Dapu Incident Hurt Magistrate Liu's Administrative Satisfaction
Edward K. Hwang*
Dept. of Public Administration, Chung Hua University, Taiwan Public Opinion Study Association, Xinchu City, Taiwan
The efficiency of public policies depends on customer's satisfaction, and the change directions of public policies hinge on customer's assessment; i.e., the performance of public policies in governments is decided by the citizen's administrative satisfaction! The governments in all levels must heave their efficiency and effectiveness of public services to meet the people's substantially multiple needs in order to make citizens trust the governmental operation styles. To pursue the societal equality and justice, governments should treat people equally and provide more services for the disadvantages. The recent Dapu protest incident involves Miaoli county Magistrate Liu cheng-hung who arbitrarily demolished houses and destroyed farmlands, and it shifts his popularity into disaffection. Liu case tells us that the political incidents are lethal to politicians; it cut almost 12% satisfaction degree for Magistrate Liu and hurt KMT support levels nationally. In terms of administrative satisfaction levels, political factors do matter, especially for the derogated incidents.
Miaoli County, Administrative Satisfaction, Dapu Incident
Received: May 2, 2015
Accepted: May 30, 2015
Published online: July 9, 2015
@ 2015 The Authors. Published by American Institute of Science. This Open Access article is under the CC BY-NC license. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Since the end of the 20th century, in the tide of globalization information technology, the main trends of the modern business circles include the market opens more and more freely, several science and technology advance by leaps and bounds, and pay attention to innovating the value led with the customer even more. In other words, the focuses of modern enterprises have already moved the quality of turning into the products or the service from the market, it is concentrated the people who will buy the products or the service on ' the customer ' finally, and the so-called customer means the person who has consuming capacity or the consumption potentiality. The customer's satisfaction has already become the main influence factor whether enterprises could survive, and the so-called "customer's satisfaction"means a kind of attitude for customers to buy the services or goods. Kotler (1997) asserts: it is to meet consumer's demands that enterprises manage the only principle not changed! If enterprises want the competition in the market which consumers led in 21st century to survive, only make sure it is the way to win victory that the customer is satisfied". For example evaluate in the project in USA's National Quality Award, the weight accounted for with customer satisfaction is highest (30%). Among the high-rank executives of 500 big companies of American Wealth Star, up to 86% bicker customer satisfaction is very important.
The public sectors face the great pressure too, the quantity and quality for the public service demand increase by a wide margin, but the service that the government can offer is far backward; because the information technology progresses marvelously quickly, cause people's necessary service range expanding by a wide margin and diversification, but what efficiency and effectiveness of services has been provided by governments drop by a wide margin; cause people's distrust on governments (Osborne and Gaebler, 1992). Under this background, the so-called ‘New Public Management’ academic trend in the public administration rises, and the governments of various countries promote ‘government reinventing’ movements with all strength.
The New Public Management and Government Reengineering which are transferred from business management extremely pay attention to the concept and practice of "customer satisfaction". The customers of the public sectors can be divided into the inside and the outside, the inside customer refers to the broad sense civil servant in the bureaucracy, their satisfaction been generally called as "the sense of achievement for the staff". The outside customers are the people who the governments offering service, their satisfaction been generally called as "administrative satisfaction", and the latter is the focus of this paper.
Pollitt asserts that the main characteristics of new public management include introduce the market mechanism into the governments in a large amount, strengthen divided fraction of power, promote the quality of serving, and pay attention to "customer's demand" (Shafritz and Russell, 1997: 296). Osborne and Plastrik (1997: 170-7) provide five major C tactics for government reinventing, and the "customer's tactics"deal with the administrative affairs with the customer-oriented attitude, offering choose right to customers, and pay attention to "customer's demand". Other reform movements, such as Total Quality Management (TQM) and Performance Management, also focus on the key concept"customer satisfaction".
The idea "customer-oriented" emphasizes that the government offers must accord with the demand and expectation of the people. Put customer first means that governments must take care for the customers voluntarily and response for the customer. The customer -orientation emphasis on regarding "customer's value" as the administrative measure, and interact with the customers directly, collect the relevant information of the customers, in order to improve and promote the service quality and efficiency provided by the governments. Therefore, leading the concept of the administrative performance on the basis of the customer, this paper will probe the polls of administrative satisfaction in Miaoli County, Taiwan.
2. Literature Review
2.1. Democracy - Link Public Opinion and Public Policy
Though the policy making in the governments of the democratic societies cannot totally follow the public opinion, in the long run, no policy of democratic governments can violate the public opinion and exist for a long time, because the public opinion will be reflected by ballots. In the democratic society, the ballots are the only determination for the regimes. The public opinion determines ballots, and the ballots determine the government. So, in term of the formulation and revision of the public policy in democratic society, the most primitive incentive comes from the mass, and the final purpose is to comply with the public opinion to provide service for the people. As society become progressive day by day, the more the public affairs that the government dealing with seems complicated, the more people demand to participate in public policy processes. So, the public policy makers often carry on various kinds of polls to hold the public opinion trends to understand the people demands. As regards American politics, why is the public opinion of the policies so important? Because the public opinion of policies will influence their party support inclinations, influence their vote behaviors and election results, and then cause the change of the public policies finally (Stimson, 1999: ch.5). Yeric and Todd (1989: 132) utters that when the public opinion of the policies change, it will reflect in Congress' relevant bills and budgets will be assigned.
Erikson and Tedin (1995: 88) recites the public opinion of the policies is to inquire the specific public opinion of the mass for a long time via the polls, for example attitudes inclined to liberal or conservative trend to a certain public policy. Stimson (1999: 1, 13, 76) directs that people will think of politics, though seldom, not think systematically either, but they will really think of politics. The people observe the government's behaviors, and connect them with public policies. The views on the public policies of the people are the public opinion, and the aggregated mass opinion will be set into public agenda. For political scientists, the public opinion is the policy mood. The public opinion of the public policies is that Lippmann referred as "spirit of ages".
In the empirical dimension of the public opinion and public policies relationships, many American Presidents depend on the public opinion to make decisions. President Kennedy's civil rights and foreign policies often consult the poll results provided by the Louis Harris (Reeves, 1993), President Nixon's labor economic and regulation policies (Jacobs and Shapiro, 1995), George Bush's Anti-drugs policy (Duffy and Goodgame, 1992), and President Clinton's economic policy (Woodward, 1995). In the public opinion of the local policies, for example in 1971, the American Cities of Urban Alliance engaged in polls about public school policies for ten cities, such as Boston (Fowler, 1974). The public opinion influences the operation of the contemporary governments deeply, in the positive side; the meaning essence that "democracy is the politics of public opinion" is healed. Political polls, no matter they refer to election, public policy purpose or popularities for government leaders, closely link between governments and the people, they should contribute to " the people's demand is often in my heart"' idea. In term of public opinion for the local policies, Yeric and Todd (1989: 227-8) expresses that, though the quantity of research about the public opinion for the local policies is not as good as the federal policies, they provide some preliminary conclusions as follow:
(1) American concerns to the nationwide vs. local politics are different to some extent; the local topic is usually regional.
(2) The policy opinions of each state are different, and the reason may be the influence of population structure and political culture.
(3) Research shows all state governments have over half of the time to meet the people's demand.
(4) Local politics are almost mastered by a few organized people in most states.
(5) The people roles in local politics will change with different times and political culture.
(6) Polls are the most important citizen's participation in local politics; a lot of local governments in U.S. often conduct the polls of administrative satisfaction and/or public policies.
(7) The referendum fashions in local politics are actually deviated or bias from public opinion.
In a word, the public opinion is quite important in local politics!
2.2. Performance Measurement: Quantitative vs. Subjective
How a government serving the people to make them satisfied is the focus in the American President Clinton's "National Performance Review" program. The key view of "Excellent Service Plan" (ESP) at Los Angeles is "idea is not the purpose, service is not the purpose, and customer's value is the purpose! ESP requires civil servants are affiliated with: (1). who are their inside and outside customers? (2). what are the customer's demands? How to satisfy them persistently? (3). How to improve the administrative processes in order to strengthen the services? (4). Civil servants are able to take care of what customer's needs.
In British, Bayly (1999) utters the purpose of public management in British governments is to construct the "Modernizing Government", and one of the important ideas is "Putting the Customer First". It means that governments must focus on public interests and people's care, but not administrative bureaucrat's facility in the design and implementation of the policies. People really care about what governments do for them; seldom care about the administrative processes. In Taiwan, Lin (2007) explores Taiwan's politics by examining the degree of people's support for democracy and satisfaction with democracy and finds several variables, including political and election evaluation, influence the mass satisfaction with democracy. Lim (2011) finds that the assessment on central government performance has no significant influence on Miaoli's voters voting behavior and the by-elections in Taipei City sixth district and Yunlin second district can be regarded as referenda on the central government, but the by-election in Miaoli's first district was different from the others.
Besides, Yu (2012) finds that a voter's assessments on President Ma's job performance as well as on general and personal economic conditions affect his/her voting intention. Cheng (2014) also finds that candidate factor that combines both candidates' image and candidates' past performance are important concerns of vote choice. Lin (2013) finds that the subjective indicator of Consumer Confidence Index has offered a powerful explanation to the impact factors of presidential approval ratings, along with those objective factors with relations to economy. Impact of specific events was found to be the most consistent explanatory variable regardless of who the president was. However, impact of negative events could undermine the effect of economic environment as the primary basis of the assessment of presidential performance, as it was clearly seen during Chen's second term.
Generally speaking, in this wave of government reinventing for the administrative reform, one of the main goals is to meet people's needs efficiently. For a long time government's efficiency and effectiveness are condemned by people; people distrust government's ability to serve them. Therefore, governments pay more attention to "Put Customers first" and "Promotion of Service Quality" in many countries. For example, Swindell and Kelly (2000) probes seven public services of 13 local governments in Texas State to investigate the relationships between the objective performance and subjective administrative satisfaction polls by consultation with local government performance indicators in ICMA Model and PTM standard scale at Miller and Miller (1991 a). Lawton and Rose (1991: 137-8) asks who could assess the administrative performance? It reasons that the most important is for customers or consumers to judge. If the customers are unsatisfied with the products or services, they will turn around and leave. The administrative satisfaction polls are like the popularity polls in other countries. They are often about the leaders or great policies. The administrative satisfaction polls do not merely reflect public opinion, and they are the important tools to measure public supports for the leaders.
Though some technological problems remain to overcome, and the people may not understand the roles of the local governments very much either. But the values of subjective and objective assessments for public services can't be obliterated. Both can promote to improve the quality of public services, and especially introducing the administrative satisfaction polls into the administrative processes. The citizens should play important and legal roles in the public decision processes. As Watson et al. (1991) declares the administrative satisfaction polls could be as communicative channels of dynamic interactions between governments and citizens. Modern democratic operation of governments must be in accordance with elections and the public opinion invariably, and the embodiment of democratic and responsibility politics is closely bound up with government's administrative satisfaction appraisals.
On the other hand, the measurement of administrative performance is paid attention by academia and practice groups, the people, governments, and the media. Martin and Kettner (1996) reasons the final performance measurement for government's administration outputs is mainly directed to the administrative quality performance. The measurement of quality performance includes the qualitative level of outputs and customer satisfaction. Therefore, except the objective data are checked and rate for the measurements of administrative performance, paying attention to subjective feelings of people is even more important in the democratic societies, namely the so-called people's "administrative satisfaction" to the governments. Tiebout (1956) introduce market and customer choice ideas into tax offices, if the people are unsatisfied, they can vote by feet because information was asymmetric at that time, the people were actually unable to calculate accurately as the markets. Nowadays administrative satisfaction or the popularity polls are like running referendums or interrelation "election" (Cohen, 1997: 14); they constantly display reports appraising the leader's popularities in governments. A dull report can transmit the preliminary alerts to politicians to consider how to rebuild the people's support; a good report can empower the politicians to formulate better policies. So, the administrative satisfaction polls are the feedback loops in the democratic systems.
In this wave of government reinventing movement, to set-up of performance indicators is a long-term job. The administrative performance of some unable to be quantitative might understand people's administrative satisfaction by the subjective polls. In fact, citizens are the best referee and the best persons who could assess administrative performance. Crew (1992: 208, 230) poses the services of the public sectors should closely link with interests of the major people. The governments must pay attention to people's deep concerns, even belong to the irrational ones. The folk's complaint and opposition can usually direct to the cores of the policy questions, and it is obvious that citizen-orientation will be the mainstream in the future. There are six characteristics for the citizen-oriented governments as following (Lin and Chen, 1999): reform from outside to inside, put citizens first, double responsibility to people and the superiors, discourse with citizens, citizens must be desegregated, and multiple citizen roles.
(1) Reform from outside to inside: The citizen's expectations influence the blueprint which the public policy is designed, and the citizen's demands influence the goods and services provided by governments. The citizen satisfaction determines the effects of the policies, and the citizen's appraisal decides the changing directions of the public policies.
(2) Puts the citizens first forever: The citizens are the focus of administration management and the target of the policy services as well. The focus transferring from process to citizen in public sectors reflects the democratic orientation for administrative reforms.
(3) Double responsibilities: The administrative organizations must be responsible for the people and the executive superiors.
(4) Discourse with citizens: To set up the mechanisms for full communications could let public opinion participant in the administrative processes.
(5) Desegregated markets: It is important to construct the policy tools according to citizen's heterogeneous and plural demands.
(6) Multiple citizen roles: It is necessary to understand the multiple roles for citizens.
Among them the most noteworthy ones are: citizen satisfaction determines the effect of the public policies, and the citizen's appraisal decides the changing directions of the public policies". In other words, the performance of public policies depends on the people's administrative satisfaction, and the changing directions of public policies depend on the poll results of policies. This paper will probe the administrative performance of citizen-orientation and focus on the administrative satisfaction polls in Nantou County.
As Wholey and Hatry (1992) advocates, the performance of local governments is assessed easily and feasibly than that of the central governments, because local governments serve people directly. The people, civil servants, and elected officers are the potential users of performance assessments. The civil servants and elected officers usually want to know whether the people's demands are satisfied or not? (Ammons, 1995; Gianakis and McCue, 1997: 244). Why is the people's administrative satisfaction so important? Because people's administrative satisfaction will influence the inclinations of their supports to political parties and candidates, then influence their vote behaviors and election results, finally cause the change of the public policies (Stimson, 1999: ch. 5).
The administrative satisfaction polls do not violate the representative democracy, and just slope to direct democracy slightly. In fact, they introduce citizen to participate the decision-making processes of democracy (Miller and Miller, 1991). The administrative satisfaction polls can take the public opinion directly into the political course of community decisions. The idea that people distrust the governments is incorrect; in fact the people are affirmative with local governmental services (Miller and Miller, 1992). Others also argue that people distrust governments is not true, but the civil servants do not believe people can make fair judgment. For example, Melkers and Thomas (1998) discovers that the civil servants of Atlanta city government assert people's appraisals on them are too low. He, who objects to implement satisfaction polls is often persistent to professional doctrine of the bureaucrats, argues that only technological bureaucrats can assess the quality and quantity of the public services (Lovrich and Taylor, 1976). On the other hand, those who support administrative satisfaction polls think the people even do not keep in touch with the civil servants directly, but they are still able to assess the public services. Melkers and Thomas (1998) indicates that the civil servants those who cannot know people's preferences could not make good decisions.
Currently local government management in every country has generally transferred from input to output. The evaluation of the service efficiency is the main concern for the local government management (Wong and Liu, 2003). Especially at the local governments, their services are direct to the people's needs. The local governments have two characteristics. On one hand, they must face the people directly, the relationship is like the enterprises and customers, and they must offer the goods and services to the people daily. On the other hand, they are not enterprises actually but are parts of the whole government, so they must abide by the legal systems (Kakabadse et al., 1988: 174). The local governments of the modernization as well as democratization must pay attention to the people's demands more and more, and replace the "power orientation" by "service orientation". As Stewart and Clarke (1987: 161) comments the operations of the modernized local governments possess four following characteristics:
(1) The local governments should offer more services to local people.
(2) The operational performance appraisals of local governments should base on service quality.
(3) The meaning for local governments to serve the people focus on the satisfied degree of the "target groups".
(4) The local governments must be closer to the people in order to improve the quality of services.
There are many way for citizens to participate in local public policies. For example, to vote, campaign, join public or interest groups. The public hearing make the people participate directly more recently, but administrative satisfaction polls are different with public hearing. The satisfaction polls investigating the public opinion of relevant policies could be used by the civil servants. For example, the distribution of the budgets is based on the administrative satisfaction polls in Auburn city, Alabama (Watson, Juster, and Johnson, 1991).
Miller and Miller (1991) bickers the satisfaction polls are like voting. Their target respondents are very extensive and include any citizen. Though random polls can overcome the possible errors in citizen participation, but someone critics the interviewees may lack the knowledge or experience about the public affairs. Another condemned reason is that citizen's satisfaction polls may be interfered by the intervene factors, such as interviewees' race and income (Brown and Coulter, 1983; Stipak, 1977), neighbor's particularities (Lineberry, 1977), or the specialties of local governments (Lyons, Lowery, and DeHoog, 1992). But Lyons et al. (1992) comprehensive model research finds that people could participant in the community affairs and feel local governments are the more efficient ones, no matter how the specialties of individuals or the neighbors are, they will feel more satisfied with the public services.
2.3. Administrative Satisfaction: Concept and Practice
The concept of administrative satisfaction could be regarded as a more novel view, especially countries do promote the so-called "government reengineering" movement all over the world. The indicator "citizen orientation"among them is paid attention in most democratic countries, because its spirit is consistent with enterprising spirit very much, which is why American former Vice President Gore especially points out governments should emphasize citizen's satisfaction. As business management pay attention to the citizen's satisfaction, the governments under the democratic competitive systems must pay attention to voter's satisfaction too. To get support from people is proper to construct the legitimacy, and the governments should step down when they lose support from the major citizens. That is accord with the idea "popularity sovereignty" in democratic politics.
It is more general that citizens evaluate the governmental efficiency, especially in those developed countries. Erikson and Tedin (1995: 109-15) comments that the presidential popularity is undoubtedly the most important political indicator, and the major three factors for presidential popularity are: an effect of honeymoon while just taking office, peoples tend to support the president when crises or wars occur, or with prosperous economy.
The countless administrative satisfaction polls and performance evaluations have also been implemented in local governments. Many local county and municipal governments adopt the performance indicators and administrative satisfaction polls to measure the quality of the public services. The combined measurement of the subjective and objective indicators can trace back to the early joint research of American Urban Institute and the International City Management Association (ICMA). A lot of county and municipal governments participating in ICMA do the administrative satisfaction polls. Each city's administrative satisfaction is compared with the benchmark city-- Dayton city in Ohio. The performance assessment and the administrative satisfaction poll results are made public at Portland city, Oregon. Prince William County in Virginia publishes the performance data and administrative satisfaction survey reports on websites year by year. They combine the objective performance data with the subjective administrative satisfaction polls (Swindell and Kelly, 2000).
Volkwein, J. et al. (1998) finds the atmospheres of administrative teamwork and interpersonal stress appear to exert the strongest positive and negative influences on administrative satisfaction. Volkwein, J. and K. Parmley (2000) also finds that the public/private differences are limited only to satisfaction with extrinsic rewards, and even these differences disappear when all relevant variables are controlled for in a regression analysis. In both sectors, job satisfaction is most consistently linked to work environments characterized by teamwork and low levels of interpersonal conflict. Recently Washington et al. (2011) assesses women veterans' of their VA health care quality, gender-related satisfaction, gender appropriateness, and VA provide skills in treating women, in relation to primary care model at VA sites nationwide. It finds VA sites with primary care models at other sites is one strategy for improving women veterans' experience with VA care. Zakaria Z. et al. (2011) investigates the citizen's satisfaction waste management provided by local government in Kedak, and asserts that local authorities should be more active collaboration with the focus groups including business communities and public at large in boost up the performance in its services.
In the perspective of political science or public policy, "administrative satisfaction" is a way to adopt polls to investigate the degree that people are satisfied with or unsatisfied with governmental policy outputs. According to the political system theory, it will influence people's support levels for the government and form a new demand by feedback. As people participate in the policy process more and more, the polls will play an important role in the course of democratization and become the political thermometer to measure administrative satisfaction in Taiwan. The polls must reflect the people satisfaction to government truly and be regarded as policy maker's reference.
However, what relation is between government's actual behavior and people's cognition? The answer is actually not very clear. The people may make a mistake while assessing the local public services, because the people may have thought that did not provided service by the service unit, or verse versa. For example, the polls show some private services are thought by mistake as governmental ones by citizens at Detroit. There is a similar situation at the Park and Recreation Bureau, Dayton city, Ohio (Lyons et al., 1992; Thompson, 1997; Swindell, 1999). Otherwise, Stipak (1977: 51) recites that interviewees may be ambiguous to answer the administration satisfaction polls. Brown and Coulter (1983) find the quality and quantity of city police services are not consistent with the cognition of people in Alabama.
On the other hand, some are more optimistic with police service polls. For example, Parks (1984) acknowledges that the people's cognition and experience will really influence their evaluation about public services, and some objective factors will influence people's subjective cognition. Rosentraub and Thompson (1981) asserts that people can do the accurate assessment while comparing the civil servants and assessment to the situation of the street renew, especially when they have more information. Percy (1986) discoveries that the people's cognition of the reflecting time of police stations is extremely consistent with the actual conditions. People can really feel the parks are clean and safe with improving by the Park and Recreation Bureau, New York City (Cohen and Eimicke, 1998). Deevy (1999) utters the people have new expectation to the governments, hope the governments offer the more fast and efficient services and treat them as "customers".
Tsai (2010) argues public satisfaction with the administrative heads is an important feedback mechanism in a modern democratic country, not only for winning the reelections, but also for smoothing the public policy implementation, and finds that factors such as the degree of democracy, economic environments and personal attributes can affect the fluctuation of public satisfaction towards public policy implementation; the degree to which corruption is perceived can negatively impact public satisfaction with the administrative heads when the public is not satisfied with the performance of these administrative heads. When the public is content with these administrative heads' performance, the factors that affect public satisfaction are changed to economic environments and administrative trust that can positively impact public satisfaction with the performance of these administrative heads. Wang and Chen (2014) explores the question are people really inspired by both satisfaction of performance and party identification in deciding whether the incumbent President can be trusted or not, and also finds people's satisfaction with the incumbent President's performance out weights their party identification in accounting for their trust in the President.
The Miaoli County administrative satisfaction questionnaire is drafted according to the studied structure, and the questionnaire includes some administrative satisfaction items mainly. This paper adopts the poll results which were implemented in the nighttime from Dec. 9 to 19, 2013 at the Poll Center, Chung Hua University. The total amounts of valid samples are 850, the sampling error is controlled between + /- 3.3% at the confidence level of 95%.
3. Analytical Procedure: The Dapu Incident in Miaoli County
Miaoli is in the pivotal position of the Asia-Pacific region. Miaoli County (MC) is located in the mid-northern coast of western Taiwan. She faces Taiwan Strait in the west and her coastlines are about 54 kilometers. The revised development plan of MC focuses on four dimensions: production, ecology, life, and transportation. Miaoli County Government (MCG) comes up with three major enterprises in the two dimensions of production and ecology. Transportation takes into account of both the whole county perspective and living perimeters to build a matrix road network. MCG also plans to build extensive transportation network for convenient commuting and daily shopping need. Her future goal is to find out her own niche and protect environment simultaneously.
The Dapu Incident occurred at Jhunan Township because the residents of Dapu protested against the governmental zone expropriation and the enforced demolition of their buildings. The MCG carried out an urban planning which intended to expand the Jhunan base of Hsinchu Science Park and designated areas on the periphery of the Jhunan base; hence, they needed to confiscate the land by zone expropriation. After 98 percent of the landowners agreed on the zone expropriation and applied for compensation on land expropriation, the MCG conducted the land preparation on June 9, 2010. In the meanwhile, whether the rest of Dapu farmers agreed or not, the MCG forcibly expropriated their farmland to build the construction of public facilities. What makes matters worse is that some of the farmland was nearly ripe rice for harvest; nevertheless, it was bulldozed and destroyed by excavators. In addition, the government damaged the rice field in the range of expropriation, which eventually resulted in opposition by the people. After the mass media reported and criticized the incident, their reports provoked a series of civil organizations’ protest, and the public also expressed support for the residents of Dapu. Most important of all, they demanded Taiwan authorities revised the Land Expropriation Act.
Afterwards, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) and the MCG followed the policy directive of incumbent Premier Wu Den-yih, reaching an agreement with Dapu Farmers’ Self-help Organization by granting the specific-zoned farmland to its members. Later in the year of 2013, the revised urban planning for the road construction, nevertheless, eventually led to the event of enforced house demolition. Since then, the conflict between the government and the residents in Dapu has never been resolved.
On July 19, 2010 Former Premier Wu Den-yih has decided to step in to help settle the disputed expropriation of farmland from Dapu farmers by receiving farmer representatives from Dapu Village to hear their opinions on the issue. Wu's decision was prompted by an overnight sit-in launched by around 1,000 farmers and activists on the Ketagalan Boulevard, where they paved the Presidential Office plaza with rice shoots to mark the end of the protest. The protest was triggered by the takeover of farmlands in Dapu by the local government for development projects. In fact, the vast majority of farmers in Dapu have agreed to have their farmlands requisitioned by the MCG and developed into Jhunan Science Park. But over 20 farmers still oppose the expropriation plan, and they have neither taken the compensation fund or joined allocation of substitute land lots in other places. Nevertheless, the MCG sent in excavators with police escorts to dig up rice paddies in Dapu Village on June 9, causing vehement objections from the over 20 farmers.
On July 22, 2010 Former Premier Wu insisted that the government will set aside a separate five hectares of farmland in MC's Dapu Borough for 24 farmers who have protested against the government's expropriation of their lands to expand a science park. The dispute began after the county government attempted to expropriate an additional five hectares of farmland in addition to the original 23 hectares allocated for the project. Wu argued that the local government should not have seized the additional five hectares, and promised to return to the 24 farmers land equivalent in size to their former properties. The 24 farmers account for only 2 percent of those whose land was expropriated, while the other 98 percent agreed to sell their land at the agreed price. Magistrate Liu offered an apology that he allowed excavators to force their way into rice paddies. The excavators, sent by the local government, made their way into rice paddies and destroyed rice plants, despite opposition from local farmers. Liu explained that the county government was acting according to the law and had completed the legal process to transfer land ownership.
According to the Construction and Planning Agency (CPA) under the MOI, four households at Dapu village are to be relocated before July 5, 2013 or the government will demolish the buildings forcibly. As part of the government's urban renewal plan, the MCG has designated a region in Dapu for the construction of a science and industrial park, which would require demolishing some residential areas. On July 3, 2013 The Cabinet asked the MCG to follow the MOI's plans for the demolition of farmers' buildings as part of an urban development plan. Resident and student activist protesters continued into the second day of a demonstration outside the Cabinet against the project, accusing the government of breaking a promise that the homes would be left alone. With documents and photographs in hand, residents insisted that the Vice President Wu had promised three years ago that the houses would remain untouched.
On July 4, 2013 Vice President Wu announced a halt to the forced demolition of their homes. Wu added that he spoke on the phone with Premier Jiang and Magistrate Liu before reaching a consensus to suspend the demolition operations. Enraged protesters continued their demonstration in front of the Cabinet building. Some climbed over the gates in an attempt to enter the Cabinet building but were blocked by the police and asked to leave the grounds. Dapu residents and farmers held out governmental documents that declared "houses would remain untouched" as evidence that the government has broken its promise. The Cabinet explained that the premier had strongly requested the government of MC properly handle the residents' demands before the project proceeds further. Government officials and scholars visited Dapu multiple times throughout the negotiation process and found that the four remaining households have indeed obstructed traffic.
On July 5, 2013 Premier Jiang Yi-huah maintained that at least three out of the four Dapu residences will not be demolished, according to the decision of the Construction and Planning Agency (CPA). Over 300 residents and student activists continued to protest against the project in MC, accusing the government of breaking a promise that the homes would be left alone. Residents and farmers of Dapu village began a nightlong protest July 7 evening as a government plan to raze their homes may still be carried out. The protest was led by nongovernmental group Taiwan Rural Front (TRF). According to Magistrate Liu, the MCG will send its personnel to seek a consensus with the residents of Dapu, but he stressed that "what needs to be torn down will be." Demonstrations have not died down since the Cabinet announced that it had asked the MCG to cooperate with the MOI's plans to demolish farming residences to make way for an urban development project. Protesters accuse the government of backtracking on a promise it made three years ago that the village would not be touched by the project.
Amid continuing opposition, on July 8, 2013 Magistrate Liu reiterated that if a consensus over a development plan cannot be reached, four houses in Dapu village will be demolished. Members of the MC Council, village representatives and association group leaders gathered at a briefing session on the planned construction of a science park in Dapu. In support of Magistrate Liu, thousands of Miaoli residents expressed their support for the tearing down of the four remaining houses. On July 12 The Taichung District Court rejected a request by members of four residences located at the Dapu village to cancel the demolition of their homes. The MCG is set to develop the area containing Dapu village into a science and industrial park. Twenty households residing within the planned site for the park have expressed consent to the terms of compensation and relocation offered by the government, with the exception of the four households. The four household members recently appealed to the Taiwan High Court to cancel the demolition of their homes, claiming that the act represents an irreconcilable violation of their rights to housing and privacy, in addition to their dignity. On July 12 The Taichung Branch of the High Court announced that according to the Administrative Procedure Act, the halting of a demolition order may only be initiated in the event of extraordinarily urgent circumstances, or where irreversible damages will be rendered as a result. The High Court concluded that since the four households have already received compensation, and with negotiations still ongoing, the potential damage is not irreversible and may be remedied by alternative means.
On July 17, 2013 MCG demolished houses in Dapu Village in order to proceed with a development plan, as supporters of the homeowners protested in front of the Presidential Office. Magistrate Liu insisted that the local government will start demolition work on the four houses considering that pressure from the protesters had abated due to their presence in the capital. "The MCG initially scheduled the dismantling of the houses for the July 22, but after receiving the news that many protesters planned to go to Taipei for a press conference, Liu decided to execute the demolition earlier." Liu argued that it is like an opportunity bestowed by the heavens. If there were over 200 protesters at the scene of the demolition, it would be impossible for the workers to do their jobs. The demolition must be carried out and there is no room for negotiation anymore. There were some protesters and house owners at the scene of the demolition, trying to stop the workers from tearing down the houses. Protesters and the police clashed during the demolition while a house owner's wife fainted and was sent to the hospital immediately. As long as Miaoli executed the decision made by the CPA, the Cabinet will respect the local government's authority. Dapu Village protesters and their supporters continued to protest on Taipei's Ketagalan Boulevard, demanding an apology and compensation from the government sudden demolition of their MC homes.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tsang-chang announced that DPP will organize a legal team to help for the land owners of the MC Dapu homes demolition case. After a series of protests held by Miaoli Country's Dapu villagers, the protesters gathered once again along Ketagalan Boulevard demanding an amendment for the Land Expropriation Act. Arguing that the government has been overlooking the issue, protesters issued a press statement that attacked the Cabinet's previous claims over the 2011 Land Expropriation Act amendment.
Some 30 activists splattered paint and eggs on the entrance of the Cabinet building as a protest over the controversial demolition of homes in Dapu Village. Protesters against the Dapu house razing will gather again for a demonstration titled "818: Take Back the State, Demolish the Government" along Ketagalan Boulevard. Around 1,000 protesters bombarded the MCG Building with eggs, paintballs and ghost money to vent their anger over the forcible demolition of four private houses in Dapu Village and some undesirable development projects launched by the county government, before winding up a "Guard Miaoli Concert". Activists occupied all entrances of the MOI building in support of the owners of four razed households in Dapu Village. They demanded to talk to Minister Lee and urged the MOI to amend the Land Expropriation Act to better protect farmers' land rights. Some called for the MOI to go as far as abolishing the act. Minister Lee insisted the key issue regarding the Dapu incident is not the regulations of the Land Expropriation Act but how they are implemented. Police have collected evidence on protesters who occupied a government building earlier and could press charges against them if their behavior is deemed to have violated the law.
The ruling party (KMT) voiced its support for the "818 Dapu protestors" to be punished if they had indeed violated the Assembly and Parade Act, while the main opposition party (DPP) stated that the people had been forced into action by the government. Magistrate Liu was confronted by angry family members of a man who died in a suspected act of suicide two months after the local government demolished Chang pharmacy to make way for a public project. However, on January 3, 2014 the Taichung High Administrative Court (THAC) states that land owners were only given 2 options during the negotiation process, there was no discussion of the price offered for the properties, constituting a violation of the Land Expropriation Act and the MOI does not thoroughly consider the public interest. Therefore, THAC issues a judgment that the demolition of 4 houses by the MCG on July 17, 2013 is illegal.
4. Comparison of Administrative Satisfaction Polls About Magistrate Liu
According to the yearly surveys by the Poll Center, Chung Hua University (CHU), the administrative satisfaction for magistrate Liu was 51.4% at 2006, 70.4% at 2007, 69.1% at 2008, and 60.2% at 2010, respectively. After the Dapu incident of Magistrate Liu, the poll was implemented by the Poll Center, Chung Hua University during December 09-19, 2013. When the respondents are asked satisfactory with magistrate Liu to promote the Miaoli economic development or not? There are 47.4% respondents express satisfactory with magistrate Liu to promote the Miaoli economic development. When the respondents are asked satisfactory with Miaoli county government or not? There is 50.2% satisfactory with Miaoli county government. However, the poll also shows that the administrative satisfaction for magistrate Liu is only 42.5%, and the dissatisfaction for magistrate Liu is 43.1%. What the respondents are asked the reasons satisfactory to county magistrate Liu? The reason which magistrate Liu was satisfied with is in order: the first is "administrative ability is good to construct" (13.3%), the second is"to develop the tourism" (11.4%), and the third is "bold and dare to do administration" (11.5%).
When the respondents are asked the reasons unsatisfactory with magistrate Liu? The reason which magistrate Liu was unsatisfied with is in order: the first is "dictatorially levy the farmland" (18.3%), the second is "his morality and personal integrity is not good" (4.1%), and the third is "administrative efficiency is bad apparently" (4.1%).
According to the Chinatimes Polls, the administrative satisfaction for magistrate Liu was 75% at 2009, 80% at 2010, 73% at 2011, and 73.5% at 2012, respectively. Other polls made by the "Taiwan Competitiveness Forum" shows that the administrative satisfaction for magistrate Liu is 73.5% at 2012, and 70.4% during May and June, 2013 respectively. The other administrative satisfaction conducted by the New News Magazine for magistrate Liu is 64.6% during March and April, 2013 (Vol. 1368), and 43.4% during July and August, 2013 (Vol. 2014).
According to the poll conducted by the Common Wealth Magazine (Vol. 530) during July and August, 2013, the administrative satisfaction for magistrate Liu is 61.36%. Another poll which was implemented by TVBS TV station at July, 2013 shows that the administrative satisfaction for magistrate Liu is 47%, and According to the poll conducted by the Global Views Monthly (Vol. 324) during March and April, 2013, the administrative satisfaction for magistrate Liu is 63.5%. The administration satisfaction trends for the Miaoli County Magistrate Liu from 2006 to 2012 are showed at figure 1. The Common Wealth magazine had made administration satisfaction for magistrates' polls every year. The dash line shows the administration satisfaction for magistrate Liu from 2006 to 2013. Another line is the administration satisfaction polls for magistrate Liu conducted by the TVBS TV station Poll Center, and the other line is the administration satisfaction polls for magistrate Liu conducted by the Global Views Monthly.
Source: The Common Wealth magazine, TVBS TV station, and Global Views Monthly.
|affect||N N||Mean||Std. Deviation||Std. Error Mean|
|Levene’s Test for Equality of Variances||t-test for Equality of Means|
|F||Sig.||t||df||Sig. (2-tailed)||Mean Difference||Std. Error Difference||95% Confidence Interval of the Difference|
|Satisfaction Equal variances assumed||.023||.880||-3.15||31||.004||-11.9452||3.7927||-19.6804||-4.2100|
|Equal variances not assumed||-3.418||10.695||.006||-11.9452||3.4949||-19.6642||-4.2262|
The Dapu incident has 2 episodes. One is to operate an excavator to root up the ripe rice on the Dapu farmlands on June 9, 2010, the other is to tear down the Chang drugstore on July 17, 2013. Therefore 7 times among 33 polls are affected by the Dapu incident. They are 2010 and 2013 by CHU, TVBS, Common Wealth, and 2013 by New News Magazine. To assess the significance of a difference between means, use the difference-between-means test. The null hypothesis could state that there is no difference in the mean score of the two populations; i.e., the administration satisfaction for Magistrate Liu is no difference in the mean score of the affected and not affected by the Dapu incident populations. To assess the relationship between the Dapu incident and administration satisfaction for Magistrate Liu, one could compare the affected and not affected by the Dapu incident with respect to the administration satisfaction. From table 2 the Levene’s test for the variance homogeneous is not significant (F=0.023, p=.880), and it means that the variance between two samples is not different significantly. From the assumption variance is equal, The number of degree of freedom for sample size of 7 and 26 is 31. At the .01 level of significance with a one-tailed test, the t score is -3.150 (p=0.004＜.000) for that the null hypothesis could be rejected. The analysis finds that the difference in administration satisfaction for Magistrate Liu affected and not affected by the Dapu incident is significant statistically. The average score for Magistrate Liu affected by the Dapu incident is 53.30%, and the average score for Magistrate Liu not affected by the Dapu incident is 65.24%. It means that the Dapu incident cut 11.95% administration satisfaction score (see table 1). There are about 52,636 voters (or citizens) change their political attitude from satisfaction with Magistrate Liu to dissatisfaction since there are 440,654 citizens who are over 20 years old according to the 2013 population general survey published by Miaoli County Government.
Customer satisfaction determines the effects of the public policies, and the customer's appraisal decides the changes directions of the public policies". In other words, the performance of public policies depends on the people's administrative satisfaction, and the changes direction of public policies depends on the poll results of policies. Yeric and Todd (1989) state that the public opinion should play a very important part in the political operation of elections in modern democratic society. The governments at all levels must make great efforts to promote the efficiency and effectiveness of the public services. The idea"customer orientation"can undoubtedly promote the public services to affirm the customer's value, and to introduce citizen participation into policy processes in order to remedy the drawbacks of representative politics.
Except paying attention to people's demands and satisfaction, the staffs' demands and expectations should be noticed. To set up the interactive mechanisms and performance management system could encourage motivate spirit and the sense of achievements. If staffs were satisfied, then people will be satisfied. On the other hand, besides strengthening the supervision mechanism of councils and the people, it is quite important that the administrative procedure abides by law, promotes procedure transparency and discourses publicly. Based on the administrative ethics, governments must treat people equally without discrimination and offer the public services to all people. Governments can't favor one and slight the other, and the demands and expectations of the disadvantages should especially be taken care in order to set up a fair and justice society.
The Dapu incident cut 11.95% administration satisfaction score (see table 1). There are about 52,636 voters (or citizens) change their political attitude from satisfaction with Magistrate Liu to dissatisfaction. Liu case tells us that the Dapu incident is important to politicians; it cut almost 12% satisfaction degree for Magistrate Liu. In terms of administrative satisfaction levels, political factors really do matter. Because the satisfaction level of Magistrate Liu declines largely, the vice-Magistrate C.J. Lin who is supported by Magistrate Liu loses his impetus to run the next Maioli magistrate campaign. Then KMT hesitates to nominate him as KMT representative. The influence of Dapu incident on Miaoli electoral politics is very serious.
As Van Ryzin (2004) mentions, it is important to assess the whole administrative satisfaction about the municipal governmental services to the civil servants and the citizens. The multiple dimensions of administrative satisfaction are superior to the single dimension. Therefore, the American Customer Satisfaction Index and the exit-voice-loyalty model of Hirschman should be referred to modify the administrative satisfaction indicators and model in order to promote their validity, reliability, and practicability in the future.