« Taiwan Journal of Political Science No.21Publish: 2004/09

The Psychological Cognition for Divided Government and Voting Behavior: Lessons of Taipei and Kaohsiung Mayoral and City Councilor Elections of 2002

Author: Chung-li Wu, Ying-hao Hsu, Shih-hug Lee

Abstract / Chinese PDF Download

The   phenomenon   of   divided   government   seemingly   has   become   the institutional norm at the various levels of governments in Taiwan.    On this trend, scholars pay much attention to the issues of divided government gradually.    This work aims at examining the causes of divided government.    To put it in detail, we examine  the  contending  perspectives:  the  voters  prefer  the  system  of  checks  and balances by divided partisan control of the executive and legislative branches, and intentionally  votes  for  mayoral  and  city  councilor  candidates  of  different  political parties;  or,  the  electoral  choice  may  have  little  to  do  with  public  preferences  for divided or unified government but is heavily influenced by other determinants.    In this study, we take advantage of the Taiwan’s Election and Democratization Study, 2002  (TEDS  2002)  survey  data  of  the  general  preference  for  divided  government and examine if vote choice is on the basis of strategic considerations in the Taipei and  Kaohsiung  mayoral  and  city  councilor  elections  of  2002.    The  empirical results indicate that though the general preference for divided government has not effect  upon  on  the  split-ticket  voting,  considering  the  interactive  variable  of  the general preference for divided government and party identification, we find that the voters  who  prefer  the  divided  government  tend  to  split-ticket  voting.    On  the contrary, the voters who prefer the unified government tend to straight-ticket voting. In  particular,  there  is  a  notable  difference  between  the  voters  who  identify  with “pan-green”  alliance.    In  the  conclusion,  we  review  the  major  findings  and limitations of this study.

Keywords:Divided Government、political attitude、split-ticket voting、Voting Behavior