Taiwan's newly founded Social Democratic Party, launched last weekend, promises to stand up for a better life for all, including society's most disadvantaged groups, its founders say. Under the slogan "Politics is about seeking a better life," secretary-general Urda Yen and would-be legislative election candidate Fan Yun told journalists why they feel the island needs a political alternative to the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT), which seeks closer ties with Beijing, and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which has championed greater autonomy for Taiwan:
When the DPP was set up, they told us that they were the party of the people. Thirty years later, it is getting to look more and more like the KMT.
At this point in history, we need a new approach, a new force that is able to take a line that is different from those of the KMT and the DPP. That line is the middle way.
But we are not like the plethora of smaller parties that we now see in Taiwan, whose policies are very like those of the other parties.
We need a new political party for today's world, and that's why we founded the Social Democratic Party.
Our aim in setting up the Social Democratic Party is to unite those who are employed with the disadvantaged and those who fight against the powerful.
The gap between the haves and the have-nots in our society is getting wider and wider. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.
Those who have power and means are using a variety of mechanisms, including education ... family connections and other means to ensure that their wealth is passed on to the next generation.
Social inequality continues to rise. We have already lost any basic level of equality of opportunity. We believe that the unity of "those who have" with the disadvantaged can change this political reality to create a diverse and equal Social Democratic Party.
The disempowered and the disadvantaged need to unite to oppose those who have power and money.
We want to take action alongside a new generation of voters at the ballot box to break the current oligopoly of [KMT-allied] pan-blue and [DPP-allied] pan-green political parties.
This will be a long-term battle of the have-nots against the haves. A more equal society is a possibility. We will all work together to ensure a better life for all.
Reported by Lee Tung for RFA's Mandarin Service. Translated by Luisetta Mudie.