Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Stay on Message: Hung Hsiu-chu's Only Chance of Winning

Stay on Message: Hung Hsiu-chu's Only Chance of Winning
China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
September 3, 2015

Executive Summary: Hung Hsiu-chu is the presidential candidate making the most effort to get elected. She has pulled out all the stops. Her campaign has made some progress, but not enough. She currently faces three major obstacles. One. The KMT's image for governance remains poor. Two. Kuomintang factional leaders refuse to unite. Three. The KMT's rigid order is cramping Hung Hsiu-chu's style.

Full Text Below:

Hung Hsiu-chu is the presidential candidate making the most effort to get elected. She has pulled out all the stops. Her campaign has made some progress, but not enough. She currently faces three major obstacles. One. The KMT's image for governance remains poor. Two. Kuomintang factional leaders refuse to unite. Three. The KMT's rigid order is cramping Hung Hsiu-chu's style.

Hung must overcome these three obstacles. People must see these three obstacles overcome. Only then will victory be possible. One. People must experience these changes, first hand. They need to see more than ruling party changes. They want "politics as usual" gone permanently, in toto. They yearn for a breath of fresh air. Two. They want the Kuomintang to undergo total transformation. That is the very reason they supported Hung to begin with. They want to change the Kuomintang. They want Taiwan to have a Kuomintang that works. Three. They are no longer willing to sit like frogs boiled alive, watching as the nation drifts aimlessly without a compass. They want a clear direction for the nation.

Overcoming these three obstacles requires three changes. One. Hung's advisors must "Let Hung be Hung". She must remain on message. Two. The Kuomintang must engage in thorough soul-searching, factional leaders in particular. They must cease looking out only for number one. They must cease going through the motions merely to divvy up the spoils, indifferent to whether the party wins or loses. They must cease spreading rumors about Hung being replaced, thereby undermining the KMT's final pledge. Three. Blue camp supporters must make themselves heard. They must pressure the KMT to change, thereby changing society's negative impression of the party.

Hung is persistent, straightforward, sincere, and unambiguous. She does not pontificate. She does not grandstand. This distinguishes her from other politicians on Taiwan. She is dramatically different from Tsai Ing-wen, who is deliberately unclear, who answers the easy questions but ducks the hard ones, who lies about her positions on key issues such as national identity. Hung is the polar opposite of James Soong, a master of political trickery and political theater who flip-flops constantly, whose campaign finances are questionable, and whose motives for running are entirely different.

Hung has another unique trait. Her path for the nation's future is crystal clear. To her the core issue is a lack of clarity in cross-Strait relations and the nation's direction. As a result, she seeks cross-Strait peace. Specifically she proposes a meaningful and principled "cross-strait peace agreement". Tsai Ing-wen meanwhile, has been deceiving the public by avoiding this problem in hopes of winning the election. Like her mentor Lee Teng-hui, she has learned to conceal her true sentiments, and is utterly devoid of honesty.

Another candidate, James Soong, is a Machiavellian schemer. On the one hand, he sides with the opponents of curriculum reform, and panders to the mob. On the other hand, he exploits his relationship with Beijing. He boasts about being invited to the September 3 victory parade, milking it to give the Green Camp a shot in the arm. On cross-Strait relations he offers nothing but hollow rhetoric. He dances to the DPP's tune, and without bothering to check the facts, denounces Hung's cross-Strait policy as "hasty reunification".

Politics on Taiwan is plagued by a moral vacuum and an indifference to the truth. That said, most people are decent human beings. As long as Hung stays on message, as long as Hung's advisors "Let Hung be Hung", as long as Hung boldly proclaims her intentions for the nation's future, we believe real gold does not fear fire, and justice will prevail. As long as the people are willing to listen to their inner voices, support for Hung will grow.

We hope that KMT leaders will refrain from looking out only for number one. We hope they will refrain from adopting a two-faced strategy of supporting the party's candidate on the surface while allowing local leaders to collude with James Soong beneath the table. With the help of KMT think tanks, Hung has presented a number of new policies, including an improved capital gains tax. KMT Chairman Eric Chu and Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang JIn-pyng have been tracking its progress. The KMT enjoys a legislative majority. It can immediately implement Hung's policy. This would show that the KMT supports Hung. If they fail at this, Chairman Chu and Speaker Wang will be in a serious dereliction of duty, and so-called party solidarity will be nothing more than hollow rhetoric. Only if Chu and Wang succeed at this, will people believe in the KMT's ability to govern, and that they should vote for KMT legislators.

As we all know, Hung's cross-Strait policy differs from President Ma Ying-jeou's in methodology. Her nuclear energy policy differs from Chairman Chu's in scheduling. Shouldn't the KMT take advantage of this opportunity to debate these issues? Only debate will enable outsiders to see that the KMT is a political party capable of self-reflection. Only debate will enable the KMT to create a blue camp consensus.

Hung Hsiu-chu's candidacy is an historical accident. In fact, people hope that a force for good will sweep Hung into office. Whether victory is possible next year depends on whether conditions are right. One can only do what one can. One cannot hope for the moon. No matter what the outcome, Hung can provide society with an exemplar of future leaders. She can give the KMT a new look, new order, and new direction, and force the KMT to change.

The public on Taiwan seeks change. But it knows any change brought about by the DPP could lead to greater unrest. They demand change but fear it as well. Such a political climate offers Hung an unprecedented opportunity. Hung must remain resolute. The KMT has nominated her. But the goal must be more than just a KMT victory. The great silent majority must believe the nation is changing for the better. Only that will win votes. Only that is the correct path.

堅持初衷 洪秀柱唯一贏的策略
20150903 中國時報












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