DPP Total Rule Means Total Accountability and Total Responsibility
China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
February 1, 2016
Executive Summary: Total Rule means the DPP must assume total responsibility for any future political developments. Tsai Ing-wen must be psychologically prepared for this. Tsai Ing-wen must expressly declare that according to the Constitution, cross-Strait relations are not relations between different countries. Only this can allay Mainland concerns about her advocacy of the "two states theory”. Only this will enable her to ensure cross-Strait peace.
Full Text Below:
The DPP legislative caucus has approved, by clear acclamation without objection, legislator elect Su Chia-chuan's appointment as Legislative Speaker, and Tsai Chi-chang's appointment as Deputy Legislative Speaker. Party favorite Ko Chien-min, who was endorsed by the New Tide faction, and who fully expected to win the post, was washed away by the rushing waters. This of course was the result of Tsai Ing-wen's last minute intervention.
Su Chia-chuan pledged to abide by the three principles of legislative speaker neutrality. He would refrain from participation in party activities, refrain from assuming any party posts, and refrain from participating in any party-administration coordination activities. He would resign from the DPP Central Standing Committee. He would refrain from taking part in DPP party activities. He promised to comply fully with Tsai Ing-wen's legislative reform blueprint. He clearly demonstrated Tsai Ing-wen's determination. Ko Chien-min has stepped down. Su Chia-chuan has taken his place. This sends an important message regarding Tsai Ing-wen's future rule.
Ma Ying-jeou was never able to implement the reforms he wanted in the Legislative Yuan. He was often unable to even impose his will upon the Executive Yuan. Tsai hopes to avoid the pitfalls of Ma vs. Wang confrontation. Tsai Ing-wen has a totally different leadership style than Ma Ying-jeou. At this critical moment she has forced the New Tide faction to retreat, mollified party elders, and laid down the law for legislative speaker appointments. Her moves have been measured, and reminiscent of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. This, along with Tsai's three principles of legislative neutrality, amounts to a double victory, in image as well as substance. This is important for Tsai Ing-wen. It is also the right thing to do. To this, we give her our blessings. Tsai Ing-wen has already prepped herself for Total Rule.
For Total Rule to be successful however, a right first step is not enough. If Tsai Ing-wen wants Total Rule, her next step must be total commitment and assumption of total responsibility. This is essential. Only then will Tsai Ing-wen's achievements be hers. Only then can her regime rank among those of Merkel and Thatcher.
Take the assumption of total responsibility. The Democratic Progressive Party won both the presidency and the legislature. At the local level, it won 13 counties and municipalities. Its jurisdiction encompasses a population of over 14 million, more than 60% of the entire population. From the central to the local, from the executive to the legislature, the Democratic Progressive Party has achieved Total Rule over Taiwan. Internally, it is unchallengeable. It has absolute power. Therefore it must assume total responsibility and lead Taiwan in the right direction.
Total commitment must also be reflected in domestic and foreign policy. Internally, Tsai Ing-wen must do two things. One. She must take advantage of Total Rule to liberate government policies from mob sentiment. She must restore rationality to policy debates. She must not allow Taiwan to remain a victim of populist sentiment and endless wheel-spinning. Two. She must practice the true spirit of democracy. She must implement majority rule, in order to rectify the mistakes made by past governments. She must show respect for the minority.
Only respect for the minority can mollify the losing party and its supporters, enable Taiwan to avoid vicious blue vs. green tit for tat retaliation, and end the prolonged democratic civil war.
Respect for the minority will be the acid test for Democratic Progressive Party Total Rule. The DPP must swiftly transform its opposition party defects into ruling party virtues. It must not succumb to the temptation to accuse opponents of “selling out Taiwan”, or launch personal attacks. The KMT has suffered a crushing defeat. But the DPP must not seize the opportunity to engage in “search and destroy”. The KMT and DPP are political competitors, not enemies. A robust opposition is indispensable to Taiwan's democracy. Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP must exercise wisdom in their treatment of political opposition and private dissident.
Now consider external policy, the most important of which is cross-Strait policy. This has long been Tsai Ing-wen's Achilles Heel, and most dangerous challenge. Tsai Ing-wen must do everything possible to ensure peace with the Mainland. Otherwise, even Total Rule will result in a debacle in the event cross-Strait exchanges collapse. Total Rule will become total collapse.
The first obstacle in the way of cross-Strait peace remains the 1992 Consensus. Its historical origins and DPP supporters' emotional baggage make it difficult for the DPP to accept the 1992 Consensus. But none of Tsai Ing-wen's 1992 Consensus word games have succeeded in replacing it. None of her substitutes have won Mainland acceptance. The problem is that Tsai Ing-wen has never addressed the core issue. Just what are cross-Strait relations? Tsai Ing-wen must clearly and unequivocally declare that according to the Constitution of the Republic of China, cross-Strait relations are not international relations. This is enshrined not only in the text of the constitution, but also in the text of the Council of Grand Justices' Constitutional Interpretation No. 329.
Tsai Ing-wen must expressly declare that according to the Constitution, cross-Strait relations are not relations between different countries. Only this can allay Mainland concerns about her advocacy of the "two states theory”. Only this will enable her to ensure cross-Strait peace.
Finally, Total Rule means the DPP must assume total responsibility for any future political developments. Tsai Ing-wen must be psychologically prepared for this. In the past, central and local governments passed the buck to each other. The executive and the legislature passed the buck to each other. In the future, Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP will not be able to shirk responsibility. Tsai Ing-wen might as well roll the dice and go all out to create a political legacy for herself.
2016年02月01日 04:10 主筆室