Who Believes This Legislature Would Ever Willingly Dissolve Itself?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
October 3, 2013
Summary: Wang Jin-pyng and Ker Chien-ming conspired to peddle influence with the judiciary. Who is thinks this pair would willingly dissolve the legislature, relinquish their status as Legislators without Portfolio, return to their districts, run for elective office, and subject themselves to impartial "Trial by Voter?"
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Wang Jin-pyng and Ker Chien-ming conspired to peddle influence with the judiciary. Who is thinks this pair would willingly dissolve the legislature, relinquish their status as Legislators without Portfolio, return to their districts, run for elective office, and subject themselves to impartial "Trial by Voter?"
Wang and Ker have hijacked the Legislative Yuan. If these two refuse to relinquish their positions as Speaker of the Legislative Yuan and DPP Legislative Caucus Whip, return to their districts, and run for elective office, how can anyone possibly dissolve the legislature and hold new elections?
Ker Chien-ming is at the center of the current constitutional chaos. Ker Chien-ming has hijacked the DPP. The DPP has hijacked Wang Jin-pyng. Wang Jin-pyng has hijacked the Legislative Yuan. The Legislative Yuan has hijacked constitutional rule. The entire system of constitutional rule therefore, is on the verge of collapse.
The perversion of politics on Taiwan may be more understandable when viewed from its dark underside. Wang Jin-pyng peddled influence with the judiciary on behalf of DPP party whip Ker Chien-ming. But suppose Wang Jin-pyng had peddled influence on behalf of KMT party whip Lin Hung-chi? In that case, DPP party whip Ker Chien-ming would be screaming, "The KMT Speaker of the Legislature has peddled influence on behalf of the KMT party whip!" He would be waving the banner of constitutional rule and criminal justice. He would be launching all out attacks on Wang Jin-pyng and Lin Hung-chi. Moreover, as soon as the DPP launched attacks on Wang and Lin, the KMT would immediately split into two factions, one concerned about constitutional rule and criminal justice, the other about personal friendships. Waiting for the court to issue an injunction would be superfluous. The DPP legislative caucus, plus advocates of constitutional rule and criminal justice within the KMT legislative caucus, would denounce Wang Jin-pyng as an "influence peddling speaker who has brought shame upon the legislature." They would refuse to allow Wang Jin-pyng to take to the podium and preside over legislative affairs. This would be sufficient to justify throwing shoes at Lin Hung-chi's head. Wang Jin-pyng would be forced to bear political responsibility. He would have his party membership revoked. His reputation would be in ruins. He would be forced to withdraw from the legislative and political arena. Lin Hung-chi might retain his position as elected legislator. But he would certainly have his party membership revoked.
One can safely conclude that under such circumstances, even an injunction favorable to Wang Jin-pyng would not save him. In such an atmosphere, the court would probably rule that "Criminal justice must not interfere with politics." It would cite the Chiu Chang case as precedent, and rule against Wang Jin-pyng.
This, in a nutshell, is the entire process by which politics on Taiwan has been perverted. Had Wang Jin-pyng peddled influence on behalf of Lin Hung-chi, the DPP would have forced Wang Jin-pyng to step down within days. But because Wang Jin-pyng peddled influence with the judiciary on behalf of Ker Chien-ming, this is how things stand. This, in a nutshell, is the entire process by which politics on Taiwan has been perverted.
The current political storm has resulted in two conflicting narratives. Narrative One stresses influence peddling. Narrative Two stresses wire tapping. For the moment, Wang and Ker are in the same boat. Their shared strategy is to harp on wire tapping to whitewash their own influence peddling. But whatever the result of an inquiry into wire tapping might be, it is unlikely to make their influence peddling go away.
Two years remain in the current legislative term. Wang and Ker, who remain under the shadow of scandal, are certain to manipulate the workings of Legislative Yuan. But Wang must prove that he remains in control of the Legislative Yuan. Ker on the other hand, must stir up trouble in the Legislative Yuan to gain leverage against the Ma administration. The conflicting goals of Wang and Ker could influence the larger political picture. . Wang Jin-pyng has been taken hostage by Ker Chien-ming and the DPP. But Wang must also fulfill his basic duties as Speaker of the Legislature. For example, he cannot allow the DPP to keep the Premier from addressing the legislature forever. He cannot allow TISA to perish stillborn. If he does, the public just might return to its senses. It might begin asking whether constitutional rule, national development, and cross-Strait relations must be sacrificed for the sake of these two partners in crime?
Let us look back at the influence peddling storm. The Speaker of the Legislature and the opposition party whip may not peddle influence with the judiciary. This is constitutionally beyond dispute. This is a universal truth. Now look at where the case stands now. One can no longer say that one side is 100% right and the other side is 100% wrong. But this is true for Wang and Ker as well. The two have depicted Ma Ying-jeou as 100% wrong for "undermining the constitution and creating political chaos." The two have depicted themselves as "totally innocent victims." Neither depiction stands up to scrutiny. Currently, neither Wang nor Ker are willing to apologize. Instead, they want Premier Chiang Yi-hua to apologize for "undermining the constitution and creating political chaos." But the more time people have to contemplate the matter, the less Wang and Ker will have any leg to stand on. The pendulum is swinging back. Wang and Ker have conflicting interests in the Legislature. Eventually they must face the people and be judged.
Therefore, Wang and Ker should assume responsibility for wrongdoing in the executive and legislature. They should resolve the current constitutional impasse. They should facilitate a reasonable and fair solution. The legislature could hold a no confidence vote. The executive would be held responsible. The President could respond to the Premier's request to dissolve the legislature. The legislature would be held responsible. Such scenarios would be justified, but highly unlikely.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang has threatened to launch a no confidence vote within two weeks, and to demand the impeachment and removal of the president. Not one of these proposals is intended to resolve problems. They are merely intended to incite conflict. The easiest measure to implement is a "no confidence vote, the dissolution of the legislature, and the holding of new elections." Most legislators are absolutely unwilling to bear the cost and responsibility of running for reelection. Who is crazy enough to think that Wang Jin-pyng and Ker Chien-ming would ever be willing to assume responsibility, return to their districts, and run for elective office?
2013.10.03 04:20 am