Three Suns: The DPP's Twisted Triangle
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
August 16, 2013
Summary: Chen Shui-bian has rejoined the DPP. Together with Su Tseng-chang and Tsai Ing-wen, the three have created a "three suns" configuration. Three suns, all scrambling to fulfill their destinies. All competing to eclipse the other two. This wonder of political astronomy play itself out, right up to 2016 and beyond.
Full text below:
Chen Shui-bian has rejoined the DPP. Together with Su Tseng-chang and Tsai Ing-wen, the three have created a "three suns" configuration.
On May 28, this newspaper published an editorial entitled "Twisted Triangle: Chen Shui-bian, Su Tseng-chang, and Tsai Ing-wen." We wrote, "After the current All Peoples Conference, the path to power within the DPP will largely depend on triangular relationship between Chen Shui-bian, Su Tseng-chang and Tsai Ing-wen. . Developments indicate that this is a changeable scalene triangle. It might be termed a twisted triangle." Today, that twisted triangle has become a reality.
This "three suns" or "twisted triangle" works like the twin tracks of a railroad track. One track represents an ongoing struggle between the Taiwan independence, one nation on each side faction and the reform faction. The other track represents the ongoing struggle between Su Tseng-chang and Tsai Ing-wen fighting over the 2016 presidential election. Su is clearly more Taiwan independence oriented. Tsai is more reform oriented. Therefore the two parallel tracks may well cross and lead to a collision.
First take the ongoing struggle between the Taiwan independence, one nation on each side faction and the reform faction. Chen Shui-bian will most assuredly spin his return to the party as "vindication," as proof that he was "a victim of political and judicial persecution." Therefore Chen Shui-bian's readmission to the DPP cannot be interpreted as "medical parole." His ultimate goal is to redefine his place in history. As Annette Lu noted, Ah-Bian is not seeking "better treatment as a criminal." He is seeking to rebuild his political power base.
Chen's approach is to trade his personal support for Taiwan independence for Taiwan independence support for his greed and corruption. If Chen Shui-bian fails to support Taiwan independence, political support for his greed and corruption will vanish. Chen's greed and corruption is more than a moral or PR matter for the DPP. His greed and corruption means life or death for the DPP. Chen has returned to the party. He will now be the DPP's "Taiwan independence sun." The stars in the DPP constellation are subject to the effects of gravity. The Taiwan independence tail wags the DPP dog. Now that Chen Shui-bian has returned to the party, that is even more assured.
When the DPP party membership review team procrastinated, Chen Shui-bian sent a message to Su Tseng-chang, If the review team's answer was no, Chen would withdraw his supporters from the DPP and form a rival political party. It would become a "party outside the party." Now that Chen Shui-bian has returned to the DPP, he has essentially formed a "party inside the party." If he had formed a "party outside the party," the DPP might have been able to reform itself. But now that Chen has formed a "party inside the party," reform is essentially hopeless, and the party's chances for survival are slim.
Chen Shui-bian has rejoined the DPP, The probability that the DPP will reform itself has plummeted. If Chen's return leads to a schism within the party, the DPP will find it difficult to regain public trust. This will reduce the likelihood of the DPP winning the 2016 general election. Let us take a step back. Suppose the DPP wins the 2016 general election. The president will be the DPP candidate, either Su Tseng-chang or Tsai Ing-wen. The conclusion will be that the party has been vindicated. The pressure to pardon an "innocent" Chen Shui-bian will be even greater. But if the ruling DPP pardons an unrepentant, greedy, corrupt, obdurately pro-Taiwan independence Chen Shui-bian, the nation will know no peace. It will plunge into turmoil, politically and economically. Conversely, if a DPP president fails to pardon Chen Shui-bian, who will be able to prevent Chen Shui-bian from making a comeback? Perhaps this is what observers are referring to as "long term pain."
Now take the ongoing struggle between Su Tseng-chang and Tsai Ing-wen over the 2016 general election. Chen Shui-bian has rejoined to the party. Su Tseng-chang supported him. Tsai Ing-wen harbored reservations. From the beginning, Su Tseng-chang spun the Chen corruption case as "political persecution." He advocated an All Peoples Conference "referendum." He wanted the party to welcome Chen back into the party with open arms. During the application process he insisted that "Everything will be by the book." He called for "a little more humanity, and a little less calculation." This shows that Su was an enabler in this case, perhaps even the instigator. Su Tseng-chang is the DPP party chairman. Is he thinking of 2016? Is he afraid of offending Taiwan independence elements? If so, he has only one choice -- welcome Ah-Bian back into the party. But Su Tseng-chang's move has sharpened the battle lines between himself and Tsai Ing-wen in 2016.
Tsai Ing-wen has reservations about Chen Shui-bian returning to the party. She said, "I hope he (Chen) makes more of an effort, so that the public will accept him and sympathize with him." Her implication? Most of the public has not accepted Chen Shui-bian, and not sympathized with Chen Shui-bian. She even said, "The DPP's basic values of clean government and concern for right and wrong must not be muddied." She clearly wanted Chen supporters within the party to leave well enough alone. But events have gone against her. Chen is now back in the party, and is trumpeting his lifelong devotion to the party.
The DPP is advancing towards 2016. The Taiwan independence, one nation on each side faction is engaged in an ongoing struggle with the reform faction. Su and Tsai are engaged in an ongoing struggle over the 2016 general election. Two parallel tracks may well cross and lead to a collision. It all depends on changes in the "three suns" configuration. Chen's sun is the smallest. But its gravitational field remains strong. Its field is also the most destructive. Su's sun is not attempting to outshine Tsai's sun. It is merely attempting to eclipse Tsai's sun. It may play the role of spoiler. If Tsai's sun wants to shine, it must free itself from the gravitational field of Chen's sun and Su's sun. If Chen's sun and Su's sun eclipse Tsai's sun, if the DPP becomes a political prisoner to Taiwan independence forces, the party's future will be dim. Therefore the DPP party chairmanship election in May of next year may well change the "three suns configuration."
Three suns, all scrambling to fulfill their destinies. All competing to eclipse the other two. This wonder of political astronomy play itself out, right up to 2016 and beyond.
2013.08.16 02:58 am