Direct Democracy

While the rights of initiative and referendum are recognized by Article 136 of the 1947 Constitution, the relevant Referendum Act was only adopted by the Legislative Yuan in 2003. Both the Legislative Yuan and the citizens of Taiwan have the right of initiative for a referendum process.

So far, sixteen national referendums have been held in Taiwan. In March 2004, voters were consulted regarding Taiwan’s relationship and the People’s Republic of China. In January 2008, there were ballots about issues of transitional justice and corruption in politics. In March 2008, citizens of Taiwan were asked to express their opinions regarding the island’s application to join the United Nations. After reform to the Referendum Act in 2017 which reduced the threshold for submitting questions to the ballot, a ten-question referendum was held in November 2018.

Five local referendums have also been held in the country regarding public school policy and the establishment of casinos.

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