Every time was an election, supporters from different camps always yelled at each other. What are the differences or similarities between these people? Since November 2019, we have participated in a total of 21 gatherings of the two presidential candidates. We interviewed over 1000 supporters of both candidates with the designed format and tried to understand the value of the passionate supporters of the two sides.
During elections, media often turned the two factions into rivals with different values. READr tried to use data to understand the appearance of these people, found out similarities and differences, and promote dialogue and understanding.
We focused on the issues of economy, democracy, the relationship with China, and self-identification. Another topic was “value priority”. We tried to understand the supporters’ priority choices among the six values of “economic development”, “order”, “law-abiding”, “democracy”, “freedom” and “equality”.
We found that these supporters who were willing to be interviewd have almost the same central ideas as the candidates on stage. The values of the two supporters are very different. The few consensuses reached on all topic are “democratic values” and “Taiwan should cooperate more closely with the world.” We even found traces of the rise of populism.
All of the data are collected manually. And we use R to do complete all of the statistics.
What was the hardest part of this project?
We actually participated in 21 activities for presidential candidates, and we used questionnaires to understand who they are. It was very interesting to chat with people with different values. You could find some similarities in different values. Through these information, we tore off the labels that these two groups of people had attached to each other for a long time, and found some common ground.
What can others learn from this project?
Journalists can be a way and a bridge for people from different camps on the two sides to understand each other.