The DPP Primaries reveal the DPP's Lack of Character
United Daily News editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
April 22, 2007
The "Four Princes of the DPP" (actually One Princess and Three Princes) From left to right: Annette Lu, Frank Hsieh, Yu Hsi-kuen, Su Tseng-chang
The second Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential primary will also be the party's final political debate. As matters stand, compromise is impossible. The DPP primary process must end, and the DPP's presidential candidate can be decided only after a party vote and an opinion poll.
The DPP primary process has underscored two phenomena: First, the party is spinning its wheels. No progress or breakthroughs have been made during the debate over the party's direction and policies. Second, internal divisions among party factions have worsened, and have become life and death struggles between mortal enemies.
First, the internal divisions. Ten days ago, two presidential and vice presidential tickets still seemed a possibility. But Su Tseng-chang repeatedly declared that "If I lose the primaries, I won't accept the vice presidency." On the one hand his declaration sharpened internal divisions. On the other hand, it made healing those divisions impossible. Frank Hsieh, by stating that, "I will not disappoint my supporters, I will not withdraw from the primaries," also slammed the door shut on compromise. Most intriguing of all was Frank Hsieh's statement: "Everyone wants to be president. But everyone should have the magnanimity to accept the role of vice president." On the one hand, this statement chided Su Tseng-chang for insisting that he would not accept the vice presidency. On the other hand it may have been Frank Hsieh's way of keeping the option of the vice presidency open. In other words, in case Su Tseng-chang wins his bid for the presidential slot in the primaries, the Frank Hsieh camp does not want to watch idly as the winner takes all, but wants to reserve the right to be part of a "Su Hsieh ticket." Hsieh figures that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. But if Su wins the primaries, will he still respond to extortionate demands for a "Su Hsieh ticket" from the Frank Hsieh camp? If Su loses in the primaries, having stated that he would not accept the vice presidency, can the Su camp really swallow its pride and eat crow? These divisive struggles within the DPP will probably continue through the presidential election and beyond.
Next, the party's direction and policies. Chen Shui-bian is the DPP's chief sinner, and yet the party primaries have become a competition among the Four Princes to see who can demonstrate the most unquestioning loyalty toward the party's chief sinner. This absurd scenario reveals that the DPP primaries had nothing to do with reform or self-introspection, and everything to do with which of the Four Princes would have the honor of being Chen Shui-bian's chief accomplice, hence designated heir. As for the issue of Taiwan independence, Yu Hsi-kuen, who advocates abolishing the "Resolution on Taiwan's Future" and champions "de jure Taiwan independence," had the worst showing in the primaries. Apparently even DPP members consider his agenda a pipe dream. The other three princes, Hsieh, Su, and Lu, continued supporting the "Resolution on Taiwan's Future" and advocated "making constitutional revisions based on existing constitutional procedures," a policy that boils down to maintaining the status quo. In which case, aren't they nothing more than Kuomintang (KMT) fellow travellers? What have they contributed to the Sacred Cause of Taiwan independence? Other debates involved nothing but mutual recriminations over policy flip-flops on the Suhua Freeway and the Losheng Sanatorium. When it came to important policies affecting the nation's political and economic future, all we were offered were empty boasts about "adopting a global vision" and "ensuring perpetual development." Because none of the participants were able to give a concrete reason why they had come, the debate turned into attacks upon each others' character. Su accused Hsieh of being "devious." Hsieh accused Su of "inconsistencies in policy, inconsistencies in thought." This inadvertently revealed the real plight of the DPP. The nation is in decline because the character of its leadership is in decline.
The ugly truth that the DPP primaries have laid bare is this: the DPP is a political party whose core value is the lust for power. Its core value is not democratic reform, otherwise it would not have ruled in utter disregard of the law as it has. It is not even Taiwan independence, otherwise it would not have flip-flopped on Taiwan independence and engaged in self-deception and deception of others as it has. The DPP's core value is naked power lust, otherwise it would not have eagerly abetted the thoroughly corrupt Chen Shui-bian, and consigned the nation to a plight in which democracy and the rule of law have vanished into thin air. The DPP can paint the Pan Blues as "Chi-Com fellow travellers" who "do not love Taiwan." The DPP can paint Su Tseng-chang as a heretic of the "New Tide Faction," who is "violating the DPP's fundamental values." The DPP can paint Frank Hsieh as a "One China Constitution" advocate even more "pro reunification" than the Chinese Communist Party. Whether such allegations are true or false is irrelevant. What matters is they are useful in one's struggle for power.
The DPP is using the same tactics it used against the Pan Blues against presidential primary rivals within its own party. Like criminal gangs accustomed to poisoning villagers, who live with poison day in and day out, they have finally poisoned themselves and their families with lethal doses of their own toxins. Following these primaries, power struggles within the DPP have intensified to an unprecedented degree. These worsening power struggles will inevitably leave deep, visible, and permanent scars on the DPP.
Su Tseng-chang said "character is the most important factor in a president." This party primary has not only exposed the character of the Four Princes, it has also exposed the perverted and decadent character of the DPP as a political party.
Original Chinese below:
先 談內爭。大約十天以前，似仍存有「初選前兩名正副搭檔」的想像空間。但蘇貞昌幾 度宣示「初選落敗，不當副手」，一方面使初選趨於尖銳，另一方面亦使選後療治裂痕的藥方頓告消失。謝長廷則稱，「不會讓支持者掉淚，初選絕不退讓」，也已 關上了「協調」之門。最可玩味的是，謝長廷又稱：「每個人都想要當總統，但也應有願當副手的雅量。」此話一方面或在揶揄蘇貞昌宣示不當副手，另一方面卻也 許是為謝長廷自己可能出任副手預留餘地。也就是說，初選倘由蘇貞昌勝出競選總統，謝長廷陣營若不容蘇「全碗捧去」，亦不無轉而爭取「蘇謝配」的可能性。謝 的算盤也許是「無魚蝦也好」，但蘇若初選勝出，還會回應謝長廷陣營「蘇謝配」的勒索嗎？反過來說，蘇若初選失敗，且已言明不當副手，難道蘇系真會打脫牙和 血吞？民進黨內的撕裂性鬥爭，恐將由黨內初選延伸影響至正式總統大選，甚至大選以後。
再 談路線。陳水扁是民進黨的大罪人，但初選卻成了四大天王向陳大罪人效忠的競賽。 此種荒謬的場景，凸顯了這場初選完全沒有改革反省的意味，四大天王只是在比賽誰是陳水扁的頭號共犯而已。至於台獨問題，主張廢除「台灣前途決議文」及力挺 「法理台獨」的游錫?，顯然在初選中人氣最差，民進黨人亦視其為白日夢囈而已；其餘謝、蘇、呂三人，皆仍站在「台灣前途決議文」的底線上，並一致主張「應 循現行憲法所定程序進行修憲」，亦即實際上仍主張「維持現狀」；既然如此，他們不啻皆是國民黨的同路人而已，在台獨大業上又豈有一丁點的推進？再看其他方 面的政策辯論，則只聞相互攻訐蘇花高、樂生院的政策反覆；至於國家政經大計，卻只用「放眼全球」、「永續發展」幾句假、大、空話，在點綴場面。於是，正因 政策辯論說不出個所以然來，所以轉而相互攻擊對方的「人格」。蘇說謝「奸巧」，謝說蘇「政策不一致，思想不一貫」；這麼一來，反而揭露了民進黨如今真正的 困境所在：一切國政沉淪的問題，皆出自主政者人格境界沉淪的問題！
初選進行至今所 暴露的政治真相是：民進黨竟是一個以權謀鬥爭為核心價值的政黨。其 核心價值，分明不是民主改革，否則就不會違法亂政至此地步；也不是台獨，否則就不會自欺欺人、反覆搖擺至此地步。民進黨的核心價值只是權謀鬥爭而已，否則 就不會力挺貪腐無狀的陳水扁，亦不會使國家陷於今日民主法治萬般落空的痛苦之中。民進黨可以將「泛藍」打成「中共同路人」、「不愛台灣」；亦可將蘇貞昌打 成「新潮流化」、「違反民進黨基本價值」；謝長廷的「憲法一中」更遭追殺，甚至稱其比中共還要「統派」。這些，是非真偽皆莫辨，只要有利於權謀鬥爭即可。
民 進黨用於對泛藍鬥爭的全套戰法，如今已全盤移用於黨內總統初選的鬥爭。猶如一個 慣常對村人下毒的邪惡集團，由於日日與毒共處，終於自身也中了劇毒，且亦毒害了自己的家族。經過此次初選，民進黨內權謀鬥爭的深化、惡化、毒化及公開化， 皆已超越過去，這必將對民進黨體質的繼續惡化與毒化留下深刻及公開的傷痕，影響久遠。