SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Why Indigenous Voters of Taiwan Do Not Vote?

CTS - IMG -Cheng-Hao Pao
Dr Cheng-Hao Pao

Date: 20 February 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 20 February 2018Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Lecture

Loading the player...

Why Indigenous Voters of Taiwan Do Not Vote


Voting participation is vital to legitimacy of government and quality of democracy. Therefore, through studying the factors which influence voting participation, we may have a better understanding about legitimacy of government and quality of democracy. However, for a long time indigenous people have a lower turnout rate than others, which implies that indigenous people have been alienated from politics. Therefore, this study would like to clarify the factors which influence the decision-making of indigenous voting participation by using data from the Indigenous Political Behaviors and Attitudes Survey.

The research results show that party identification and political empowerment are two most important factors. As the KMT has long dominates indigenous politics and the non-KMT candidates have little chance to win, non-KMT supporters incline to not to vote. Therefore, indigenous voting participation may increase if the variation of indigenous electoral politics increases. It will also legitimate government’s rule over indigenous people. Furthermore, although political empowerment does have impact on indigenous voting participation, it will be interfered by election schedule. If parliamentary election is held together with presidential election, voter turnout rate will increase. However, the effect of political empowerment will be diluted.

Keywords: indigenous people, voting participation, political empowerment, cost of voting

Speaker Bio

Dr. Cheng-Hao PAO completed his PhD at the University of Hull in UK in 2005 and joined the lecturing staff as assistant professor in 2007, having worked for two years as a part-time assistant professor at Fo-Guan University and Tamkang University (TKU). In 2017, he was made Full Professor. From 2012 to 2015, apart from lecturing at TKU, he was also the director of the International Cooperation Department at Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD). He is the chair of the department since August 2013. He also establishes the Centre for Indigenous Development Studies at TKU and serves as the director since August 2014.

His principle areas of interest are: democratization, electoral behavior and indigenous politics. He is currently engaged in legislative study with special reference to indigenous legislative behaviour in Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand. He also published around 30 articles about indigenous voting behavior and consequently won the Distinguished Research Talent award in 2016 and 2017.

* All these events are free to attend and open to members of the public without prior registration.

CTS - IMG - Shungye Museum Logo

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email:

Sponsor: Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines