The Taipei Times article on the DPP's reform wasn't bad, and this analysis was good, but it lacked a lot of the information found in the Liberty Times article that I found both valuable and reassuring. Basically, it turns out the DPP is not as out of touch with reality as I feared. Some choice comments from the Page 2 articles:
However, Tainan Mayor Hsu Tien-Tsai (許添財) noted that the DPP's problem is not in deciding the party's general direction [AGu: we do seem to know the core party goals, right?] but rather in its ability. The DPP must improve its ability [to govern] in order to win the people's trust. The goal is not to simply act as a watch dog of the ruling party, but to replace the ruling party quickly. One DPP Central Standing Committee member also said privately that they are not sure about the true usefulness of establishing consultation committees [the party's main action yesterday].
[Professor] Shih Cheng-feng (施正鋒) noted that it would not be useful for the DPP to merely debate whether it will be a legislative or a social movement, because even the party's goals are not clear right now. It's like debating if you will take the High Speed Rail or the train, or whether you'd rather fly, without knowing whether you're going to Kaohsiung, Hualian or Yilan. If the DPP merely discusses what they're doing to do and how, they'll be acting like a headless house fly.
The DPP ought to examine the experience of its eight years in power one item at a time. What did the party accomplish? How often was the party forced to eat its words? The party should apologize to the people for the goals it could not accomplish. Lots of people dislike the KMT, but that doesn't mean they'll be DPP voters, because the people are already greatly disappointed in the DPP. So the party must now re-win the confidence of the people, and establish a new orientation. Tell the people: what is it that the DPP is selling?
Professor Tsai Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴) said that in terms of social power, the DPP talks the talk, but hasn't done anything for [social interest/activist groups]. In the past the DPP lost for this reason. An opposition party needs to have vision and bravely stand up Call on the people to use their power, working together to establish an environment suitable for long-term, stable [DPP] governance. There's no need to get stuck on whether the DPP will win the mayoral/county commissioner elections this year, or in how many legislators the party has. Instead the party has to think smarter, or under the current rules of the game, no matter what the DPP does, they'll lose to the KMT.