Will Losing Power induce the DPP to Change?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
March 13, 2008
Which presidential candidate, if elected, would bring greater disaster upon Taiwan? This is a question Frank Hsieh posed recently.
Frank Hsieh already has his own answer. He said that Ma Ying-jeou's election would precipitate "vicious struggles between pro-Ma and anti-Ma forces," similar to the pro-Chen and anti-Chen struggles over the past eight years. Taiwan would then remain mired in chaos. How convincing is Frank Hsieh's answer? That's up to the voters to decide. What's disturbing however, is the way Hsieh framed the question.
When people elect a president, what ought to matter is who can offer a brighter future for the nation and society, who can bring the people greater happiness. Many people are suffering as a result of the DPP's past eight years in office. Frank Hsieh failed to put forth a convincing blueprint for governing the nation. Instead he resorted to intimidation. In essence he issued a veiled threat that if the DPP lost the election, it had the ability to make plenty of trouble. Frank Hsieh predicted that if Ma Ying-jeou was elected, the DPP would launch a wholesale anti-Ma struggle movement, and not give Taiwan a minute of peace.
The term "vicious struggles" aptly describes the chaos on Taiwan over the past eight years. But for Frank Hsieh to promise vicious struggles in Taiwan's future, is something the people of Taiwan may have difficulty accepting. Frank Hsieh expressed no remorse for the vicious struggles engendered by DPP minority rule over the past eight years. Instead, he predicted that if he lost the election, the DPP would take to the streets, and partisan political struggles would become even more vicious. He was not intimidating the KMT. He was intimidating the people of Taiwan. Such rhetoric is truly chilling.
Frank Hsieh's proposition is: Give me power, and I will give you peace. Deny me power, and I will turn your world upside down. The most frightening aspect of Hsieh's "vicious struggle thesis" is that Hsieh sees politics as a struggle -- a vicious struggle. He utterly ignores the fact that politics ought to be about responsible governance and constructive achievements. This is not just a problem with Frank Hsieh. This is the most frightening characteristic of the DPP. Over the past eight years, the entire DPP has become addicted to waging vicious struggles against the political opposition. It has totally forgotten its solemn obligation to serve the people.
Frank Hsieh's "prophecy of defeat" has left many voters in a quandary. If Hsieh is elected, and this "Little President" attempts to fulfill his "Great Mission," he will precipitate vicious struggles. If Hsieh is not elected, he has threatened to take to the streets. The result will again be vicious struggles. These are the horns of the voters' dilemma.
If Frank Hsieh is elected president, we can anticipate vicious struggles. First. If Frank Hsieh is elected, it will amount to an endorsement of the DPP's conduct over the past eight years. Second. The Blue camp has a majority in the Legislative Yuan. An opposition majority in the legislature will merely intensify the Blue vs. Green struggle. If Hsieh is elected, these are the conditions that will prevail. What horrifies voters is Frank Hsieh's prediction that if he loses, voters can expect vicious struggles.
From Hsieh's prophecy we can conclude that whether there will be "vicious struggles" has nothing to do with whether Hsieh loses his bid for the presidency. Chen Shui-bian won his presidential bid. He has been in power for eight years. Vicious struggles have gone on for eight years. If Frank Hsieh is elected, vicious struggles will be even harder to avoid. Hsieh predicts that if he is not elected, there will be vicious struggles. Are we to understand that as long as the Democratic Progressive Party remains in existence, the people can look forward to nothing but vicious struggles?
If Frank Hsieh is elected, the nation will face divided government and vicious struggles. If Frank Hsieh is not elected, the DPP has promised to take to the streets and engage in vicious struggles. But there are struggles and then there are struggles. Ever since the DPP assumed power, it has abused the power of the state waging vicious struggles and engaging in rampant corruption. Over the past eight years, Taiwan has been bathed in blood and drowned in tears. If the DPP loses and is relegated to the status of an opposition party, the most harm it can do is behave like a "small-scale leftist movement" (Frank Hsieh's term) and engage in "street battles." Therefore the voters have a choice between two evils: a ruling DPP abusing state power, waging vicious struggles and engaging in rampant corruption, or an opposition DPP relegated to the status of a small scale leftist movement, provoking sporadic street battles.
Hsieh served once as premier and twice as DPP chairman. Yet today he appears willing to draw a sharp line in the sand between himself and the DPP. He even referred to himself as one of the Chen Shui-bian regime's victims. Hsieh predicted that if Ma Ying-jeou was elected, there would be endless, vicious struggles. In other words, Hsieh was promising that if he wasn't elected, there would be endless vicious struggles. This is something that reasonable members of the electorate simply cannot comprehend.
Even more baffling is Hsieh's perception of elections as "da jiang shan" (conquering rivers and mountains), i.e., founding a new dynastic order. Frank Hsieh's "prophecy of vicious post-election street battles" is an open admission. If the DPP loses the election, if it loses power, it has no intention of engaging in self-introspection. Instead it intends to engage in vicious struggles to the bitter end. What is this, if not "jiang shan yi gai, ben xing nan yi?" (Rivers and mountains are easier to change than an individual's nature."
Many people are curious. They want to know whether losing the mountains and rivers (losing power) will compel the DPP to change its nature, even one iota.
2008.03.13 03:23 am