Su Tseng-chang's Struggle Campaign Sells Out Taiwan
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
October 16, 2013
Summary: Yesterday in the Legislative Yuan, the DPP legislative caucus demanded a no confidence vote against the premier. The DPP's call for a no confidence vote, the third in ROC history, failed. According to the constitution, the Legislative Yuan cannot demand another no confidence vote for one year. The Green Camp may pretend it scored a victory. But this political farce has gone on long enough. It is time to ring the curtain down.
Full text below:
Yesterday in the Legislative Yuan, the DPP legislative caucus demanded a no confidence vote against the premier. The move was not unexpected. The Green Camp aggressively mobilized, both inside and outside the Legislative Yuan. But the KMT legislative caucus had already reached a consensus. The DPP's call for a no confidence vote, the third in ROC history, failed. According to the constitution, the Legislative Yuan cannot demand another no confidence vote for one year. The Green Camp may pretend it scored a victory. But this political farce has gone on long enough. It is time to ring the curtain down.
On the eve of the no confidence vote, Premier Chiang issued a public statement entitled "Taiwan's future cannot wait." It was his response to the proposed no-confidence vote against the cabinet. Chiang established a national precedent by taking his case to the public in the face of a no confidence vote. Premier Chiang said the spotlight should be shifted away from political struggle, and redirected toward public welfare. He said that Taiwan is divided by political differences. These differences have undermined economic development. He said too much energy is expended dealing with political conflict. The ruling and opposition parties have not been able to establish a rational and benign relationship. Premier Chiang said this opposition has spread to civil society and the economy. It has weakened Taiwan's cohesion. It has led to the loss of economic opportunities.
Premier Chiang is not an alarmist. Premier Chiang is not merely defending himself against the no confidence vote. The KMT legislative caucus has regrouped. Wang Jin-pyng has expressed support for Premier Chiang. The DPP motion for a no confidence vote was doomed, reduced to political theater. Political turmoil has prevailed for over 30 days. We must now get back to basics. What does Taiwan need the most? Never-ending political power struggle? Or regained competitiveness? What should the legislature's highest priority be? Premier Chiang's apology? Or stacks of pending bills? If Taiwan remains mired in eternal struggle, who will be the real losers? The ruling and opposition parties? Or Taiwan as a whole?
Premier Chiang was absolutely right. This is an era of globalization. Our East Asian neighbors are eager for regional economic integration, tariff reduction, the open flow of people and capital, and the creation of economic prosperity and employment opportunities. The recently adjourned East Asian multilateral summit communicated just such a message. But here on Taiwan, internal and external conditions remained unfavorable. We remain mired in ongoing disputes and delays. Meanwhile, other countries and regions sign free trade agreements. We have forfeited desperately needed opportunities to ensure our international competitiveness. Premier Chiang cited TISA, the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement. This is an agreement whose advantages clearly outweigh any disadvantages. It enables us to seize the Mainland market before Japan and South Korea. Yet three months have gone by, and we still do not know when it will be passed by the legislature. Other agreements, such as the Taiwan New Zealand Economic Partnership Agreement, and the Free Trade Zone Pilot Program, all remain stalled. When Taiwan's competitiveness has been undermined, will it still matter who wins the political struggle?
Today's Taiwan needs a little more public policy and a little less political calculation. We appeal to Wang Jin-pyng. The criminal justice system has let you off the hook. President Ma has backed off also. You have already expressed support for Premier Chiang. Yesterday's vote of no confidence has been considered, according to the wishes of the DPP. You are the Speaker of the Legislature. You occupy a position of influence. Seize the initiative. Get the agenda back on track. Complete the review of important bills, as soon as possible. The distorted political consultation mechanism of the past is no longer viable. This is not about helping the ruling party. This is not about helping President Ma, or Premier Chiang. This is about helping Taiwan.
Finally, we would like to offer this reminder to the DPP. Beginning on September 17, your party accused Chiang Yi-hua of "destroying the constitution and creating political chaos." Yourr party has cited "no apology, no address" as grounds for its obstructionism. Your party has prevented Premier Chiang from addressing the legislature six times. Your party has deadlocked the legislature for 30 days, for no reason. Your party has already demonstrated its ability to obstruct the legislative process. Today the results of your party's no confidence vote has been announced. Your party has already saved face. It has already thrown its temper tantrum. It is now time to quit while it is ahead. Consider leaving well enough alone. Return to your role as an opposition party whose role it is to provide checks and balances.
The DPP legislative caucus whip has acted self-righteously from beginning to end. We found this inexplicable. Did this not all begin with illegal influence peddling? No plausible justification for his conduct has been offered. Ker continues to stand on the front lines, engaging in empty bluster. Is your party really indifferent to right and wrong? We were appalled by DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang's declarations to the media. He asserted that even though the DPP's call for a no confidence vote was defeated, Premier Chiang still cannot address the legislature, because he never "apologized and admitted wrongdoing." Therefore he must "resign and step down." Is this really what the DPP considers the upshot of the vote? If so, we must say this is not a political party the people can trust. The people have said repeatedly that they are fed up with political struggles. Yet Chairman Su insists on continued struggle. This is not "love for Taiwan." This is "selling out Taiwan."
中國時報 本報訊 2013年10月16日 04:10