Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Democratic Nation whose Legislature is not allowed to Legislate?

A Democratic Nation whose Legislature is not allowed to Legislate?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 6, 2007

The ruling and opposition parties will vote on the third reading of the Organic Law of the Central Election Committee tomorrow. The Democratic Progressive Party is boasting that it has ambulances on standby, and is pledging to "fight to the death." The public must get past its intellectually indolent "Not another pointless Blue vs. Green Struggle!" frame of reference. This confrontation is not merely over how to determine the composition of the Central Election Committee. This confrontation is a constitutional crisis that has paralyzed the legislature.

The codification of the Organic Law of the Central Election Committee is long overdue. Recently the central government and local governments have been struggles over the "single stage" vs. "two stage" balloting procedures. This struggle is the direct result of the Central Election Committee's "black box operations," in which it takes its marching orders from the ruling DPP regime, provoking opposition party and county and municipal government outrage. In one major election after another, a discredited Central Election Committee has manipulated the balloting procedure however the ruling DPP commands. Under such cirumstances, how can the public believe that the outcome is the result of a free and fair balloting procedure? This is why the codification of the Organic Law of the Central Election Committee is a matter of such urgency. No matter how much the ruling and opposition parties may disagree, the final solution can only be found in the Legislative Yuan.

The Democratic Progressive Party alleges that the opposition party's version of Organic Law for the Central Election Committee is "unconstitutional." It ignores the fact that the Central Election Committee it is unconditionally backing is an unconstitutional and illegal entity. The Democratic Progressive Party constitutes a minority within the legislature. Yet it refuses to compromise or adopt peaceful means of ruling the nation. Instead it resorts to physical violence, extortion, and disruption to paralyze the legislature and bring the government to a halt. Earlier this year, the legislature attempted to review the Organic Law for the Central Election Committee. Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers surrounded the Speaker of the Legislature, physically dragged him into the Speakers Chamber and locked him inside with a motorcycle lock. Needless to say this made it impossible for the legislature to conduct its official business. The violent political farce that will be enacted in the Legislative Yuan tomorrow, may be difficult to imagine.

The Democratic Progressive Party tolerates only "black box operations" that allow it to abuse its power. In order to prevent the opposition majority in Legislative Yuan from amending the law, it physically obstructs the legislative process. Its logic is self-contradictory. It finds it dfficult to disguise its selfish motives. That is why the Democratic Progressive Party is waging a life or death struggle to preserve the illegal Central Election Committee. Its sole motive is to maintain control at least until May of next year, at which time countless agencies within the Executive Yuan will be able to overtly and covertly interfere with the election to ensure the "right" results. Unless voters next year demand regime change, expecting the Democratic Progressive Party to relax its grip on this juicy piece of raw meat is wishful thinking.

We would caution the public against dismissing the struggle over the Organic Law for the Central Election Committee as the same old "pointless ruling vs. opposition party struggles" that it has become accustomed to. The Democratic Progressive Party has no intention whatsoever of debating the merits or demerits of the bill. It has no intention whatsoever of seeking a solution to the problem by legal means. Its only purpose is to prevent the legislature from functioning. This will inevitably affect the normalization of the nation. What everyone ought to be worried about is not that the Legislative Yuan will degenerate into a killing field, but that the ROC's system of constitutional government will become a One Party, or worse, One Man dictatorship.

This is the danger of Taiwan's so-called "Blue vs. Green Politics." Once the concept of "Blue vs. Green Opposition" became popular, any and all violations of the constitution were dumped into this simplistic frame of reference, and treated as if it was all the same political garbage. Many failed to realize that under an "Either you're Blue or you're Green" dichotomy, the public has been partitioned, and the government paralyzed. The Democratic Progressive Party has taken advantage of this paralysis to turn the nation's resources into the party's resources. It has used the Legislative Yuan's ineffectuality to expand the power of the executive. It has arrogated to itself the power to act without constitutional authority. Over the past eight years, many saw only "Blue vs. Green Opposition." They were blind to the pathological deterioration of the ROC's system of constitutional government.

Chen Shui-bian's demagoguery over the past month has plunged Taiwan into a state of civil war. Over the legislative elections and the issue of the Central Election Committee, the central government and 18 counties and municipalities are each going their own way. Over the name plaque on the ceremonial gate to the CKS Memorial, police officers answering to the Executive Yuan and the Taipei Municipal Government respectively have found themselves head to head, daggers drawn. Now, to codify the Organic Law for the Central Election Committee, ruling and opposition party legislators are about to go to war. These conflagrations, breaking out on a daily basis, show that our politicians cannot solve even the most basic problems. Under these circumstances, how can Taiwan possibly aspire to the status of a "normal nation?" Day after day, political fires engulf the island, most of them set by Chen Shui-bian. Democratic politics, after venturing into this pestilential quagmire, has virtually vanished from sight.

In order to demolish "The Golden Mean, the Way of Righteousness" name plaque, the Executive Yuan simply rewrote the law on its own, ignored the legislature, and did whatever it damn well pleased. In order to prevent the Legislative Yuan from passing the Organic Law for the Central Election Committee, the minority Democratic Progressive Party stooped to naked intimidation, threatening to physically assault any opposition legislators who attempted to vote on the proposed legislation. Do the nation's laws really have no meaning whatsoever to the "Democratic Progressive Party?"

Years ago the Democratic Progressive Party forced out the "10,000 Year Legislature." Now, in support of A Bian, the Democratic Progressive Party is once again sending its Storm Troopers into the legislature. This shows that history repeats itself. Is there such a thing as a democratic nation that does not allow its legislature to convene? Is there such a thing as a democratic ruling party that does not allow the nation's legislature to legislate?

2007.12.06 03:44 am

朝野明天將就中選會組織法的三讀展開立法攻防,民進黨揚言 「傳好救護車」誓死杯葛。民眾應該跳脫「藍綠對決」的刻板框架來看待此事,因為這涉及的不單純是中選會的法制化問題,而是整個國會的憲政運作已面臨癱瘓危機。

中 選會的法制化延宕已久,最近中央與地方之所以有「一階段vs.二階段」之爭,正是源於中選會以「黑機關」身分聽命執政黨偏頗行事,引起在野黨及縣市政府的 不服。由於重大選舉接二連三,若中選會以受質疑的身分與手法強行主導選務,民眾如何相信最後的選舉結果是經公正程序產生?也因此,中選會的法制化問題備顯 迫切,不論朝野見解多麼歧異,最終仍必須在立法院尋求解決,才可能找到出路。

矛盾的是,民進黨一面指責在野黨版的中選會組織條例「違 憲」,一面卻忘了自己全力維護的現行中選會,正是個「不合憲」又「不合法」的機構。更嚴重的是,民進黨身為國會少數,不知善用「妥協」或「遠交近攻」戰略 來達成執政治國的使命,卻頻頻採取暴力、威脅及干擾戰略,使國會陷入癱瘓,使國家瀕於空轉。今年初,立院審查中選會組織法,即因民進黨立委圍攻並以「三秒 膠」鎖住議長,使議事無法進行;以此觀之,明天立法院可能上演的政治暴力醜劇,恐怕令人難以想像。

民進黨這種「只許黑機關濫權,不准立法 院修法」的死纏爛打戰略,不僅在邏輯上自相矛盾,在現實上也難掩其師心自用。民進黨之所以拚死維護中選會的「非法狀態」,無非是為了既有的掌控方便;至少 在明年五月仍然政權在握之際,行政部門可以透過各種公開或隱匿的形式插手選務,進而影響選舉。亦即,除非選民明年再度締造政黨輪替,否則要民進黨把中選會 這塊肥肉從它嘴巴裡吐出來,難如登天。

可以提醒民眾的是:這次中選會組織法的攻防,不該當成人們習以為常的又一次「朝野對決」看待;因為 民進黨已然無意辯論法案的是非曲直,也無意解決中選會的法制化課題,目的只在阻擋國會的立法運作,其結果,必然影響國家的正常化發展。大家要擔心的,不是 立法院淪為殺戮戰場,而是台灣憲政體制變成一黨一人一用即棄的工具。

這也正是台灣所謂「藍綠政治」的危險。當「藍綠對抗」這樣的概念流行 後,所有扭曲違憲的不正常活動都被丟進這個框框裡,當成普通政治垃圾處理;殊不知,在「非藍即綠」這樣的二分法下,不僅人民被分成兩種等級,國家機器也日 漸四分五裂,幾至無法動彈。然而,民進黨卻利用國家癱瘓的機會,透過黨政合一的手段將公共資源納為己用;更利用立法院的職能失效,大肆擴張行政權的專擅和 獨攬。八年了,人們若只看到一次次的藍綠對抗硝煙,卻看不到台灣憲政的病變與衰敗,那就太盲目了。

回顧過去這一個月,在陳水扁的刻意操弄 下,台灣其實是處於類似「內戰」的狀態:為了立委選舉領投票的問題,中央和地方十八縣市各執己見;為了大中至正門的更名問題,行政院與台北市府劍拔弩張, 導致警察相互對壘;現在,為了中選會的法制化,朝野立委要展開大戰。這種日日烽火高舉的景象,顯示政治人物連解決問題的基本能力都沒有,台灣如何可能變成 一個正常國家?更何況,島內的連天戰火,大半都是陳水扁總統煽的風點的火;民主政治走到這步田地,也幾近虛無幻滅了。

那廂為了拆「大中至正」門, 行政院自己私下修改法令, 然後挾著未完成立法程序的條文就要蠻幹。 這廂立法院要審中選會組織法, 居於少數的民進黨仗恃著拳頭, 揚言要打就打。 國家的體制和法律, 真任其予取予求嗎?

當年逼退了萬年國會, 如今民進黨為了擁護阿扁, 一再將拳頭「表決部隊」重新開進國會, 這只證明歷史果然會倒退。 天下豈有不容國會表決運作的民主國家? 豈有不容國會表決運作的民主執政黨?

No comments: