Green Party Taiwan: current status and challenges

By: Pan, Han-Shen (Director of the Executive Committee), Translated by Keli Yen (Director of the Executive Committee)

Overview of the Green Party Taiwan

Green Party Taiwan (GPT) has about 400 members of whom most are from the NGO sector, academia and youth.  After 38 years of martial law in Taiwan, many Taiwanese today prefer to offer political parties volunteer support rather than joining as a member.

Green Party Taiwan averages a 3% vote from metropolitan middle class communities and gains up to 35.8% of the vote in areas affected by environmental issues such as in Orchid Island where the Green Party is the second most popular party.

Green Party Taiwan are active members of the family of greens across the globe.  In 2001 GPT was a founding member of the Global Greens (GG), in 2005 GPT co-founded the Asia Pacific Greens Network (APGN) and hosted the second APGN Congress in 2010.  GPT continues to shape Green policy through delegates voting both in the GG and APGN.  Presently, the GPT is working for the establishment of a Global Indigenous Greens network, which was endorsed as the first resolution of the 3rd Global Greens Congress held in Senegal in May 2012.

GPT’s slogan is “Political renewal for a Green livelihood” (「綠色生活者的政治創新」).  Our main aspirations are: 1) Green economy and a nuclear free homeland, 2) Carbon reduction/ cutting taxation for green social justice, and 3) Enhancing health through food education, Green agriculture and a good environment.

In 2006, the GPT nominated two candidates to contest for position in the Taipei City Council and  held joint campaign with an independent candidate from the anti-cable-car movement and together garnered nearly 1% of the vote.

In 2008, GPT nominated a list of candidates for Parliamentary elections and formed a Red-Green alliance with a left-wing ”Raging Citizens Act Now” organization, garnering 58,473 votes (0.58%).

In 2010, GPT ran four candidates for Taipei City Council seats and garnered an average of 2% votes with one candidate for New Taipei City Council receiving 7.5%.

In 2012, GPT ran the Member of Parliament election campaign, receiving 229,566 votes (1.74%) and growing to become the fifth most popular party.  By comparison, the Nationalist party (KMT) gained 44.55%, 64 seats, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gained 34.62%, 40 seats, the TSU party acquired 8.96%, 3 seats, and the People’s First Party (PFP) received 5.49%, 3 seats.  (Total: 113 seats)

Ⅱ. A Brief History of Green Party Taiwan

1. From social movements

From social movements developing in Taiwan since the 1980s, the Green Party Taiwan was born in 1996, becoming the second green party in Asia following Mongolia.

One year prior to the GPT’s founding, many NGOs joined together to form an “Alliance of Social Movements for Legislation Inspection” .Because the election reforms underway which would in the following year allow for direct election of the President, the National Assembly will be useless (Only constitutional amendment power).  Alliance advocated for proportional representation in the National Assembly with the slogan “Waste Assembly, Recycle the resources”.  Electoral candidates running on behalf of the Alliance came from the NGO sector and promised to donate all salary to a social movement fund.

At that time the Ministry of the Interior ruled against the naming of a political party after a the color “Green”; so the first Green Party was named “Green, Local and Fresh Party” and used “Green Party” as the group logo.  Immediately following the election the Party name was changed to Green Party.

2. Green Party Lull

Due to the high financial investments needed for a candidates’ deposit and running the campaigns for the Legislature and Taipei City Council elections in 1998, followed by the local City Counselor elections in 1999, the Green Party’s funds were completely exhausted leading to a lull in the Green Party’s activities including animals rights and environmental protection.  Youth members took on the roles of assistants, forming a “Sustainable Committee” made of Parliamentarians from across parties who together in 2002 produced the Basic Environmental Act.

3. Green Party Revival

In 2005, some young Greens returning from their studies abroad began enthusiastically reorganizing the party and cooperating with NGOs in different fields: gender identity (LGBT), youth and employment, cultural preservation, human rights, agriculture, animal rights and more, placing the Green Party at the core of decision-making in each important environment movement.   Some NGOs activists eventually became directors of GPT.

4. At a Critical Juncture

Green Party Taiwan’s organizational strength is buttressed by society’s desire for a platform for political assembly other than the two dominant parties.


  1. How should the GPT’s collaborate with civil society organizations?

  2. How to enroll party members into organizational operations?

We are confident that we will win seats in the 2014 local council election and 2016 parliamentarian elections.

10/27/2012 – 00:00


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