In the past 16 years, what makes 8000s bills enact or not in the legislature?

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: Taiwan

Publishing organisation: READr

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 2022-01-06

Language: Chinese

Authors: Liu Yi-xin, Tseng Lee-Yu, Lee Yu-Ju, Chien Hsin-chan


READr is not just a data newsroom, it is also a digital innovation team. The development of information news in Taiwan media is still not perfect at present. Although the READr is only a small information newsroom, we still try hard to have an indicative impact on the development of data journalism in Taiwan.

We always hope to make breakthroughs in every topic.Without the framework of traditional thinking, the team can make the report more creative and also keep the news professional by presenting stories in a true and complete way.

Project description:

Given that after major social events, there are often calls for law reform, but in reality, only a handful of bills are passed.Therefore we sift through 8,800 pieces of legislation data from past legislative sessions, to restore the legislative process of these bills during the tenure of different political parties, in an attempt to piece together the reasons for the failure of these bills, including political wrangling, which parties were most concerned, which bills were supported by social voices and so on. And through selector, readers can choose the legislation they are interested in and see the entire process.

Impact reached:

By simplifying the complex legislative data, we not only present the legislative process, but also set indicators such as bills that are important to both parties, bills that are pushed by minor parties but ignored by the major parties, priority bills and controversial bills.
This allows readers not only to search for specific bills, but also to quickly browse important but frequently blocked bills through the indicators. Through the translation of legislative data, we aim to increase the level of public discussion and accelerate the passage of bills by allowing readers to focus on important legislation.

Techniques/technologies used:

We use the R language to collect and analyze data, as well as input all of the legislative information into a selector, allowing readers to freely search for legislation of interest, rather than having to read multiple difficult-to-understand PDF files to understand the complete history of the legislation.

Context about the project:

Each legislation has its unique characteristics, and finding meaningful indicators is the biggest challenge when reading these data. However, through discussions with experts, we were able to visualize and analyze the data, greatly increasing its readability.

Whether or not each legislation passes often determines the direction of Taiwan’s social progress. By analyzing the process of these legislations, we can infer the reasons for their non-passage. If it is due to political struggles, by making these data public, civil groups will have a better basis for exerting pressure and these legislations can be passed more quickly, instead of just staying at the level of political sensationalism.

What can other journalists learn from this project?

Each legislative bill carries the potential for social progress and reform. By presenting the complete legislative process of each bill, others can observe which political parties support or impede the bill and identify underlying structural issues. This information serves as a valuable reference for promoting issues and making a difference.

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