Monday, December 24, 2012

Commemorate the Constitution. Close Constitutional Loopholes
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 25, 2012


Full Text below:

    People are proud of the Republic of China's freedom and democracy.
But at the same time, everyone knows that our system of constitutional rule is still not on the right track.
Pass legislation to block constitutional loopholes.
We make this solemn appeal to the legislature on Constitution Day.

    The Constitution of the Republic of China as of 1946,
included a commitment by the then ruling Chinese Nationalist Party to author a constitution.
Chang Chun-mai, an opposition constitutionalist faction leader drafted the document.  
It includes a draft approved by the Chinese Communist Party's "Draft Constitution Review Committee."
It was then referred to
the Constituent National Assembly, including representatives of Taiwan, at which point it officially became the Constitution.
Chang was carefule.
The Constitution retained the five branch framework of the "five-power constitution."
The cabinet system specifies the relationship between the President, the Executive Yuan, and the Legislative Yuan.
These have uniquely Chinese characteristics.
They are also consistent with constitutional standards.
Unfortunately ruling administrations never treated the Constitution as a standard.
As a result constitutional practice still does not accord with constitutional norms.
The Constitution has never been accorded the dignity and authority it deserves.

When the Constitution was first put into practice,
Chiang Kai-shek invoked the Communist Rebellion.
He cited it as reason to have the National Assembly amend the Constitution, granting him expanded presidential powers under the Temporary Provisions.
This undermined the cabinet system.
Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian advocated Taiwan independence. They disagreed with the Constitution. 
When they rose to power they forced through seven pro-Taiwan independence amendments.
The system of constitutional rule went out the window.
The president acquired unchecked power.
Pro-Taiwan independence elements relentlessly defamed and distorted the Constitution, virtually turning it into a sacrificial lamb.

    A Constitution is fundamental to a nation.
If its constitution loses ot normative force,
the exercise of governmental authority and political conflict between the ruling and opposition political parties are deprived of all standards for right and wrong.
The freedom and well-being of the people will eventually be jeopardized.
Political chaos will follow.
As a result the constitution has lost its authority.
If we wish to preserve the constitution,
enhance the authority of the Constitution,
sweep away political chaos.
we first need to refute several popular fallacies.

    First, when the Constitution of the Republic of China was authored,  
18 National Assembly Members went to Nanjing to attend the Constituent National Assembly.
This event was clearly recorded in various newspapers and minutes of meetings of the time.
The allegation that "Taiwanese never participated in the authoriing of the Constitution" is a bald-faced lie.
Others say the "Constituent National Assembly lacked a popular mandate."
We invite them to consider the representatives of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, who were not authorized by the public to author a constitution.
Japan's postwar constitution was drafted by General Douglas MacArthur's headquarters and delivered to the Japanese, who approved it.
Why are they considered authoritative?

    Secondly, the drafting of a Constitution requires compromises.
As long as the basic framework accords with constitutional doctrine,
then it is a good constitution.
The Constitution of the Republic of China is the result of party negotiations.
It too contains compromises.
The cabinet system accords with democratic constitutional standards.
Two traditional Chinese powers (examination and control)
were combined with three Western powers (executive, legislative and judicial). 
This has real meaning.
From a theoretical perspective,
this is a perfectly workable constitution.
It should be able to grow based on constitutional precedents and constitutional interpretations.
It can hardly be dismissed as a "patchwork quilt" merely because of some technical compromises during its drafting.
When Chen Shui-bian was president, he denounced the Constitution as "Urumqi," as oppressive to Taiwanese.
This was an even more flagrant violation of his oath of office to abide by the Constitution. 
If truth be told, he should have been subjected to severe punishment long ago.

    Certainly after the constitutional validity
We would also like to correct the the current unconstitutional chaos.
The current constitutional amendment threshold unattainable
Future constitutional amendment proposal is bound to be numerous parcels constitutional amendment
Only Zhisiyifen.
We must seek ways constitutional amendment outside
Political return to the constitutional on track.

    After seven constitutional amendments
Article 53 of the Constitution, "the Executive Yuan for the country's highest administrative organ
And Article 57 of the "Executive Yuan ... is responsible to the Legislative Yuan" has not been modified.
Since the president is not under the "highest administrative authority" (Executive Yuan)
Self should not be owned by the executive powers,
The current system should remain a cabinet system.
Lee, flat two presidential so powerful,
Is the due Constitution vulnerability,
Not a constitutional mandate.
This, we solemnly recommended the development of the exercise of the powers of the presidency Law
Used to block the constitution vulnerability
Constitutional operation on track.

    The law is the first response to the president to regulate the exercise of the right to nominate.
For example: the head of the cabinet should be the most acceptable candidate for the Legislative Yuan,
And shall legislative report on political views,
Legislative trust vote by appointment before they may;
Justice, the Attorney-General of the qualifications and nomination procedures should express
Without due political party to consider;
The President more should not be delayed in exercising the right to nominate,
The constitutional organs do not work.
Second, the law may also require the elements of the impeachment of the president of the initiated,
And the President unconstitutional political chaos,
Left office by impeachment or any penalty after full
To the implementation of the Constitution, the so-called "national severe punishment.

    Finally, the National Security Council and the National Security Bureau, the residue of the "Temporary Provisions
But as President Intervention "weapon".
Since the Additional Articles of this two organs of the provisions of "may establish"
The Legislative Yuan since recoverable authorized
Repeal its Organic Law,
The power to go back to the Executive Yuan.
If the moment difficult,
Should also abide by the Constitution to the spirit of the cabinet system,
Alter its
Premier borrow countersign the exercise of the right to become the real leader of the two organs.
Back aspiring to lead the country,
Should join the Legislative Yuan,
Fight for premier
The administration, both houses of the legislature to become affairs of state decision-making center.

    Chen Shui-bian in power for eight years
Prove careerist can make use of a constitutional loophole to misbehave.
Review of constitutional
Promote a constitutional amendment was originally a horse presidential campaign platform,
Currently revising the constitution is neither feasible
Ma should seize the time,
Promotion of relevant legislation,
Blocked constitutional vulnerability.
Otherwise, further similar flat was elected president.
Constitution Day is Constitution Day of the Dead, sooner or later will become.

中時電子報 新聞
中國時報  2012.12.25












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