Tsai Ing-wen's Cutthroat Attacks Harm Nuclear Power Plants
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
March 26, 2011
Tsai Ing-wen said that if elected president, she will ensure that Nuclear Plant Four never goes into commercial operation. She also said she would halt construction on the Kuo Kuang Petrochemical project.
In fact, if Tsai Ing-wen is elected, she may halt or abolish more than just these two projects. Tsai Ing-wen also said that if the Democratic Progressive Party once again assumes power, it would repudiate the 1992 consensus, rethink ECFA, and abandon "growth first" economic policies.
Tsai Ing-wen has taken the DPP's "cut-throat tactics" to the limit. What are cut-throat tactics? A nation's survival and development requires a macroeconomic framework. This general framework is different for every nation. It is usually difficult to cover every policy issue within this framework. Therefore when dealing with the many policy issues that fall under this general framework, one must often make different choices. For example, for Saudi Arabia, nuclear power generation is not an issue. Relations between the ROK and PRC do not require an SEF. But the ROC has different concerns than Saudi Arabia. When the ROC and the PRC conduct exchanges, they must don white gloves. In other words, specific policies will vary depending upon the general framework. One cannot divorce specific policies from the general framework and deal with them individually.
In the Republic of China, the general political and economic framework involves issues of national allegiance, constitutional allegiance, cross-Strait relations and globalization. Specific policies are more or less subject to constraints imposed by this general framework. The first thing the DPP's cut-throat tactics do, is divorce the general framework from specific policies. Tsai Ing-wen repudiates the general framework of 1992 consensus. She talks only of specific policies, such as cross-Strait economic and trade exchanges. She wants a general framework of globalization. But she also wants to suppress cross-Strait economic and trade exchanges. Taiwan independence is utterly inconsistent with the general framework of the Republic of China. Yet she persists in addressing specific policies while ignoring the general framework.
The second thing the DPP's cut-throat tactics do, is chop specific policies into even smaller pieces, and incite social division with each of these pieces. The DPP incites as much social division as possible using these pieces. It engages in cut-throat tactics, until no one is left breathing.
Tsai Ing-wen's campaign strategy already shows signs of ignoring the general framework while exploiting specific policy issues. She ignores the general framework of national allegiance, constitutional allegiance, and cross-Strait relations. She ruthlessly exploits specific issues to the hilt. She repudiates the 1992 consensus, thereby appealing to the Deep Greens. She opposes nuclear power generation and the Kuo Kuang Petrochemical project, thereby appealing to environmental groups. She expresses support for "lu yi teh" compensation, thereby appealing to army veterans. She opposes the 18% special interest rate, thereby appealing to those who resent civil service retirees. She supports first time voters, thereby appealing to the young. The supports impoverished students, thereby appealing to class consciousness. She bills herself as "rational," thereby appealing to moderate voters.
Tsai Ing-wen would deny that she is calculating. But she calculates that she can ignore the general framework. She calculates that as long as the public loses sight of the general framework, she can address only specific issues and win the presidency. Such cut-throat tactics were not Tsai's invention. They have been the DPP's standard operating procedure for the past 20 years. Take subsidies for seniors and farmers. The DPP knows that its general framework is fragile and questionable. Therefore it avoids talking about it. Instead, it demagogues specific issues.
Does Tsai Ing-wen really oppose the 1992 consensus? She said "If elected, I will continue the former administration's cross-Strait policy." Does Tsai Ing-wen really stand for the total abolition of nuclear power generation? If she does, why not begin by decommissioning Nuclear Plants One, Two, and Three? Does Tsai Ing-wen really oppose the Kuo Kuang Petrochemical project? Then why did she lobby on behalf of the Kuo Kuang Petrochemical project when it was undergoing EIA, and she was vice premier? Does Tsai Ing-wen really support "lu yi teh" compensation for Army veterans? Then why did she not include full compensation in her campaign platform? From this it should be clear that Tsai Ing-wen ignores the general framework in order to exploit specific issues. When discussing political and economic issues, she puts the cart before the horse. She contradicts herself. She fails to balance the pros and cons, She ignores conflicts of interest. She demagogues isolated issues, but fails to offer a comprehensive plan for governing the nation.
In fact, Tsai Ing-wen is not unaware of the relationship between the general framework and specific policies. During the party primaries she spoke of the general framework. She declared that "Taiwan [sic] is a nation facing a difficult dilemma." She spoke of specific issues. She she declared that "[ROC] sovereignty, diplomacy, economics, fiscal affairs, distribution of wealth, education, public safety, ecology, social welfare, and the rule of law, are complex issues that cannot be reduced to slogans." But now Tsai Ing-wen cannot even offer a decent slogan, such as "peace with differences, peace while seeking commonalities." On specific issues, she calls for a halt in the construction of Nuclear Plant Four, and demagogues the Kuo Kuang Petrochemical project. Tsai Ing-wen calls for a halt to construction on Nuclear Plant Four, and the development of renewable energy. She opposes the petrochemical industry. She calls for petrochemical industry restructuring! She opposes the Kuo Kuang Petrochemical project. She says it should be moved to Saudi Arabia! She wants to suppress cross-Strait economic and trade exchanges, She wants to abandon "growth first" economic policies! It would appear that all her policy proposals have been reduced to slogans. Does anyone find that ironic?
Such cut throat tactics cannot successfully build a nation. Tsai Ing-wen may be able to use cut-throat tactics to win the party primary and the presidential election. But when her cut-throat tactics undermine her presidency, how can she possibly "bear the burden of the future?"