Is a Political Party that only Shirks Responsibility Fit to Rule?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
August 12, 2014
Summary: German Chancellor Angela Merkel once shared a sobering thought. She
said freedom requires responsibility, tolerance, and courage. To enjoy
freedom, one must internalize responsibility and tolerance. Only then
will one have the courage to defend freedom. Only then can one truly
enjoy freedom. Minister Chang was humiliated and forced to step down.
Taiwan has yet to earn its freedom. Taiwan's "political freedom" is
nothing more than irresponsible chaos and overweening evil.
Full Text Below:
The Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan have repeatedly urged Chang Chia-juch to stay on. But he is determined to resign. This has established a rare precedent in the history of the Republic of China. A ministry head has resigned. Not because of any moral or policy deficiencies on his part, but because he refused to be humilated by the Legislative Yuan. Chang Chia-juch's resignation is an event we must all take very seriously.
Over the last several days, few have applauded the DPP's slick sophistry. Instead, many have sympathized with Chang Chia-juch's humiliation. The reason is simple. It is easy to elect a legislator adept at humiliating officials. It is not so easy to recruit a capable Minister of Economic Affairs. What does Taiwan need the most right now? A legislator adept at using obscenities to curse others? Or an official who knows how to cope with fiscal problems?
DPP legislators deny that they humiliated Minister Chang or wallowed in Schadenfreude because a Ma adminstration ministry head stepped down. It is precisely this smarmy attitude that many find intolerable. Especially as more and more evidence surfaces showing that Chen Chu and the Kaohsiung City Government bear far greater responsibility for the gas explosion. More and more people are beginning to realize that Chang Chia-juch's departure was not a victory for the DPP, but a loss for Taiwan.
Did DPP legislators really not humiliate Minister Chang? Let us return to the scene, to the meeting of the 7th Legislative Yuan Economic Committee. Note that the agenda for the day was to review special regulations for the FEPZ. Chang Chia-juch was legally required to attend. Unexpectedly, he was subjected to extreme humiliation. Chen Chi-mai railed against Chang Chia-juch, saying, "Today is the seventh day of the victims' deaths. How can you just sit there? Are you even human?" After which others labeled Chang Chia-juch a "cold-blooded minister." They derided him for a full minute, yet Chang Chia-juch said nothing. Chiu Yee-ying even chased after Chang Chia-juch, sarcastically demanding, "Minister! Will you be attending the memorial service?"
If such language does not constitute "humiliation," what does? Never mind some minister. Any normal person suddenly scolded, "Are you even human?" is going to be emotionally upset. In fact, had Minister Chang remained cool in the face of such a vicious rhetorical assault, and offered a glib response, we would probably respect him less.
We realize of course that DPP legislators ganging up on this official in order to humilate him, was part of the Kaohsiung City Government's smoke screen, and part of its attempt to shirk responsibility. Think about it. A major public safety incident occurred in Kaohsiung. So many people are now dead or injured. Does this really have nothing to do with agencies inside the municipal government? Yet the Kaohsiung City Government flatly refuses to acknowledge one iota of culpability. It foists all responsibility onto others. From the very beginning we have watched the Kaohsiung City Government lead the charge, denouncing LCY Chemical, scolding CGTD, criticizing the Ministry of Economic Affairs, accusing the Ma administration, and even blaming Wu Den-yih, who served as mayor 16 years ago. No matter how many mistakes were made, they were all somebody else's fault.
The Kaohsiung City Government took the lead in shirking responsibility. The DPP of course provided cover at the central government level. This is how the humiliation of a ministry head was stage-managed. Alas, the city government's own documents gave it away. As it turned out, the city government works department subbed out the project, then committed major blunders during the construction phase. But is there any chance Chen Chu will change her attitude overnight? Is there any chance the city government will acknowledge that its own agencies failed to coordinate with each other? Is there any chance it will apologize to the public, hand four administrative officials their walking papers, and express a willingness to assume responsibility? And just suppose it actually were to offer a belated apology? What of it? DPP legislators humiliated Chang Chia-juch. Is there any possibility of them taking back what they said? Chen Chi-mai scolded the minister, saying, "Are you even human?" Chiu Yee Ying chased after Chang to harass him. Is there any possibility of her offering an apology? As we contemplate their two days of sophistry, what can we do but shake our heads in incredulity?
Everyone knows the DPP is highly adept at agenda setting and spin doctoring. DPP legislators are far more adept than KMT legislators at humiliating officials. But never before has its behavior been this egregious. The disaster, which claimed so many lives and inflicted so many injuries, clearly occurred in a county or city presided over by its own party. Yet no one in the entire party, from top to bottom, has assumed one iota of responsibility for the catastrophe. Instead, all of the DPP's political smarts have been focused on buck-passing, shirking responsibility, and reveling in the fruits of political victory. The DPP flagrantly blasted a minister until he stepped down. Meanwhile four Kaohsiung City Government officials resigned two days later. The truth could no longer be covered up. Only then did DPP officials reluctantly step down. Can politicians so utterly deficient in responsibility ever win the public trust?
Just think. Suppose such a party becomes the ruling party one day. Would it ever assume responsibility for its mistakes? When it precipitates disaster, can anyone be guarantee it will assume responsibility instead of blaming the opposition? After all, isn't this precisely what this party is so good at? This is a political party whose strong suit is passing the buck and shirking responsibility. This is a political party whose strong suit, from top to bottom, is humiliating others. Therefore, what else can we look forward to?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel once shared a sobering thought. She said freedom requires responsibility, tolerance, and courage. To enjoy freedom, one must internalize responsibility and tolerance. Only then will one have the courage to defend freedom. Only then can one truly enjoy freedom. Minister Chang was humiliated and forced to step down. Taiwan has yet to earn its freedom. Taiwan's "political freedom" is nothing more than irresponsible chaos and overweening evil.