Wang Jin-pyng and the Taipei District Court's 80/20 Ruling
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
September 17, 2013
Summary: We have repeatedly argued that the Speaker of the Legislative Yuan's influence peddling within the Judicial Yuan necessitates his removal from office. Even if Wang Jin-pyng wins in the courts, even if public opinion sympathizes with Wang Jin-pyng, that does not change our opinion. We may not be able to change this "80%/20%" situation. But both our intellects and our consciences find it intolerable.
Full text below:
The following is an actual conversation that took place between two political appointees a few years ago, before the current influence peddling scandal erupted.
Political Appointee A: "Why does Wang Jin-pyng never object to paying an 80% price to get a mere 20% return on the investment in the Legislative Yuan? I don't get it."
Political Appointee B: "You need to look at it from a different perspective. The 80% price is the price paid by the tax-paying public. It comes out of the national treasury. The 20% return is in the form of favors repayable to Wang Jin-pying personally."
Recently, this newspaper commented on the influence peddling scandal. It called a spade a spade. It refrained from mentioning Wang Jin-pyng's bag of political tricks. Now however, let us examine Wang Jin-pyng's bag of political tricks more closely, so that we may better understand the nature of his influence peddling. For Wang Jin-pyng, the influence peddling scandal is merely the tip of the iceberg .
Some legislators say that under Wang Jin-pyng, the Legislative Yuan ceased being a "collegial system," and has turned into an "executive system." It is no longer a "political system controlled by political parties," but rather a "political system controlled by Wang Jin-pyng alone." Under this framework, individual lawmakers spend almost no time deliberating pending bills. All they care about is demagoguing controversial political issues. All bills are subject o "ruling and opposition party consultations." Translation: under the table deals in smoke filled back rooms. Wang Jin-pyng decides how the parties divide the spoils. He decides who gets what. He decides which party's illegal antics he will tolerate, such as the DPP's occupation of the Legislative Yuan podium. It's all up to him. The so-called "ruling and opposition party consultations" between party whips burn the midnight oil. The next morning when the vote is taken, just before the legislative session is about to adjourn, the parties instruct their legislators to toe the party line.
This is a Legislative Yuan which almost never consults over [pending bills. This is a Legislative Yuan which tramples over majority rule. Under Wang Jin-pyng's Legislative Yuan, an 80% price paid by the public, brings a 20% return. From another perspective, Wang Jin-pyng trades that 80% price paid by taxpayers, for a 20% return, payable to him personally, in the form of personal debts owed to him and the bolstering of his personal image. Wang Jin-pyng takes this 20% return, and uses it to maintain his iron grip over the Legislative Yuan. He takes the 80% price paid by the public to bolster his status as the "capo di tutti capi of the Legislative Yuan."
Wang Jin-pyng peddled influence on behalf of Ker Chien-ming. This was a textbook case of an 80% price paid by the public. It was the tip of the iceberg. Many have wondered why Wang Jin-pyng never invoked his police power to impose order when the Legislative Yuan succumbed to chaos. We now have the answer. Why would he need to invoke his police power? The fact is, no one has ever demanded that Wang Jin-pyng invoke his police power. Anyone who understands what has been going on, who realizes Wang's sole aim is to perpetuate the "Wang Regime" within the Legislative Yuan. will find his "80%/20%" power plays intolerable.
Rumors have recently emerged from the cabinet that high officials within the Legislative Yuan have peddled influence in the Executive Yuan. This can be included in the 80% price the public has paid in the Legislative Yuan. What constitutes influence peddling in the Executive Yuan may depend upon whom one asks. But influence peddling in the Justice Yuan impacts constitutional rule and criminal justice. It cannot be tolerated. Hence the question, just how badly has Wang Jin-pyng's 80% price, underwritten by the taxpayer, undermined constitutional rule and the criminal justice system?
Wang Jin-pyng peddled influence within the Judicial Yuan, undermining constitutional rule and criminal justice. He refuses to admit wrongdoing. He hijacks the political system. He hijacks the Legislative Yuan. He incites social divisions. He incites powerful but unjustified protests. What is this, if not another instance of "80% public price / 20% private gain?"
The Taipei District Court has been forced to render a civil ruling. In general, its ruling failed to see the forest for the trees. It was an outrageous ruling. It was an outrage to constitutional rule and jurisprudence.
One. A legislator without portfolio is a legislator appointed by a political party. which is answerable to the public. For example, recently the TSU stripped Simon Lin of his party membership as well as his post as legislator without portfolio, for "acting contrary to the party's decisions." Stripping Simon Lin of his party membership and his legislator without portfolio position, was the prerogative of the political party. If a political party lacks such a prerogative, how can it compel its legislators without portfolio to answer to the party? How in turn, can the party answer to the public? How can the court interfere with the already concluded party disciplinary proceedings? Is the judge an overlord who outranks the party chairman?
Two. The President is also a party chairman. As the president he cannot tolerate the Speaker of the Legislative Yuan peddling influence within the Judicial Yuan. As party chairman he must impose party discipline. In terms of constitutional law and jurisprudence, these are one and the same. Yet the court ruled that the president may not voice objections regarding constitutional rule and criminal of justice, or what constitute appropriate legal dispositions. If that is the case, how can the president possibly govern the nation? If that is the case, how can he possibly remain politically answerable? Is the judge an overlord who outranks the president?
Three. Wang Jin-pyng is no ordinary legislator. He is the Speaker of the Legislative Yuan. The court knows this. Yet it considered only Wang's "civil interests." It approved the Speaker of the Legislative Yuan's continued exercise of legislative authority. It failed to recuse itself. It even refused to accept a letter from the Election Commission. If Wang loses his appeal, how cam the harm inflicted upon constitutional rule by his illegal oversight of the legislative Yuan be remedied? Does this ruling, which misses the the forest for the trees, accord with the principle of proportionality?
If this scandal had occurred in a typical business firm, the guilty parties would have been suspended or compelled to recuse themselves. Never mind a Speaker of the Legislative Yuan. The Taipei District Court's ruling valued Wang Jin-pyng's 20% private interest over the 80% public price in undermined constitutional rule.
We have repeatedly argued that the Speaker of the Legislative Yuan's influence peddling within the Judicial Yuan necessitates his removal from office. Even if Wang Jin-pyng wins in the courts, even if public opinion sympathizes with Wang Jin-pyng, that does not change our opinion. We may not be able to change this "80%/20%" situation. But both our intellects and our consciences find it intolerable.
2013.09.17 02:59 am