Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 25: Chen Shui-bian's Stage, and the Democratic Progressive Party's Gallows?

October 25: Chen Shui-bian's Stage, and the Democratic Progressive Party's Gallows?
United Daily News editorial
A Translation
October 23, 2008

During the upcoming October 25 weekend protest march, the Democratic Progressive Party must address two issues. One. Internally, it must deal with Chen Shui-bian. Two. Externally, it must address cross-Strait policy.

The relationship between the DPP and Chen Shui-bian is certain to become even more tangled and contentious after the march. As for the DPP's cross-Strait policy, the march will send a message. That message is: Taiwan is becoming more regressive and violent. The United States, Mainland China, and the majority on Taiwan will feel even less confident about the island's future. The assault against Zhang Mingqing is merely a prelude.

During the August 30 protest march, the DPP temporarily shelved the Chen Shui-bian problem. But the march highlighted a harsh fact. The Taiwan independence movement has hijacked the Democratic Progressive Party. On October 25, the DPP will no longer be able to keep Chen Shui-bian down. The march will demonstrate how far the Democratic Progressive Party's cross-Strait policy has regressed.

Let's look at cross-Strait policy. The Democratic Progressive Party is still unable to deal with the "swift rectification of names, the authoring of a new constitution," and the "Resolution for a Normal Nation." On the surface the march is protesting "poisoned milk" and "Territorial Governor Ma." But the Democratic Progressive Party and the Green Camp's holy grail remains a "Nation of Taiwan." The DPP has demanded that the Republic of China flag remain in place during Chen Yunlin's visit. But during the weekend demonstrations, it is unlikely we will see a single Republic of China flag. The Democratic Progressive Party complains that the Chinese Communist Party refuses to recognize the Republic of China. But the DPP has never forsaken its goal of overthrowing the Republic of China and founding a "Nation of Taiwan." How is the DPP any different from the CCP? People have been listening to the Democratic Progressive Party's spin on cross-Strait relations for 20 years. The defects in its logic no longer require comment. The public has no intention of listening to what the Democratic Progressive Party says. It intends to watch what the Democratic Progressive Party does. Will the public endorse the DPP's "Nation of Taiwan" merely because it is protesting "poisoned milk?"

The Democratic Progressive Party will be held hostage by the Taiwan independence movement during the current march, just as it was during the August 30 march. This time the hostage taker will be Chen Shui-bian. The main items on Chen Yunlin's agenda are direct shipping, Cargo charter flights, making the flight paths more direct, and food safety. The Democratic Progressive Party should address these issues regardless of whether it agrees with the current administration. But the DPP's primary issue is "poisoned milk." One should protest poisoned milk of course. But the Democratic Progressive Party is using the contaminated milk issue to repackage its "Nation of Taiwan" demands. It is dealing with the contaminated milk incident purely from the perspective of a "Nation of Taiwan." The United States understands this. Mainland China understands this. The public on Taiwan understands this.

If the Democratic Progressive Party takes to the streets this weekend and waves only "poisoned milk" banners, but does not dare to openly advocate a "Nation of Taiwan," the march will be even more of a losing proposition than the one on August 30.

Let's look at Chen Shui-bian. Chen Shui-bian was first to suggest holding this protest. Even the slogans, "Oppose Black-hearted Merchants, Defend Taiwan's Sovereignty" and "Ma Must Apologize. Liu Must Step Down, Chen Yunlin Must Not Come" were Chen Shui-bian's handiwork. Chen Shui-bian and the DPP seem to be engaged in a copyright dispute.

The DPP is unable to make a clean break with Chen Shui-bian, because it is unable to make a clean break with Taiwan independence. The DPP is now watching idly as Chen's brand of Taiwan independence becomes the "Official Brand of Taiwan Independence." In the dispute over who owns the rights to the brand "Taiwan independence," the DPP has already lost to Chen Shui-bian.

Chen Shui-bian has already confirmed that he will take part in the march. The DPP hopes he will either split off from the procession before it reaches Ketagelan Boulevard, or failing that, refrain from ascending to the podium to speak. Chen Shui-bian is unlikely to honor either of these demands. Chen Shui-bian does not consider his participation in the march a "favor" granted him by the march organizers. After all, these marches were the result of his struggles since August 30. He naturally intends to use the October 25 march to consolidate his power and expand his influence. Chen Shui-bian has vowed not to "fight for the right to speak." But what if his claque shrilly demands that he be allowed to speak? Chen Shui-bian has vowed not to "fight over the microphone." But what if his supporters thrust a microphone into his hand?

Besides, even assuming Chen Shui-bian does not ascend to the podium to speak, that doesn't means the DPP has succeeded in making a "soft break" with Ah-Bian. As long as Chen Shui-bian joins the procession, the Democratic Progressive Party will appear to have endorsed Chen's brand of Taiwan independence. Chen Shui-bian has already picked his next battlefield. He has publicly endorsed Chen Tang-shan's candidacy in next year's Tainan County Magistrate election. Once Chen Shui-bian is afforded the opportunity to endorse two or three DPP candidates for county magistrate or city mayor, what is to stop him from endorsing every DPP candidate? When that happens, the campaign booster who dominates the media spotlight will be Chen Shui-bian, not Tsai Ing-wen.

On the surface the march is an "Anti-China, Anti-Ma" march. In reality the march is an internecine power struggle between Chen Shui-bian and the DPP. It is a copyright dispute. By the time the march has ended, the Democratic Progressive Party will have confessed to the nation and the world that its is still a hostage to Taiwan independence, unable to exorcise the demon of Chen Shui-bian. The spectacle of the October 25 protest march will not disguise the reality of a life and death struggle between Chen Shui-bian and the DPP. The event may be Chen Shui-bian's stage, and the DPP's gallows.

2008.10.23 02:45 am




先談兩岸政策。民進黨迄今仍未處理「及早正名制憲」的《正常國家決議文》,大遊行表面上的題材是抗議「毒奶粉」及「馬區長」等,但如今綠營及民進黨在骨子 裡的主體架構仍是「台灣國」。例如,民進黨雖然主張不可在陳雲林的面前撤走國旗,但周末的遊行中恐怕仍不會見到國旗大隊;民進黨抗議中共不承認中華民國, 但民進黨亦迄未放棄「台灣國」,二者可謂殊途同歸。民進黨這樣的兩岸論述,國人已看了超逾二十年;其中蹊蹺,已是不言可喻。既如此,國人當然不只看民進黨 「表面」說什麼,而是要問民進黨「到底」在幹什麼。難道國人會因抗議「毒奶粉」,就贊同民進黨的「台灣國」?

此次遊行,正如八三○遊行,民進黨再次被台獨挾持;而此次遊行更被陳水扁挾持。無論如何,陳雲林來訪,主要議題是海運直航、貨運包機、截彎取直,及食品安 全等重大事項;民進黨若是就事論事,或可正面反對這些議題,但民進黨的主要題材卻是「毒奶粉」。「毒奶粉」當然可以抗議,但民進黨若用「毒奶粉」的題材來 包裝「台灣國」的訴求,或用「台灣國」的角度,來處理「毒奶粉」事件;美國看得懂,中國看得懂,台灣主流社會也看得懂。




陳水扁已經確定將參加遊行,但民進黨有人希望他在抵達凱道集結區前半途脫隊,或抵達凱道後站在台下勿上台演講,這些要求似皆強陳水扁所難;因為,陳水扁不 會視參與遊行是主辦單位的「恩賜」,畢竟這些皆是他自八三○後自己掙扎纏鬥的成績,他當然要藉一○ 二五來鞏固並放大這個效果。陳水扁應允「不爭取上台講話」,但如果群眾起鬨要他上台呢?他也應允「不搶麥克風」,但如果有人不得不將麥克風交到他手上呢?

進一步言,陳水扁若不上台演說,那也不表示民進黨已成功地與扁「軟切割」;只要陳水扁走進了遊行隊伍,民進黨就形同為「扁記正字台獨」背書。陳水扁甚至已 指定了下一個戰場,他公開挺陳唐山參與明年底台南縣長選舉;想像可知,他只要能站上兩三位民進黨縣市長候選人的台,他就有機會站上所有民進黨候選人的台; 屆時,最受矚目的輔選者將是陳水扁,而不是蔡英文。



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