United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
December 18, 2015
Executive Summary: The DPP thinks that victory is now in sight. Therefore it has been holding high the banner of a "new public mandate", citing it as a pretext for obstructing current bills in the legislature. These include health coverage for Mainland students, Mainland investments in the IC industry and UNIS investments in three IC packaging and testing plants, and a bill for legislative reform. Consider current DPP obstructionism. Then consider Tsai Ing-wen's high-handed, "Only I am qualified to deal with this!" arrogance. Who does not know this will become the biggest stumbling block in Tsai Ing-wen's way should she become president?
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The DPP thinks that victory is now in sight. Therefore it has been holding high the banner of a "new public mandate", citing it as a pretext for obstructing current bills in the legislature. These include health coverage for Mainland students, Mainland investments in the IC industry and UNIS investments in three IC packaging and testing plants, and a bill for legislative reform. Consider current DPP obstructionism. Then consider Tsai Ing-wen's high-handed, "Only I am qualified to deal with this!" arrogance. Who does not know this will become the biggest stumbling block in Tsai Ing-wen's way should she become president?
The DPP thinks that because it has popular support, it can do no wrong. Some of the poll numbers support this. But once it assumes power, the high expectations behind this popular support will severely test DPP rule. The problems that plague Taiwan have been building for 20 years. Just because Tsai Ing-wen takes office, does not mean they can be solved by the wave of a magic wand. It is easy to criticize when one is in the opposition. One simply points to the problems, and that's it. But when one is in office, one must proceed cautiously. One must plan carefully. Determining the proper prescription for what ails the nation is difficult. When the time comes, will the DPP have the necessary talent? Or will it have nothing more than “attitude” -- arrogant and self-righteous? If so, how will the public on Taiwan feel then?
Talk about Tsai Ing-wen's "final mile" is old hat. What people should be discussing is Tsai Ing-wen's "first mile". On this point, neither the DPP nor Tsai Ing-wen have given the public the slightest hints, let alone clear answers. They have campaigned for nearly a year. But all they have done is talk past people, and engaged in self-righteous posturing. Now fewer than 30 days remain before election day. But the ruling and opposition parties have yet to hold a political debate. Perhaps voters believe a "change in ruling parties" will work its magic, and that as long as Tsai Ing-wen is elected, everyone will see a better tomorrow. But does Tsai Ing-wen herself even believe this?
Tsai Ing-wen has the ability, character, and convictions needed to be DPP chairman. That is one thing. But do her ability, character, and convictions qualify her to be President of the Republic of China? That is something else altogether. Her biggest problem is that over the past four years she has used her leadership of the DPP to hinder the nation's development, while padding her portfolio. Her justifications for obstructionism run counter to Taiwan's collective interests and to the reality of our changing times. Her methods of obstructionism have been rooted in short-term thinking, indifferent to long-term consequences. These are all tactics an opposition party may employ without cost to itself. But once in power, how will the Democratic Progressive Party's obstructionism affect the smooth functioning of the government? Won't it be shooting itself in the foot?
Consider the ways in which the DPP may “reap what it sowed”. One. The problem of overreach. Economic development and industrial restructuring have never been a DPP long suit. But they are highly sensitive indicators of public satisfaction with government. Given the current economic environment, ensuring even a 1% growth rate is difficult. The global economy is doing poorly. What sort of panacea can Tsai Ing-wen offer to boost the economy? The Democratic Progressive Party took the lead in demanding the mothballing of the Number Four Nuclear Power Plant. Meanwhile it boasts about the wholesale development of "green energy". But the threat of a crisis in domestic power supply within two years is all too real. These worries are not confined to the corporate world. Ordinary people have the same doubts. Yet Tsai Ing-wen's economic advisory panel consists of the same old faces from the Chen Shui-bian era. Does anyone really think these people are going to come up with any brilliant countermeasures?
Two. Long-term structural problems. The quality of higher education is deteriorating. Educational supply and demand is out of balance. Young people find themselves unemployed. All of these are associated with rapid social and demographic changes, and are not amenable to quick fixes. Even the “five year fifty billion” plan to establish top universities was a product of the Chen Shui-bian era. Now the DPP must clean up its own mess. Add public resentment caused by pensions, soaring housing prices, deteriorating long-term care for the elderly, low pay for young workers, and the gradual loss of national competitiveness due to declining birthrates. To cure these problems, Tsai Ing-wen needs more than mere willpower. She needs wisdom and innovation. Only then can she solve these knotty problems and avoid society's wrath.
Three. The problem of ideas grabbed out of the air. Tsai Ing-wen committed to "maintain the status quo" in cross-Strait relations. But she refuses to recognize the 1992 Consensus, the very foundation for cross-Strait relations. So how does she intend to maintain the status quo? It is hard to be optimistic. Consider some even more concrete problems, such as the STA, and the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations. The DPP obstructed consideration and passage of these in the legislature. It froze MTA negotiations. Any agreement remains remote. These are stumbling blocks in the way of Taiwan's membership in the TPP or RCEP. For the moment Tsai Ing-wen can treat these problems lightly. But once she is in office, she must make a choice. Otherwise, Taiwan's economy will continue to spin its wheels. If she makes a sudden about face, she will immediately confirm that previous DPP obstructionism was unreasonable and unwarranted.
No matter where one goes, one leaves a trail. March boldly forward, and leave an indelible trail. The DPP has done its utmost to obstruct progress for four years. This has left Taiwan devastated. Next year, when it assumes power, the DPP will have to clean up its own mess. No matter how paradoxical the game of politics may be, sober members of the public will eventually see the light. Therefore we remind the DPP not to abuse your alleged "new public mandate" over the next six months to paralyze the government. Otherwise your obstructionism will become Tsai Ing-wen's stumbling blocks.
阻擋政府正在進行的各項議案，諸如陸生納保、 陸資投資ＩＣ產業及紫光參股封測三廠案、國會改革案等皆受阻。 這樣的高姿態，擺明了「我才有資格處理」的氣焰，殊不知， 民進黨今天的種種杯葛，其實將成為蔡英文未來執政的路障。
這些高民意背後的高期望，就會變成檢驗民進黨施政的高指標。 問題是，台灣積廿年之沉痾，到了蔡英文手裡，是否就能迎刃而解， 只怕不是那麼容易的事。在野者批評容易，指著病說病簡單； 但執政者必須步步為營、慎謀能斷， 要開出解方治癒痼疾則相對困難。屆時，民進黨若沒有足夠的才智， 卻一副倨傲自以為是的姿態，台灣民眾受得了嗎？
今天人們應該討論的，是蔡英文的「第一哩路」將是如何走法。 這點，無論是蔡英文或民進黨，其實都沒有提出太多暗示， 遑論答案。近一年的選戰，一直是隔空喊話、高來高去的虛招， 如今距離選舉僅剩不到卅天，朝野還辦不成一場政見辯論， 選民就算相信「政黨輪替」的魔術效果， 以為蔡英文當選大家明天就會更好，但蔡英文自己相信嗎？
但她的能力、性格和信仰是否勝任中華民國總統，則是另一回事。 最大的問題在，過去四年， 她領導的民進黨是以阻礙國家發展的手段來積累自己的勛業，其中， 有些戰略杯葛的邏輯是違背台灣的集體利益， 有些反對的理由是不符合時代的進步價值， 有些手段則是短期操作而未思及長期後果。這些， 是在野黨可以任意揮霍的無本生意；然而，一旦執政， 民進黨要如何運用在野者的杯葛邏輯使國家順利運轉卻不陷於自我矛 盾？
第一、屬於眼高手低型的問題： 經濟發展和產業轉型向來不是民進黨的長項， 卻是民眾評價政府效能的敏感指標。以目前經濟「保一」困難、 而國際大環境欠佳的情況，蔡英文能拿出什麼靈丹來提振經濟， 是一大挑戰。包括民進黨領軍讓核四封存，又誇下全力發展「綠能」 的海口，但國內電力兩年後可能短缺卻是真實的危機。這些， 不僅企業界憂心，升斗小民一樣心存疑問。 但觀察目前蔡英文身邊的財經團隊，多為扁政府時代的舊面孔， 他們能拿出更高明的對策嗎？
教育供需失調、青年失業， 都與社會的快速變遷及人口結構變化有關， 故而施政上難以求取速效。甚至，如五年五百億打造頂尖大學計畫， 是扁政府時代的政策，如今副作用已現，民進黨也必須收拾。此外， 諸如引發社會怨念的各種年金之相對剝奪感、 房價飆升引發的居住正義問題、日趨嚴重的老人長期照護、 青年低薪化、因少子化而不斷流失的國力等；要對治這些問題， 蔡英文需要的不只是魄力，還要有更多的智慧和新思維， 才能解開長期糾結，而不致引發社會怨怒。
維持現狀」的承諾，但在拒絕承認九二共識的前提下， 她有多少維持現狀的空間，令人難以樂觀。更現實的問題在，《 兩岸服貿協議》和《兩岸協議監督條例》 皆因民進黨杯葛而長期卡關立法院，《貨貿協議》 的談判仍看不到終局，這些在在成為台灣加入ＴPＰ或ＲＣＥＰ的擋 路石。蔡英文此刻可以保持輕巧曖昧，但一旦執政， 就必須作出抉擇，否則，台灣就會繼續空轉踏步； 而如果她要幡然改變態度， 馬上又會暴露當初民進黨杯葛的無理取鬧及前後不一。
民進黨使出渾身解數的四年杯葛，為台灣留下了滿目瘡痍， 明年取得政權後，它必須一一收拾自己創造的殘局。 無論政治遊戲的本質再怎麼弔詭，清醒的民眾總是會繼續檢視； 因此，我們提醒民進黨：請勿濫用「新民意」 之名癱瘓未來半年的政府施政，否則， 你的所有杯葛將成為蔡英文未來施政的路障。