China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
January 20, 2016
Executive Summary: During the 2016 election, Tsai Ing-wen did not merely win the presidency, the DPP also won 68 seats in the 113 seat Legislative Yuan, more than 60% of those available. For the first time ever, the DPP achieved its longed for "Total Rule". The DPP must now abide strictly by the rule of law, cease taking to the streets, and cease behaving like thugs in the legislature.
Full Text Below:
During the 2016 election, Tsai Ing-wen did not merely win the presidency, the DPP also won 68 seats in the 113 seat Legislative Yuan, more than 60% of those available. For the first time ever, the DPP achieved its longed for "Total Rule". The DPP must now abide strictly by the rule of law, cease taking to the streets, and cease behaving like thugs in the legislature.
Total Rule means total responsibility for the DPP, which for the first time in history has achieved a legislative majority. The first task of the DPP in the legislature must be legislative reform. This was the Third Promise in Tsai Ing-wen's presidential campaign Five Promises.
Ko Chien-min aspires to Speaker of the Legislature. In accordance with Tsai Ing-wen's pledge of reform, Ko has presented a reform plan. Ko Chien-min has an opportunity to become Premier. For these two. legislative reform is an unshirkable duty.
"Speaker neutrality" is the first tangible benchmark of legislative reform. During the presidential campaign speaker neutrality was a blue-green consensus. Eric Chu, Tsai Ing-wen, and Ko Chien-min, all saw it as the heart of legislative reform. The question now is, will Tsai Ing-wen follow through.
Strictly speaking, legislative neutrality in the current political environment, is mere sloganeering. Take Wang Jin-pyng for example. Based on his conduct as Speaker of the Legislature, he is probably the most “neutral" Speaker of the Legislature ever. But his "neutrality" came at a price. During caucus negotiations or legislative deadlocks, Wang Jin-pyng's “neutrality” prevented the KMT majority from passing bills or implementing policies. This prevented the implementation of the democratic principle of majority rule. Therefore Tsai Ing-wen may not want the next Speaker of the Legislature to be a DPP counterpart to Wang Jin-pyng, since he or she would weaken DPP efforts to implement its policies.
In this regard, the DPP majority should “respect the minority", while the opposition minority should “obey the majority". It should define speaker neutrality under the following conditions. Wang Jin-pyng's "neutrality for the sake of neutrality" while speaker subverted the democratic principle of majority rule. But the alternative is not a speaker who obeys the DPP without question, and does not respect the minority party. Speakers of the Legislature in Britain and Japan must resign from their parties. We of course need not go to such extremes. Nevertheless legislative protocol must be objective and neutral. Speaker neutrality does mean partisan neutrality. It means procedural neutrality.
A speaker must be neutral. Even more importantly, he must have character. He must not be like Wang Jin-pyng during Ma Ying-jeou's administration. In 2012, Ma Ying-jeou changed the KMT's rules, allowing Wang Jin-pyng to enjoy another term as legislator at large. This enabled him to become speaker yet again. This was a election campaign “marriage of convenience”. Wang's influence enabled him to remain “neutral”, i.e., immune to Ma's influence. Tsai Ing-wen on the other hand, won entirely by her own effort. Ko Chien-min and others have the opportunity to become speaker. But none of them are in Wang Jin-pyng's shoes. Tsai Ing-wen now enjoys a free hand in her speaker appointments. Tsai Ing-wen must consider the speaker's character, experience, image, and professionalism. She must not appoint a speaker solely on the basis of his or her willingness to implement her policies. Since the Speaker of the Legislature will be appointed by Tsai Ing-wen, she must answer for the speaker's performance, good or bad.
Another tangible benchmark is long-condemned back room deals. Strictly speaking, the law prohibits back room deals. The "Legislative Yuan Exercise of Powers Law" stipulates that negotiations must be recorded on video, audio, and published in the public media. In the past, back room deals were immune from prosecution because they increased Wang Jin-pyng's power. Smaller parties were happy to gain disproportionate power. The victims were bills and policies frozen in the legislature. These brought the executive branch to a standstill. This is why the executive branch complained about Wang Jin-pyng. Wang Jin-pyng however, wielded sufficient influence to deal with administrative branch discontent. The new Speaker of the Legislature, by contrast, will be under Tsai's total control. He or she will find it impossible to enage in back room deals. This may be a point in favor of the DPP legislative majority.
A DPP controlled legislature is likely to be united and strong. This will inevitably lead to another kind of imbalance. Smaller parties in the legislature will be marginalized. How will the KMT check and balance the DPP? We have some suggestions for the KMT and other smaller parties. First. Now that the KMT is in the opposition, it must not seek revenge. It must not resort to whatever means are necessary to paralyze the legislature. The NPP, meanwhile, must not become an appendage to the DPP. On public issues that do not involve ideology, the opposition parties must cross party lines. Only then can they increase their power to check and balance the ruling DPP. Second. Opposition parties must make good use of the Internet and people power. Together with the general public, they must increase oversight of the ruling party and prevent abuse. Third. The opposition parties must raise their standards. They must be professional in their interpolation, in order to gain support among the public.
Legislative reform requires a final ingredient. Public consciousness. Voters must change their mindset. They must not equate legislators with aldermen. Legislators must not waste their time glad-handing at market stalls, weddings, and funerals to the neglect of their duties. Legislators must remain in the legislature reviewing bills and budgets. Only this can benefit the public, grow the economy, and ensure government accountability. Unless voters' mindsets change, it will not matter how many changes there are in the ruling party.
立委中贏得68席，取得穩定過半的6成席次， 實現了民進黨第一次「完全執政」。 現在民進黨團必須學習廟堂之道，揚棄抗爭思維， 不能再草莽問政了。
在立法院的首要任務，應是國會改革， 這也是蔡英文在參選總統時所提出的五大政治改革中的第3個改革項 目。
藍綠共識」，朱立倫、 蔡英文與柯建銘將之視為國會改革的核心主張。 現在蔡英文要如何實踐呢？
以王金平為例，依他擔任立法院長的表現，應該是「最中立」 的立法院長，但他的「中立」並不是沒有副作用的， 不管在黨團協商或在處理少數黨癱瘓議事時， 王金平頗受批評的一點， 是他中立到讓國民黨明明擁有立法院的多數， 卻無能通過執政黨的法案與政策，讓民主的多數治理原則無法貫徹。 也因此，蔡英文未必希望下一任立法院長是民進黨版的王金平， 這將削弱其執行政策的力度。
的平衡中定性議長中立化，雖不必如王金平「為中立而中立」 的議事主持風格，損及民主多數決的原則， 但也不能找一個完全唯民進黨黨意是從、 不尊重少數黨問政權的立法院長。 立法院長中立不必極端到如英國及日本，擔任議長就必須退出政黨， 但還是應該有一條恰當的線， 在議事程序上依議事程序客觀中立地處理議事，也就是， 議長中立指的不是政黨立場上的中立，而是議事主持上的中立。
與馬英九執政時王金平擔任院長不同，2012馬修黨規讓王金平續 任不分區，王再取立法院長，是一種選舉上的聯盟，王的「實力」 迫使馬讓步，是王的「實力」使他有「中立」於馬英九之外的本錢。 但蔡英文的當選完全靠自己，柯建銘或其他有機會問鼎院長者， 都不是民進黨的王金平，立法院長誰屬，蔡英文有絕對的影響力。 就此，蔡英文就必須思考所謂人的屬性，包括議事經驗、社會形象、 問政專業都應綜合考量，不能僅從「政策配合度」 去思考立法院長人選。因為， 既然是蔡英文意志下所能決定的立法院長， 那麼蔡英文就必須為這位立法院長的良莠負責。
打破密室協商有法源可循，《立法院職權行使法》 中明定協商必須錄影、錄音刊載在公報上，過去密室協商打不破， 是因為密室有助於增加王金平對議事掌握的影響力， 小黨也樂意取得不相稱的議事權力， 受害的則是法案與政策被卡住的行政部門， 這也是行政部門對王金平有微詞之處，但王有「實力」 應對行政部門的不滿。當新的立法院長， 是在蔡英文的影響力範圍內產生的時候，很難有「實力」 繼續執行密室協商。 這應該也算是民進黨取得國會多數的一種國會議事可能出現的進步。
未來會有另一種必然的失衡現象出現， 就是小黨在國會角色的邊緣化，以及國民黨要如何制衡的問題。 這一點，我們對國民黨和其他小黨有幾個建議，第一， 國民黨在野後不能心存報復，也採取無限抗爭手段癱瘓國會， 時代力量也不能淪為民進黨的尾巴政黨。 在無涉意識型態公共議題上，在野黨要有「跨藍綠合作」 的合縱連橫，才能加大制衡的力量；第二，要善用網路公民力量， 結合輿論提高對執政者的監督以防止濫權；第三， 要提升自己問政品質，用專業去增加問政犀利度，爭取人民的認同。
選民心態必須改變，不能再把立法委員當里長用， 不要讓立法委員的時間都花在跑攤、婚喪喜慶以致於荒廢議事， 應讓立法委員盡可能地留在國會審查法案與預算，為人民的利益、 為國家的發展善盡問政之責。選民的腦袋不改變， 再多的政黨輪替也沒有用。