Even Officials Cannot Survive: Why is KMT Morale So Low?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
August 11, 2014
Summary: The KMT is currently holding a "History Exhibition Tour." But for
the KMT, is history a burden or asset? Party members probably differ on
the answer. The KMT is unable to consolidate its demands when it is in
power. It merely reacts passively. Now it faces the prospect of losing
power altogether. How then will the KMT deal with that situation? These
questions can probably be answered only by those in the KMT leadership.
Full Text Below:
Following the gas explosion, the Kaohsiung City Government passed the buck to the central government. But eventually its lies were exposed, one by one. As a result, Deputy Mayor Wu Hong-mo and three bureau chiefs must step down. But lo and behold, just when public opinion was turning against the Kaohsiung City Government, Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Jia-chu announced his resignation, in response to green camp verbal abuse. This was the fifth resignation of a cabinet official over the past three months. One could say that in Ma administration, "Even officials are finding it hard to survive."
Former CCA Chairman Emile C. J. Sheng was forced to step down as a result of a firestorm over the musical production, "Dreamer." Sheng said that Chang Chia-chu was forced out because "When the green camp attacks Ma administration political appointees, the blue camp refuses to rally behind them." Former and current Ma administration cabinet officials know this all too well. From a single leaf one knows that autumn has arrived. "When greens attack, blues refuse to rally" is the reason Ma administration policy is blocked at every turn
Strictly speaking, there was nothing new about how the DPP dealt with Chang Chia-chu. The DPP's standard tactic is to ignore right and wrong. Whenever any emergency arises, the entire party marches to the same drummer, and blasts the KMT full force. First it shapes public opinion, making it impossible for its opponent to respond. By the time it has achieved momentum, it already has the upper hand. The Kaohsiung City Government clearly bears far greater responsibility for the gas explosion than the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Yet just when the truth was about to come out, the DPP's high-decibel attack and smoke screen abruptly shifted blame onto others and reversed the DPP's declining fortunes.
Even though the responsibile parties have largely been indentified, no one in the DPP, from top to bottom, has any intention of relenting. Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lee Yung-teh continues to denounce the central government as "evil." His wife, DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying, and former Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai, blast Chang Chia-chu as "cold-blooded" and "inhuman" in the Legislative Yuan. Even after Chang Chia-chu announced his resignation, and the central government announced that it would underwrite reconstruction entirely, the DPP still refused to relent. It raised the ante and demanded the "resignation of the entire cabinet." Contrast this with the Kaohsiung City Government, which has lied and shirked responsibility all the way. The only officials who have resigned are a deputy mayor and three bureau chiefs. Chen Chu persists n standing behind them, and has expressed reluctance to accept their resignations. As far as the DPP and Chen Chu are concerned, their strategic goal has already been achieved.
The DPP doesn't have a leg to stand on, yet it has adopted a posture of unassailable self-righteousness. By contrast, the KMT, from top to bottom, has responded feebly to the DPP's "air land battle doctrine." The sole exceptions have been KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun and KMT City Councilman Lin Kuo-cheng, who lashed back individually. Most elected representatives did nothing but sit on the sidelines and watch. The KMT should have assumed total responsiblity and opposed the Kaohsiung City government. Instead the Minister of Economic Affairs and one or two blue camp elected representatives found themselves pitted against the full force of the entire DPP. As these examples show, KMT legislators attack each other more often than they attack their common enemy. The current blue camp consent vote is an even bloodier example. Most blue camp officials are watching from the sidelines. They refuse to stand up for Chang Chia-chu. He should count himself lucky they haven't stabbed him in the back.
The KMT is undisciplined, defeatist, and falling apart, as we will see from the following points. One. Following the second change in ruling parties, President Ma persisted in "hiring from within." When forming a government, the proportion of academics, technocrats, elected leaders, and elected representatives must be balanced. If it is, one can govern effectively. One can respond with sensitivity to the needs of society. Unfortunately, the Ma administration puts undue emphasis on academics and bureaucrats. Such officials have limited connections to political parties. They lack cohesion and the ability to resist pressure. If elected leaders and elected representatives cannot join the administration, if the party and the government cannot make use of their talent, it they cannot support each other, this often results in policy out of touch with public opinion.
Two. The ruling and opposition parties control all consultation in the legislature. The power rests in the hands of Wang Jin-pyng and a handful of others. The KMT may have an absolute majority. But the relations between Ma and Wang are poor. Ma Ying-jeou and legislators are alienated from each other. Blue camp legislators lack unity. They remain intractable. They lack any desire to fight for the party. Everyone prefers to engage in obstructionism and wheel-spinning, instead of reviewing legislation. They seek only to protect themselves. Calls for "unity" are utterly futile.
Three. The most critical factor, is that since the KMT's return to power, it has failed to re-establish cohesion within the party. The KMT glibly speaks of "founding the century old Republic of China." But during political debates it is not even willing to defend the constitution. During the DPP's eight years in office, it successfully created a "de-Sinicization" mindset. But in the face of such ideological struggles the KMT, from top to bottom, has been utterly helpless. Some even lean towards this way of thinking. Given its loss of guiding principles, how can the KMT possibly unite the party?
The KMT is currently holding a "History Exhibition Tour." But for the KMT, is history a burden or asset? Party members probably differ on the answer. The KMT is unable to consolidate its demands when it is in power. It merely reacts passively. Now it faces the prospect of losing power altogether. How then will the KMT deal with that situation? These questions can probably be answered only by those in the KMT leadership.
2014.08.11 03:17 am