Flowcharting DPP's 2009 Nomination Measures

[ Note: The content of this post is similar to the previous
one written in Chinese, 圖解民進黨2009選舉提名辦法) ]

DPP's nomination of Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅), who received public support rate by nearly 20% less than another qualified candidate Mark Chen (陳唐山), for Tainan County municipal election later this year has triggered heated conflict between supporters of both sides.

Mark Chen and his supporters criticize that DPP has been hijacked by faction(s), that DPP neglects the opinion of Tainan residents, and that DPP violates the rules set by DPP herself.

Those who support the decision of DPP criticize that Chen violates the consensus agreed previously, that he is power-thirsty, that he fails to consider the greater good.

There are predictions that DPP might split apart due to this nomination, which shows how serious the problem is.

Because that both DPP headquarters and Mark Chen accuse each other of violating the pre-agreed competing rules, the details of DPP's nomination rules as well as how DPP executes it become the spot from where we can find how we got here.

I posted DPP's nomination rules Coordination Measures of Candidate Recruitment for the 2009 Municipal Elections and the Seventh Legislator By-Elections (represented by Measures in this post below).

This post presents the flowchart with some analysis.

Note that:

  • The numbers on both sides identify steps in corresponding to original articles. Article 3 is missing because it is not a procedure;

  • Each step is marked with (number);

  • Each decision branch is marked with [number];

  • There are 4 paths to reach a single nominee, marked with number in open circle;

  • You can click to see larger chart;

  • As usual, errors, if any, is on me.

DPP explained in several occasions that that their current nomination rule is not only a "recruitment" plan, but a "total recruitment" plan.

That means, no matter what factors are considered, the Campaign Strategy Unit (CSU, 選戰策略小組, the unit responsible for picking a nominee for each constituency) and the party President have the final authority to decide whom to be nominated.

That's how they justify the nomination of a less favored candidate.

Is this statement in line with their Measures?

Following the flowchart above, a nominee is to be selected through one of 4 paths.

Among them, the Path 1, 2, and 4 are decided solely by CSU, thus no problem with them.

But the Path 3 doesn't seem to be that way.

It happens in a condition that the CSU is unable to decide whom to pick from multiple qualified candidates (step (7)), followed by an unsuccessful coordination among those candidates (step (2.2)). It then comes to a situation regulated by Article 6.1:

6.1 If all potential nominees reach a consensus on a competition rule, and the rule is approved by the CSU, the nominee will be decided by that rule;

It states clearly that the consensus (on how to pick) needs to be OKed by the CSU. Therefore, the existence of a consensus -- as what happened -- indicates that the CSU agrees to the selection rule(s) defined by the consensus, which could be anything but "recruitment."

Furthermore, the Measures doesn't grant the CSU any right to reject the nominee selected by that consensus.

That is, as long as a nominee is selected following the consensus (don't forget, it is pre-approved by the CSU), the only option the CSU has is to nominate that person.

It defines a transfer of the decision-making power from the CSU to "candidates plus CSU." The Measures doesn't transfer that power back to the CSU thereafter.

This is no longer a "recruitment" process.

Therefore, although the term "Recruitment" does show up in the title of Measures, the nature of recruitment exists only in Path 1,2 and 4. The nomination Path 3 is decided by a consensus reached by all candidates and CSU and has no recruitment nature.

Thus, unless DPP follows a under-the-table secret rule that is different from the Measures, it is obvious that the statement "total recruitment" doesn't fit in line with their own Measures.

It would probably be in DPP's own best interest to come up with better explanations to justify their nomination process.

Note that there's nowhere in the Measures says that the party president has the right to reject the nominee submitted by the CSU. Terms like "the president approves..." or "to the president for approval" doesn't exist.

That is, when a nominee is selected through one of the 4 paths, not only the only option of the CSU is to submit it to the president, but also the only option the president has is to submit it to the Central Executive Committee for approval.

Not only so. The president is not granted the right to 'pick from a list' either. The Measures says that either the CSU or "CSU+candidates" has the power of 'pick one from a list." Not the president.

The Measures in fact renders the president a rubber stamp such that if she/he wants to inject her/his own view into the nomination process, she/he can only do that before a single nominee is selected.

There's another big hole in the Measures - the step (2.1) on the top-right corner. If things develop to that situation, the Measures doesn't define what to do.

No idea if all those loopholes are due to carelessness. No matter what, it is how the Measures is written.

The current available information seems to show that, in the beginning, Mark Chen didn't have the intention to compaign at all. He was in fact "recruited" by Su Jia-chuan (蘇嘉全), the convener of CSU, into the selection process.

That is, Mark Chen had no intention to run but was recruited by DPP; he passed the CSU qualification evaluation, won over his opponent in the competition rules agreed upon by all candidates and the CSU (if that's what happened), and then ... sacked.

It is then followed by accusations from some of DPP's politicians and supporters that he is "power-thirsty" and "doesn't care for the greater good".

I wonder what I would do if I were put in that situation.