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Mar 6, 2008

Referendum developments

After meeting with the TSU chairman yesterday, President Chen Shui-bian suggested that if the KMT was willing to amend the referendum law to lower "the threshold" (of signatures and voter turnout), he would be willing to find a way to hold the referendum and general election separately.

Wang has been somewhat receptive to the idea, but time is running out. Other KMT officials have been less kind, saying that the DPP should separate the elections first and that the threshold can be discussed later.

In practice, should this work, it would involve amending the referendum law to both lower the threshold and forbid holding the elections together. Both parties would then support the measure.

I honestly believe this would be a really good compromise, but the KMT gets no political advantage from it. If the elections are held separately, they can't claim the DPP is kidnapping the election; if the threshold is lowered, referendums are more likely to pass, something they don't like in principal; and it would make it obvious the DPP really does care more about the referendum in principal and having Taiwan's voice heard than it cares about "mobilizing voters."

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