Does the DPP Dare to Say It Doesn't Need the Swing Vote?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
October 21, 2009
From his prison cell, Chen Shui-bian issued the following challenge: "Who in the DPP dares to say it doesn't need 'Ah-Bian Men' (Ah-Bian Crowd) votes in 2012? " Actually the DPP ought to be asking itself, "Who in the DPP dares to say it doesn't need the swing vote in 2012?"
The "Ah-Bian Crowd" consists of hardline Deep Green Taiwan independence politicians and supporters. Even though Chen Shui-bian publicly "ceded Taiwan to the United States," the Ah-Bian Crowd stills back him. They have concluded that Ah-Bian is a Taiwan independence icon who must not fall, no matter what. As for his corruption, they have defined it as a mere "social and cultural crime." Besides, many in the DPP and the Green Camp have made abundant use of Ah-Bian's dirty money. These Ah-Bian Crowd members may not constitute a majority within the Green Camp, but they have long been the prime mover within the Green Camp. The Ah-Bian Crowd is a tail with the ability to wag the dog. No wonder Chen Shui-bian said: "Who dares to say he doesn't need Ah-Bian Crowd votes?"
But if the DPP is bound hand and foot by the Ah-Bian Crowd, how can it attract swing voters during the 2012 Presidential Election? In addition to the above mentioned "Plebian Ah-Bian Crowd," there is also a "Patrician Ah-Bian Crowd," consisting of Ma Yung-cheng, Chen Che-nan, and other Ah-Bian cronies. Swing voters cannot tolerate the Patrician Ah-Bian Crowd's corruption. They disagree with the Patrician Ah-Bian Crowd's increasingly perverse Taiwan independence agenda. Wang Hsing-nan and Huang Ching-lin are right when they say Chen Shui-bian "ceded Taiwan to the United States." But they waited too long to say it. Swing voters have yet to see the DPP engage in thorough soul-searching or criticism of the Patrician Ah-Bian Crowd's corruption. The DPP has failed to criticize or reflect upon the increasingly dubious rationales for Taiwan independence. Swing voters have deep misgivings about the DPP's inability or unwillingness to re-educate the Plebian Ah-Bian Crowd. The question the DPP should be asking itself is, "Who in the DPP can say it doesn't need the support of swing voters?"
The key is, as always, Taiwan independence. Chen Shui-bian once held that "Taiwan is an independent country. Its current name is the Republic of China." When the DPP first failed to distance itself from Ah-Bian, it still had room to maneuver. But Chen Shui-bian's pro-independence rhetoric has degenerated to the point where he has effectively ceded Taiwan to the United States. He has clearly underscored his opposition to the "backdoor listing" of "Taiwan" under the name "Republic of China." He now says that unless the Republic of China is terminated, Taiwan cannot become a new and independent country. He has now proclaimed himself the standard bearer for "de jure Taiwan independence." Some in the DPP and the Patrician Ah-Bian Crowd support him on this. Some in the Plebian Ah-Bian Crowd support him on this. Chen Shui-bian hopes to take advantage of opposition to backdoor listing and insistence upon the "rectification of names and the founding of a new nation." He hopes to link the Patrician Ah-Bian Crowd to the Plebian Ah-Bian Crowd, and thereby hijack the DPP. If the DPP cannot clarify its position in relation to this degenerate version of Taiwan independence, can it really win the trust of swing voters?
As 2012 approaches, the DPP must rethink its position on Taiwan independence. Over the next two years two themes will emerge. First, once ECFA is signed, cross-Strait relations will become even closer. Second, the Republic of China will celebrate its Centennial. These two themes will force the Democratic Progressive Party to show its hand regarding Taiwan independence. By 2012, direct airline flights will have been in place for four years. ECFA will have been in force for two years. Does the DPP still intend to overturn these policies in the name of Taiwan independence? By 2012, the Republic of China will be one hundred years young. Twenty-three years will have passed since the lifting of martial law and the implementation of full democracy. Does the DPP still intend to demand the establishment of a "Nation of Taiwan?"
The DPP originally demanded the founding of a new and independent nation, in accordance with its "Taiwan Independence Party Constitution." But later, in order to allow Chen Shui-bian to run for Republic of China president in 2000, it resorted to backdoor listing, in accordance with its "Resolution on Taiwan's Future." Later, when the political situation changed in 2008, the DPP reversed itself yet again, and demanded the "rectification of names and the authoring of a new constitution," in accordance with its "Resolution for a Normal Nation." Now the international, cross-Strait and domestic scenario is forcing the DPP to choose between backdoor listing or becoming a committed shareholder in the "Republic of China, Inc."
Chen Shui-bian opposes backdoor listing. But what is the DPP's position? Moreover, given international, cross-Strait, and domestic developments, is backdoor listing even an option for the Democratic Progressive Party anymore? The DPP's only realistic option is to come home to the Republic of China. Buy into the business. Stop engaging in the self-contradictory and fraudulent game of backdoor listing. After all, Chen Shui-bian has already made it impossible for the DPP to continue engaging in its hypocritical and self-deluding practice of backdoor listing.
The relationship between the DPP and Chen Shui-bian is the relationship between the DPP and Taiwan independence. The relationship between the DPP and Taiwan independence will determine the relationship between the DPP and swing voters. The DPP has failed to clarify its relationship to Taiwan independence. That is why it remains a political hostage of both the Patrician Ah-Bian Crowd and Plebian Ah-Bian Crowd. If in 2012 the DPP wants the Ah-Bian Crowd's votes, it will find it impossible to retain the swing vote.
The Democratic Progressive Party should become committed shareholders in the Republic of China, Inc. It should stop entertaining any fantasies about any would-be "Nation of Taiwan."
2009.10.20 03:59 am