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The Transformation of Factional Politics in Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), 1999-2005
“Factions of a party is like parties of a country.” Citizens may have ill feelings for parties and factions; however, both parties and factions play important roles in the operation of democratic politics. According to Political Order in Changing Societies of Professor Samuel P. Huntington, a partyless regime lacks a system way to improve society changing and to absorb the impact after changing, and as well, its capacity to realize political ideal, economic goal, and social modernization is even limited. Thus, parties and factions are decisive of the political development. The DPP founded in 1986 has been dominated by factions. The factional structure is relatively stable. The DPP Legislative Yuan caucus is the policy-making center for factional leaders; the DPP Headquarters is responsible for the drafting of party charter, administration, and elections. In other words, the DPP is a stable Internally-created Party dominated by the factions. The DPP Headquarters and Legislative Yuan caucus form a binary policy-making center. The characteristics of a party dominated by the factions representing at the party policy making is that though factions have different opinions of a policy in the very beginning, once the policy goal is set up after a policy debate or factional leaders’ negotiation, all factions cohere and assume common standpoints externally. Therefore, the factions not only maintain DPP’s balance of power—share of the party personnel and allocation of every election nomination, but also affect DPP’s policy-making direction. The DPP won presidential election in 2000, became the ruling party, and assumed the power to allocate political and economic resources. Nevertheless, from “Non-partisan Government” to “Minority Government,” DPP factions have different opinions in the operation of power and disputes in primary election of the party, which reveals that the structure of factions works loose, the power game arises during power transitions, and moreover the political situation is influenced.
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