by the China Post, but still amusing:
Another DPP lawmaker described the decision is similar to “driving the legal prostitution houses” underground.
The remarks immediately drew strong protest from a group of sex workers, who claimed that they have much higher moral standards than both the DPP and President Chen Shui-bian.