United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
October 13, 2015
Executive Summary: The Kuomintang Provisional National Party Congress met this Saturday to consider replacing Hung Hsiu-chu as KMT presidential candidate. Those who seek to replace Hung and those who seek to retain Hung now find themselves at loggerheads. Unless Eric Chu and Hung Hsiu-chu reach some sort of accord, the session will become an embarrassment. Yesterday Tsai Ing-wen said the biggest difference between the DPP and the KMT is unity. The DPP is currently the most united it has ever been in history. When the blue camp hears comments like this, one can only wonder how it feels?
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The Kuomintang Provisional National Party Congress met this Saturday to consider replacing Hung Hsiu-chu as KMT presidential candidate. Those who seek to replace Hung and those who seek to retain Hung now find themselves at loggerheads. Unless Eric Chu and Hung Hsiu-chu reach some sort of accord, the session will become an embarrassment. Yesterday Tsai Ing-wen said the biggest difference between the DPP and the KMT is unity. The DPP is currently the most united it has ever been in history. When the blue camp hears comments like this, one can only wonder how it feels?
The Kuomintang's 2016 election prospects are what they are today because the party lacks unity. For the general public, unity is nothing more than a slogan. But for a political party, lack of unity means the lack of a unified goal. It means the inability to win public support. Consider the blue camp's current plight. One. Ma, Chu, Wang, Wu and other leaders each have their own selfish agendas that trump larger considerations. Two. Local factions flip-flop endlessly. The blue camp is falling to pieces. The Party Central Committee is now at odds with Hung Hsiu-chu, the very candidate it nominated. It is utterly indifferent to the enemy at the gates. The situation resembles the situation in 2000, on the eve of the first change in ruling parties.
The KMT is already in dire straits. Yet it persists in internal power struggles. Apparently it has not woken up from last year's election debacle. Handicapped by internal strife, it has no chance whatsoever of reversing its political fortunes. Any political party that enages in such internecine power struggles will inevitably self-destruct. It hardly needs outside enemies. By contrast, the prospects of the DPP, normally characterized by factionalism and turf fights, are now bright. Its leaders are willing to set aside their differences and unite under the command of Tsai Ing-wen. This temporary harmony may be illusory. But it is a necessary condition for political party development. If the Kuomintang plenary session fails to reach a resolution this weekend, and allows internal strife to persist, it will not matter whether it replaces Hung with someone else. It will not be able to turn the tide. Unless it addresses the root of the problem, its plight will only worsen.
As matters stand, the plenary session's move to replace Hung has three possible outcomes. One. Full mobilization and arm-twisting by the KMT Central Committee. Eric Chu replaces Hung Hsiu-chu in the 2016 presidential race. This might not reverse the party's fortunes in the presidential election. But it could offer a coat tails effect in the legislative elections. Two. A majority of party representatives reject the call to replace Hung. They cite a lack of legitimacy. Hung retains the KMT candidacy, but loses the support of the KMT Central Committee and those who sought to replace Hung, making her election prospects even dimmer. Three. Those who champion Hung lash back. Outside the venue, they scream in protest. Eventually the move to replace Hung passes, but only barely, provoking serious internal divisions. Chu loses the support of those who championed Hung. The blowback spreads.
How will it all play out? Outsiders have no way of knowing. But the latter two scenarios are not ones that blue camp supporters are eager to see. The KMT is adopting extraordinary measures. Its purpose is to avoid a debacle during next year's presidential and legislative elections. If so, the task must be accomplished in one fell swoop. The discussions held within the plenary session must end the dispute over the nomination, once and for all. They must mark an end to the "replace Hung" controversy. If any faction remains disgruntled, or stage a boycott, the KMT will not merely lose the upcoming election, all the King's horses and all the King's men will not be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
To avoid such an outcome, the KMT cannot wait for the Chu Hung duel to play out over the weekend. The KMT must assign someone to engage in shuttle diplomacy. It must ensure that those who wish to replace Hung and those who wish to retain Hung conduct themselves in a gentlemanly fashion. Most importantly, Eric Chu and Hung Hsiu-chu must reach a consensus regarding the big picture. They must exercise restraint, in both word and deed. They must not pay lip service to unity and love for the party, while promoting their selfish interests and harming the party. Ideally, before the session, Chu and Hung should shake hands and jointly declare that whatever the decision, the two will work together selflessly for the nominee's campaign. The blue camp must end its internal strife and return to the job of waging an election campaign.
Why can the DPP unite? Why can't the KMT? Several reasons come to mind. One. The KMT leadership is too selfish. Each goes his own way. Two. The KMT lacks core values, as well as the ability to express them. Three. The KMT lacks grass-roots political support. It is out of touch with the pulse of the community. Four. The KMT party structure is outdated. It lacks fairness. Rushing to convene a provisional session shows just how outdated the system is. The blue camp is in dire straits. If it refuses to unite but persists in quibbling over minutiae, it will die without a plot to bury itself.
The blue camp controversy over whether to replace Hung involves endless debates over hurt feelings, right and wrong, and due process. The situation must not be allowed to deteriorate. Otherwise, when people look back at 2016, will Eric Chu or Hung Hsiu-chu feel greater regret? Before it is too late, the two must think about what they are doing. They must then make the right choice. After all, history cannot be rewound and replayed. A single mistep could lead to eternal regret.
提案作出取捨。以目前換柱、保柱雙方的角力看， 除非朱立倫和洪秀柱在會前達成某種程度的和解， 否則會中之難堪將可想而知。蔡英文前天說， 民進黨和國民黨最大的不同就是「團結」， 現在是民進黨有史以來最團結的時刻；這話聽在藍營耳裡， 不知作何感想？
就是不團結所致。對一般民眾而言，團結不過是句陳腔濫調； 但就一個政黨而言，不團結就不可能有一致的目標， 就不可能召喚民眾的認同。今天藍營的情勢正是如此：最初， 是馬朱王吳等領導人各有私心盤算，置大局於不顧；然後， 是地方派系東搖西擺，藍營分崩離析；如今， 則是黨中央與其提名的洪秀柱形成對決，渾然不顧敵營已兵臨城下。 這情勢，與二○○○年首度政黨輪替前夕的景象有幾分相似。
內戰」狀態，似尚未從去年底的敗選中醒轉， 如此對立的氣氛自無可能扭轉頹勢。一個耽於內鬥的政黨， 自己就能把自己搞垮鬥臭，還需要敵人動手嗎？反觀民進黨， 平日派系林立、各有地盤，今天眼見形勢大好，皆願放下歧見， 團結在蔡英文麾下。這種臨時的和諧看似取巧， 卻是政黨求取發展的必要條件。從這個角度看， 周末國民黨的臨全會若不能作出有助排難解紛的決議， 卻讓內部戰火繼續延燒，無論換柱計畫成功與否， 都無助於力挽狂瀾，只是治絲益棼。
其一，經過黨中央全力動員與勸說，「換柱」 提案在臨全會中順利通過，由朱立倫代替洪秀柱出馬角逐二○ 一六大選，雖未必能逆轉總統選情，卻可藉以帶動立委選情。其二， 多數黨代表以缺乏「正當性」為由，否決換柱之提議， 依然由洪秀柱披掛上陣；在這種情況下，洪秀柱雖保住候選人身分， 卻可能全面失去黨中央及「換柱派」的任何援助，局面反而更艱難。 其三，「保柱派」人馬強力反彈，在場內外抗議或叫囂， 最後雖勉強通過換柱，卻造成內部嚴重撕裂， 朱立倫亦失去目前挺柱民眾的支持，後座力繼續延燒。
國民黨採取非常手段， 目的無非是為了避免明年總統與立委選情的雙雙崩盤，既然如此， 即必須畢其功於一役，藉著臨全會的召開和討論， 作為黨內結束提名之爭、共同合力對外的宣示，將「換柱」 風波徹底終結。如果任何一方仍有不服， 甚至仍意圖發動支持者杯葛抵制， 那麼國民黨不僅這場大選將未戰先敗， 明年敗戰後將是一片分崩離析無可收拾之局。
就不能等到周末任由朱洪對決對撞，黨內必須有人居間穿梭， 要求換柱和保柱兩方人馬保持君子之爭。最關鍵的， 還是朱立倫和洪秀柱必須要有一個大局共識， 節制自己和己方人馬之言行；不能嘴巴上談的是團結與愛黨， 實際做的卻是為私心私利而害黨。最美好的想像，是在臨全會之前， 朱洪兩人能夠握手言和，並共同宣示：無論臨全會如何決定， 兩人都會攜手合作，無私地為黨的提名人助選。如此， 藍營才能結束這場內戰，回歸民主選舉與政黨政治。
領導階層私心盤算太多，各行其是；二，缺乏核心價值與論述能力； 三，基層經營耕耘不足，與社會脈動脫節；四，制度老舊鬆散， 無法彰顯公平。此刻，之所以倉卒再召開臨全會， 即驗證上述每一個環節都出了差錯。問題是， 當藍軍城池一片岌岌可危之聲，再不齊心對外， 卻還在爭辯小是小非，難道不怕死無葬身之地嗎？
都有爭論不完的事理。重要的是，不能再袖手任由情勢惡化， 否則當人們從二○一六回看此局， 試問朱立倫或洪秀柱誰會懊悔更多一點？在太遲之前， 這兩個人都必須審慎思考自己的作為，作出正確的抉擇； 畢竟歷史不能重來，一失足恐成千古恨。