Will the DPP Win at Least 42% of the Vote?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
October 19, 2011
Summary: Tsai Ing-wen's rhetoric regarding national identity and cross-Strait policies is duplicitous and dangerous. News reports about Su Jia-chyuan and Hung Heng-chu reek of corruption and scandal. But support for the Tsai/Su ticket remains solid. The Conventional Wisdom is that support will not fall below 42%. They may even be elected. Eighty days from now, on January 14 of next year, 23 million people on Taiwan may watch as Tsai Ing-wen and Su Jia-chyuan win "a victory with an even bigger question mark."
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If Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP win the upcoming presidential election, it will constitute a national catastrophe. But even if Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP lose the presidential election, Taiwan's political and economic problems will remain insoluble.
Three years ago, Tsai Ing-wen became DPP Chairman, People assumed she would transform the DPP. That did not happen. On national identity, Tsai remains trapped within the framework of Taiwan independence. She is still taking the "backdoor listing" approach toward Taiwan independence. If she is elected president, her victory will be considered a defeat for the 1992 consensus and one China, different interpretations. It will result in an immediate showdown with Beijing, The two sides will collide, head on. Su Jia-chyuan and Hong Heng-chu are already the symbol for corruption in the new DPP. Suppose a DPP victory whitewashes Su Jia-chyuan and his wife. Suppose they are allowed to squeak by merely because they were elected to office? The Tsai/Su regime will assume power with this symbol of corruption stamped on its forehead. How can it establish any political legitimacy? The global economy is in dire straits. The US-ROK FTA threatens. If Tsai Ing-wen is elected, Taiwan will be uable to hold its head up on either side of the Strait. The result will be a national disaster.
Even if the DPP is defeated in the presidential election, Taiwan's political and economic problems will remain insoluble. The DPP Tsai Ing-wen leaves behind at the end of the election will be a DPP that recognizes only "18% of the ROC." It will be a DPP that wants only to seize the presidency. It will be a DPP that refuses to recognize one China, different interpretations. It will be a DPP that refuses to recognize the Constitution of the Republic of China. It will be a DPP that whitewashes the corrupt practices of Chen Shui-bian, Wu Shu-cheng, Su Jia-chyuan, and Hong Heng-chu. The DPP can engage in brazen corruption, yet still be assured of receiving 42% of the vote. Even if it is defeated in the coming election, Taiwan's political and economic problems will remain insoluble.
The DPP may win or lose. Either way it will divide society over national identity, It will undermine cross-Strait harmony. It will abet political corruption. None of this will change. Tsai Ing-wen may win due to the James Soong Factor. But even if she loses, she will probably still receive 42% of the vote. The DPP she leaves behind will still be a pro Taiwan independence party. It will still be a corrupt political party that inverts right and wrong. It will still be a political party that commands die-hard support from 42% of the electorate. Unless the DPP can be reborn, Taiwan's political and economic problems will remain insoluble.
This newspaper pointed this out in 2008, when Ma Ying-jeou won a landslide victory. We said Ma Ying-jeou's victory in the presidential election was "a victory with a giant question mark."
We pointed out. even as the votes were being counted, that Taiwan's rise or fall would depend upon Ma's ability to govern. It would depend on the 42% of the electorate that supported Frank Hsieh and the DPP. If that 42% of the electorate allows itself to be held hostage by the DPP, if it fails to extricate itself from the trap of Taiwan independence, if it supports the DPP blindly, and remains indifferent to right and wrong, then Taiwan's fate will be in its hands. If the DPP continues promoting its current values, whether it is the ruling party or the opposition party will make no difference. It will remain a force for destruction instead of construction.
Recent developments confirm that the victory Ma Ying-jeou won three years ago was indeed "a victory with a giant question mark." Ma Ying-jeou's governance has been less than completely satisfactory, The Ma administration can be criticized on many issues. But on two issues, promoting peaceful development and fighting political corruption, Ma's achievements have been considerable. Tsai Ing-wen is in an attempting to undermine the Ma administration's cross-Strait policy by repudiating the 1992 consensus and one China, different interpretations. She has thrown her full support behind Su Jia-chyuan and Hong Heng Chu. This election will test the electorate's political conscience, and its tolerance for political corruption. This election paints a giant question mark besides the Ma administration's four years in office. It paints a giant question mark besides Tsai Ing-wen and Su Jia-chyuan, in the event they win the election.
History is full of paradoxes. In 2008, Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Siew won "a victory with a giant question mark." Will Tsai Ing-wen and Su Jia-chyuan win "a victory with an even bigger question mark?" The question we must ask Tsai Ing-wen is not "Are you ready?" but "Are you ready for a major disaster?"
The current posture of Tsai Ing-wen, Su Jia-chyuan, and the DPP is twofold. One. Repudiate the 1992 consensus and one China, different interpretations, even if it means colliding head on with Beijing. Two. Excuse Su Jia-chyuan and Hong Heng-chu's brazen corruption. Refuse to admit wrongdoing or express repentance. In the event Su and Hong are forced to relinquish their luxury farmhouse, insist that everything was "legal." Their attitude borders on brutish. If they win the general election, will disaster ensue? If they lose, can the ruling administration overcome the obstacles erected by the DPP, and solve Taiwan's political and economic problems?
Tsai Ing-wen's rhetoric regarding national identity and cross-Strait policies is duplicitous and dangerous. News reports about Su Jia-chyuan and Hung Heng-chu reek of corruption and scandal. But support for the Tsai/Su ticket remains solid. The Conventional Wisdom is that support will not fall below 42%. They may even be elected. Eighty days from now, on January 14 of next year, 23 million people on Taiwan may watch as Tsai Ing-wen and Su Jia-chyuan win "a victory with an even bigger question mark."