Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chen Shui-bian Hijacks the Democratic Progressive Party's Protest March

Chen Shui-bian Hijacks the Democratic Progressive Party's Protest March
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 14, 2008

We have been warning the Democratic Progressive Party that Chen Shui-bian intends to use Chen Yunlin's visit as a pretext for a showdown with the party. It now appears Chen Shui-bian intends to resort to the most underhanded means imaginable.

Chen Shui-bian intends to hijack the DPP's protest march, set the agenda, make demands, seize control, and hog the media spotlight. Some people originally thought Chen Shui-bian might pull his punches, that he might organize his own event at another venu, that he might challenge the DPP's leadership, head to head. But circumstances have changed. Chen Shui-bian now intends to march right up to the DPP's procession, cut in line, and turn the DPP's event into his own.

Huang Ching-ling, DPP Chairman for Taipei City, said he intended to invite Chen Shui-bian to the event, including the candlelight vigil and the protest march on Ketagelan Road. Huang Ching-ling offered the following reasons. One. A Bian has yet to be indicted or tried. As Huang put it, "Just exactly what crime has Chen Shui-bian committed?" Two. Everyone has a right to "Oppose China, and Defend Taiwan." Whether one "Supports A Bian," Huang said, must not be confused with "Opposition to China." Chen Shui-bian must not deprived of the right to participate in an "anti-China protest." Three. Besides, Chen Shui-bian is "Taiwan's staunchest champion!"

Huang Ching-ling's argument sounds reasonable. What excuse do the DPP and the event sponsors have to prohibit Chen Shui-bian from participating in anti-China activities? Last Friday the DPP's Committee for Clean Government resolved that "If Chen Shui-bian is found guilty in the first instance, he will be expelled from the party." This inadvertently strengthens Huang Ching-ling's argument: "Just exactly what crime has Chen Shui-bian committed?" The DPP's hesitation every step of the way created a situation in which Chen Shui-bian, having been given an inch, was able to take a mile.

During the August 30 protest march, Chen Shui-bian's time had not yet come. All he could say was "My heart is with you." Now however, Chen Shui-bian has increased his political leverage. Now he intends to publicly propose that "The DPP may not deprive any Taiwanese of the right to oppose China." Needless to say, "any Taiwanese" would include Chen Shui-bian. In other words, no one may prevent Chen Shui-bian from participating in DPP activities. Chen Shui-bian intends to publicly march right up to the DPP procession and cut in line. Does the Democratic Progressive Party dare to publicly drive him away? When the time comes, Chen Shui-bian may be surrounded by a well-prepared "Pro Chen Battalion," thousands strong. They will insinuate themselves into the march formation. They will carry their own own signs, shout their own slogans, and wave their own banners. Chen Shui-bian will of course be their heaviest artillery. All eyes and ears will be on Chen Shui-bian. What will the DPP be protesting? Why will the DPP be marching? It will look as if it is protesting and marching on behalf of Chen Shui-bian.

We can predict with certainty that the protest march will be a major victory for Chen Shui-bian. For Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party's Central Committee on the other hand, the protest march will amount to a painful coup d'etat. Chen Shui-bian has crossed the Rubicon. He has ordered his troops to squat on the DPP's doorstep. They are marching through the front door. The DPP Central Committee is in full retreat. Chen Shui-bian has made true his boast to usurp the party leadership. "If the Democratic Progressive Party has no leader, I am willing to return and be its leader!"

Financial turmoil is increasing the world over. Society is torn with unrest. People are depressed and fearful. For the Democratic Progressive Party to launch large-scale demonstrations at a time like this, is a politically dubious move. If they are merely helping people let off a little steam that would be understandable. But to blow matters out of proportion, beyond what the public actually experiences, risks losing sight of the big picture and shooting onself in the foot. If the protest degenerates into an internecine struggle between Chen Shui-bian and the DPP, or a coup d'etat within the DPP, the event will alienate a majority of the electorate on Taiwan.

During the August 30 protest march the DPP Central Committee was barely able to keep Chen down. Now however, it is impossible to keep Chen Shui-bian from joining the protest march. The protest march might not become a "Support A Bian Party." But it may well turn into a conflagration, into the biggest event on Chen Shui-bian's behalf since the money-laundering case exploded.

The Democratic Progressive Party Central Committee is caught on the horns of a dilemma, between the "Two Chens." One might say that Chen Shui-bian forced the Democratic Progressive Party to hold this protest march in the first place, and now he is reaping the benefits of this event. The Democratic Progressive Party must deal with Chen Shui-bian's provocations. Now that it has been forced to deal with Chen Shui-bian, it has no time to deal with Chen Yunlin.

Chen Yunlin has become the pretext Chen Shui-bian needed to pick a fight with the DPP. Protests against Chen Yunlin will turn into virtual protests. Internecine struggles within the Democratic Progressive Party and the Green Camp, on the other hand, will be real struggles. For Chen Shui-bian, it's a case of "heads I win, tails you lose." The Democratic Progressive Party will be seriously damaged. The Democratic Progressive Party is riding a tiger. All it can do is hang on.

2008.10.14 02:38 am



台 北市黨部主委黃慶林宣稱,他將邀請陳水扁參加抗議陳雲林的活動,包括凱道守夜及大遊行。黃慶林所持的理由是:一、扁案至今並未起訴及判刑,「阿扁到底犯了 什麼罪」?二、人人皆有「反對中國/守護台灣」的權利,「挺扁」與否,與「反中」不可混為一談,不能剝奪陳水扁參與「反中抗議」的權利;三、何況,陳水扁 「最會守護台灣」!


八 三○大遊行時,陳水扁的氣候未成,他只能說「心與大家在一起」;現在,陳水扁的政治槓桿已經製成並啟動,他將公開主張「民進黨不能剝奪任何台灣人反中護台 的權利」,當然包括他陳水扁在內;也就是說,任何人皆不可剝奪他陳水扁參加的權利。陳水扁「公然」走進遊行隊伍中,民進黨難道敢「公然」驅趕他?屆時,陳 水扁可能在精心組編的「挺扁大隊」數千人簇擁之下,自成編隊嵌入大遊行的長龍之中;有自己的標語,自己的口號,自己的旗幟,當然陳水扁自己更是最夯的放送 筒;屆時,所有的視聽皆以陳水扁為焦點。民進黨為何抗議?為何遊行?將形同一切皆為了陳水扁。


其 實,世界金融風暴方興未艾,社會杌隉不安,人心惶恐鬱悶;民進黨此時發動大規模的抗議示威,就政治得失而言,本即不易拿捏。倘若只是適當抒發民氣,或許不 妨;但若演出激烈,甚至「如影隨形」,超逾了民憤的比例,那就極易形成「嘜擱亂啦」的反效果。何況,倘若這一場抗議活動,最後竟然演成陳水扁與民進黨的一 場借題發揮的政治內鬥,或進而演成了民進黨內部的一場「政變」;則就社會效應言,恐怕就會弄巧成拙,將使主流社會倒盡胃口。




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