Pan-Blue Coalition


Pan-Blue Coalition

The Pan-Blue Coalition (zh-tsp|t=泛藍聯盟|s=泛蓝联盟|p=Fànlán Liánméng), or Pan-Blue Force (zh-tsp|t=泛藍軍|s=泛蓝军|p=Fànlán Jūn), is a political alliance in the Republic of China (Taiwan), consisting of the Kuomintang (KMT), the People First Party (PFP), and the smaller New Party (CNP). The name comes from the party colors of the Kuomintang. This coalition tends to favor a Chinese nationalist identity over a Taiwanese separatist one and favors a softer policy and greater economic linkage with the People's Republic of China. It is opposed to the Pan-Green Coalition.

Political stance

The Pan-Blue Coalition originally was associated with Chinese reunification, but has moved towards a more conservative position supporting the present status quo. Much of the support and opposition to the coalition is based on relations with mainland China; however, economics is also an important factor. Support for the coalition among the poor and Aborigines is high because of widespread dissatisfaction with Pan-Green economic policies that have undone the famed "economic miracle".Fact|date=June 2007

History

1990s

Throughout the 1990s, the Kuomintang (KMT) consisted of an uneasy relationship between those who supported a Chinese nationalist identity for Taiwan and those, led by President Lee Teng-hui, who supported a stronger Taiwanese separatist identity. This led to a split in the early 1990s, when the New Party was formed. During the 2000 presidential election, Lee Teng-hui arranged for Lien Chan to be nominated as Kuomintang candidate for president rather than the more popular James Soong, who bolted from the party and formed his own People First Party after both he and Lien were defeated by Chen Shui-bian in the presidential elections. Some in Taiwan believed that Lee's action was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the Kuomintang to ensure victory for Chen, who represented the DPP.

2000-2004

In the 2000 presidential election itself, the split in Kuomintang votes between Soong and Lien led in part to the election of Chen Shui-bian. After the election, there was widespread anger within the Kuomintang against Lee Teng-hui, who was expelled and formed his own pro-Taiwan independence party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union. After Lee's expulsion, the Kuomintang moved its policies back to a more conservative one and began informal but close cooperation with the People First Party and the New Party. This coalition became informally known as the Pan-Blue Coalition. Although the members of the Pan-Blue Coalition maintain separate party structures, they closely cooperate in large part to ensure that electoral strategies are coordinated, so that votes are not split among them leading to a victory by the Pan-Green Coalition.

The KMT and PFP ran a combined ticket in the 2004 presidential elections with Lien Chan running for president and James Soong running for vice president. The campaign emblem for the Lien-Soong campaign was a two seat bicycle with a blue (the color of the KMT) figure in the first seat and an orange (the color of the PFP) figure in the second.

2004-2008

There were talks in late 2004 that the KMT and the PFP would merge into one party in 2005, but these talks have been put on hold. In the 2004 legislative election the three parties from the pan-blue coalition organized themselves to properly divide up the votes (配票) to prevent splitting the vote. The New Party ran all but one of its candidates under the KMT banner. The result was that the KMT gained 11 more seats and the PFP lost 12 seats. Right after the election, PFP chairman James Soong began criticizing the KMT for sacrificing the PFP for its own gains and stated that he would not participate in any negotiations regarding to the two parties' merge. Soong's remarks have been strongly criticized by the KMT, a majority of PFP members, and the New Party, whose rank and file were largely absorbed by the PFP following the 2001 elections. Nonetheless, shortly after the legislative election, the PFP legislative caucus agreed to cooperate with the DPP over the investigation into the KMT's finances. On February 24, 2005, James Soong met with President Chen for the first time in four years and issued a [http://english.www.gov.tw/index.jsp?id=11&recid=103953&viewdate=0 10 point declaration] supporting the name "Republic of China", the status quo in cross-Strait relations, and the opening of the Three Links. Unlike Soong, Lien did not respond to the offer from Chen to meet. However, after the 2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China, Soong and Chen stopped their partnership. The popular Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou was also elected the new head of the Kuomintang, and was considered the leading contender for the KMT nomination in the 2008 presidential election. However, it was uncertain whether the KMT and PFP could agree to field a common ticket. On the 2005 chairmanship election, Soong had made a televised endorsement of Ma's opponent Wang Jin-pyng.

In the December 2005 3-in-1 local elections, the KMT made large gains and held 14 seats, the DPP suffered defeat and held only six, the PFP retained only one, and the TSU was completely shut out. Ma Ying-jeou was now virtually assured of leading the KMT and pan-blues for the 2008 presidential election.

Present day

In the 2008 legislative election, the coalition won 86 of 113 seats in the Legislative Yuan, giving it the supermajority needed to recall the president and propose constitutional amendments. The KMT, PFP, and NP coordinated their candidate lists in the new single-member constituency system. Candidates of the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union, who despite their party's official stance of not non-affiliation, were deemed symathetic to the coalition and ran unopposed by other blue candidates in almost all the seats it contested. The PFP ran almost all of their candidates under the KMT banner, with some placed under the KMT party list. While having all its district candidates run under the KMT banner, the New Party ran its own party list but failed to gain the 5% threshold for representation.

See also

* Pan-Green Coalition
* Pan-Purple Coalition
* History of the Republic of China
* Politics of the Republic of China
* Elections in the Republic of China
* Political status of Taiwan

External links

* [http://www.kmt.org.tw/ Kuomintang Official Website] 中國國民黨
* [http://www.pfp.org.tw/ People First Party Official Website] 親民黨


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