How Long Will the Legislative Yuan Remain Ker Chien-ming's Hostage?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
October 17, 2013
Summary: The DPP's call for a no confidence vote failed. Party insiders are pointing fingers. Legislator Chiu Yi -ying was blunt. "The entire party has been hijacked by Ker Chien-ming!" The DPP has finally realized the danger presented by Ker Chien-ming. Consider the matter carefully. As soon as the Green Camp's motion for a no confidence vote failed, it declared an immediate end to all ruling and opposition party consultations. As things now stand, the entire legislature remains locked in a cage built by Ker Chien-ming.
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The DPP's call for a no confidence vote failed. Party insiders are pointing fingers. Legislator Chiu Yi -ying was blunt. "The entire party has been hijacked by Ker Chien-ming!" The DPP has finally realized the danger presented by Ker Chien-ming. Consider the matter carefully. As soon as the Green Camp's motion for a no confidence vote failed, it declared an immediate end to all ruling and opposition party consultations. As things now stand, the entire legislature remains locked in a cage built by Ker Chien-ming.
When the influence peddling scandal first broke, the DPP's behavior was outrageous. It allowed Ker Chien-ming to lead it around by the nose. First the Green Camp acted as "Wang Jin-pyng's Praetorian Guard. Then it acted as Ker Chien-ming's pawn. Su Tseng-chang personally spearheaded the "Topple Chiang" and "Impeach Ma" campaigns. Meanwhile DPP elders were sitting pretty in their sedan chairs, the image of righteousness. On the one hand, they demanded justice. On the other, they whitewashed their own officials' misconduct. Their words and deeds were so far apart, they could hardly expect the public to buy their arguments.
Did Schadenfreude do President Ma in when the influence peddling scandal erupted? Perhaps. But the DPP was equally guilty, and paid just as high a price. Was President Ma's punishment of Wang Jin-pyng for influence peddling disproportionate? Perhaps. But the DPP's call for Ma's impeachment was even more disproportionate. The DPP is smart. It is adept at spotting other's weaknesses. Unfortunately the DPP is too smart for its own good. It is not so adept at spotting its own weaknesses. it foolishly assumes others cannot see its mistakes.
Were Huang Shi-ming's reports to Ma Ying-jeou conducted in a proper manner? Were the Special Investigation Unit's wire taps indiscriminate and illegal? These are all fair questions. They must be examined, both systemically and practically. Strategically speaking, the Green Camp took advantage of Ma Ying-jeou's low approval numbers. It attempted to kick him while he was down. Its attempt to profit from his troubles was a good plan. But Schadenfreude got the better of its leaders. Its leaders got greedy and overplayed their hand. They refused to call a spade a spade. Needless to say, people saw through their game. Hence the failed motion for a no confidence vote. Was this the result of Ker Chien-ming's hijacking of the party? Or was it merely the result of DPP combativeness, combined with Ker's selfishness? It is probably impossible to tell.
DPP insiders offer several reasons why the party's motion for a no confidence vote failed. One. They misjudged the situation. Two. They failed to discuss the matter within the party. Three. Their timing and approach were off. These reasons are true enough. But when the entire party is hijacked by Su Tseng-chang and Ker Chien-ming, why were cooler heads unable to prevail? The DPP can blame Su and Ker's reckless abandon. But a major contributor to the party's problems is a kind of false pride and arrogance, or perhaps lack of pragmatism, that permeates the DPP. The DPP saw President Ma's approval rating fall to under 10%. They leapt to the conclusion that 90% of the public identified with the Green Camp. The DPP saw Premier Chiang's disapproval rating rise to 70%. They assumed that a motion for a no confidence vote would be a sure thing. They clutched a poll consisting of less than 1000 samples and held it up as a "new mandate." They turned their noses up at the actual mandate manifested in the number of Legislative Yuan seats, Such is the Green Camp's false pride and misjudgment.
This false pride is the reason the Democratic Progressive Party has never been able to position itself as an opposition political party. All it cares about is regaining political office. When Su Tseng-chang proposed a no confidence vote he said, "If we do nothing, how can we oversee the ruling party?" In his mind, only mindless obstructionism qualifies as "oversight." Ensuring budgetary restraint, questioning administration officials in the legislature, proposing alternatives to ruling adminstration policies, updating obsolete governmental structures, amending outdated laws, and exposing official incompetence, apparently count for nothing. Apparently these are not what opposition parties responsible for oversight should be doing. The DPP never wants to solve problems as they arise. It only wants to engage in mindless obstructionism and politlcal vendettas. It only wants to topple the premier and impeach the president, the peoples' peace of mind be damned.
The motion for a no confidence vote failed. Su Tseng-chang and Ker Chien-ming demanded that the "Kuomintang pay double indemnity." They were combative in the extreme. Some in the Green Camp even argued that the DPP's "legislative approach' had failed. The implication was that it must take to the streets in order to win. But this perception will only sink the DPP deeper and deeper into its quagmire. The Ma administration faces difficult political, economic, and social problems. All of these are the result of Taiwan's long-term internal frictions. There is no magic formula that can cure the patient. The DPP wants to regain power. But to do so it must give serious thought to these issues. Otherwise cross-Strait relations and economic development will present problems. The DPP has left painful and repugnant memories. If it assumes that taking to the streets will win elections, it will be sorely disappointed.
Is the DPP willing to be hijacked by Ker Chien-ming? We do not care. But if Ker Chien-ming repeatedly uses the DPP to hijack the Legislative Yuan, then the public on Taiwan must decide whether they want this show to go on.
2013.10.17 03:08 am