Taiwan: Major Issues Of 2018 Elections Visible In Wave Of Protests

by Brian Hioe

A WAVE OF demonstrations took place in the lead-up to 2018 local elections. From these demonstrations, we can see what the major issues of 2018 elections are.

The first in this wave of protests can be said to be the rally in front of DPP headquarters held by the Formosa Alliance on October 20th. The Formosa Alliance was the group which organized the current referendum held on the name under which Taiwan is to participate in the 2020 Olympics under. Organizers claim that this was attended by over 100,000.

[‚Ķ] The 2018 LGBTQ pride parade on October 27th was not directly a protest, but the pride parade was expressive of the push for marriage equality by members of the LGBTQ community and their allies. This drew 140,000 in attendance, the highest in the history of the pride parade.

The Council of Grand Justices ruled in May 2017 that the legislature would have to legalize gay marriage within two years, but no action has been taken on the issue one and a half years later.The Tsai administration indicated support for marriage equality in 2016 when it was voted into power, but stronger than expected resistance to the prospect of gay marriage from Christian groups encouraged elements of the DPP that were likely never fully in support of gay marriage to reverse course on the issue.

At present, the Tsai administration has given up active support of gay marriage and two competing referendums on gay marriage are set to take place, with Christian anti-gay groups hoping that a negative result on the referendum will overturn the ruling of the Council of Grand Justices. On the other hand, members of the LGBTQ community are also campaigning in order to secure a result on the referendum which results in the legalization of gay marriage.

Another strong showing of force by the marriage equality movement took place on November 18th, with 100,000 attending a rally and concert held on Ketagalan Boulevard.This demonstration was unexpectedly large, with few expecting such numbers for a demonstration called on an extremely short notice. The demonstration featured numerous celebrity speakers and performers. Though no similar demonstration seems set to take place as organized by opponents of marriage equality, concerns still are present that pro-marriage equality groups are outgunned by the vast resources of anti-marriage equality groups, however. Read more via New Bloom Magazine