China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
February 4, 2016
Executive Summary: There is a popular term on the Internet: "xiu xia xian". It means "hitting rock bottom". It refers to a person or organization sinking so low, it cannot possibly sink any lower. The term comes to mind when describing the KMT. The Kuomintang may remain an opposition party for the next four years, eight years, or even twenty years. No matter what, the road will be a difficult one. Will the KMT survive or perish? If it survives, how long will it take before it can return to power? This will not be determined by the DPP, but by the KMT itself. Can the KMT engage in self-introspection? Can it prove it is capable? Can it touch the hearts of voters?
Full Text Below:
There is a popular term on the Internet: "xiu xia xian". It means "hitting rock bottom". It refers to a person or organization sinking so low, it cannot possibly sink any lower. The term comes to mind when describing the KMT. The KMT hit rock bottom during the presidential and legislative elections. It hit rock bottom when chaos erupted from within following its rout at the polls. It sank until it could sink no further. If intraparty strife continues, the collapse of the KMT will not be far off. Momentary defeat is one thing. This is another matter altogether, and will determine whether the KMT survives or perishes.
Consider the current party chairperson election. Internal competition is inevitable. But this competition has degenerated into a "support Hung" vs. "Stop Hung", "native" vs. "non-native" struggle. The sorry fact is that the current election is being fought on the basis of provincial origin.
During Taiwan's democratization, provincial origin based demagoguery was something people detested the most. Repeated elections have led to a more mature democracy, greater voter independence, and rejection of provincial origin based demagoguery. This already constitutes a public consensus. The DPP has long ceased to rely on so-called "ethnic group" demaoguery to mobilize voters.
Differences over reunification and independence remain. Tsai Ing-wen recently used the term "natural Taiwan independence" to describe the younger generation. But those who advocate reunification and those who advocate independence have gradually reached an understanding. The most clearest evidence of this understanding is reflected in universal identification with the Republic of China flag. Even the pro-independence DPP "defends the Republic of China". The public on Taiwan has no problem identifying with the "Republic of China". This ensures social cohesion, and is the bedrock that provides social stability.
In the wake of the KMT's election defeat however, democracy has regressed. It has reverted to "native" vs. "non-native" opposition in the party chairperson election. For the KMT, this is a genuine tragedy.
Tragedy Number One. Historically speaking, the KMT has usually been the victim of the "provincial origin card". Today however, it is not other parties that are playing the "provincial origin card" against the KMT. Instead, it is the KMT playing the "ethnic origin card" against itself.
Taiwan society is sufficiently mature. If the KMT plays the "provincial origin card" within the party, that will not worsen society wide antagonisms. This leads us to Tragedy Number Two. If the KMT plays the "provincial origin card", it will not succeed in leading the public down the wrong path. But it will succeed in making the public abandon the KMT.
This reveals the KMT leadership's low self-esteem and deficient wisdom. The fact is many people are looking to the KMT in the wake of the election. They hope it can regroup. They hope it can refashion itself into an opposition party with ideals and fighting spirit. They hope it can remake itself into a political party able to check and balance the ruling DPP.
Younger generation KMT members have founded the "Grassroots Alliance". Some of the alliance's proposals may be simplistic. But they show that the younger generation has not given up on the KMT. Middle aged and young KMT members have gone online to discuss opposition strategy. They have swiftly gained considerable popularity. This shows that many people worry about a DPP monopoly on power. They think it will be detrimental to Taiwan's democracy. The KMT must accurately gauge the mood of society, and respond appropriately to its expectations.
The public expects the KMT to effectively check and balance the DPP, and prevent suicidal DPP confrontation with the Mainland. The public hopes the KMT will check DPP arrogance of power, and prevent the resurgence of DPP corruption. Therefore we have several suggestions for the KMT.
Suggestion One. When the KMT sounds the clarion call for pan-blue unity, it must not divide candidates for the party chairmanship into "native" and "non-native" categories. To do so is both politically immoral and politically suicidal.
Suggestion Two. All who take part in the party chairperson election, particularly Hung Shiu-chu and Huang Ming-hui, held high office when the KMT was in the ruling party. They must share responsibility for the election defeat. They must demonstrate commitment. If elected, they must be willing to assume responsibility during the transfer of power. They must also assume responsibility for the transformation of the party. In other words, they may serve only their by-election term and no more. They may not succeed themselves. During the party chairperson election, they must debate the party's future. All who care about the future of the Kuomintang must be allowed to participate. This will enable the KMT to set its direction as an opposition party.
Suggestion Three. The new chairperson's first duty must be to rally the opposition. In her capacity as chairperson of the largest opposition party, she should invite James Soong of the People First Party, Yok Mu-ming of the New Party, and whoever becomes the chairperson of the Republican Party, to co-chair a Pan-Blue Alliance. Together they must provide oversight of the ruling DPP. The new KMT chairperson must reform the KMT chairman election system, lower the unreasonably high threshold for chairperson elections, enabling more people to run for party chairperson. Local party chairpersons should also be directly elected. This will enable the KMT to become a political party created from the outside in. This will enable the KMT to broaden its appeal, introduce new blood, and increase party diversity.
The Kuomintang may remain an opposition party for the next four years, eight years, or even twenty years. No matter what, the road will be a difficult one. Will the KMT survive or perish? If it survives, how long will it take before it can return to power? This will not be determined by the DPP, but by the KMT itself. Can the KMT engage in self-introspection? Can it prove it is capable? Can it touch the hearts of voters?
大意是形容某個人、某個組織的表現差到無以復加， 幾乎達到最爛的程度。這3字用來形容國民黨，可謂貼切。 國民黨不但在總統與立委選舉上「秀下限」，敗選後黨內一片混亂、 持續內耗，可以說是「持續秀下限」。照這種內耗速度繼續下去， 國民黨土崩瓦解之日，只怕不遠矣。比起一時的敗選， 現在才是國民黨生死存亡的關鍵時刻。
經過一次又一次民主選舉的洗禮後，民主品質提升， 選民自主意識深化，否定、斥責操弄省籍， 已經成為台灣社會最重要的公約數， 民進黨也早已不再以族群議題操弄政治動員。
但台灣內部統獨立場的逐漸接近與相互尊重， 也漸漸成為社會潛在公約數。最明顯的表現， 就反映在對青天白日滿地紅國旗的認同上， 即便被視為傾獨的民進黨，也要「捍衛中華民國」。 在在顯示台灣人民對「中華民國」的符號認同沒有障礙。 這也是台灣凝聚向心力、保持社會穩定的地基磐石。
族群套頭」遊戲，因而激化社會的族群對立。 這正是國民黨第二個悲哀的地方， 社會的主流節奏不會被國民黨自玩省籍而走岔， 但卻會加速社會主流對國民黨的否定甚至放棄。
事實上，選後的台灣社會，逐漸浮出一股強大的聲音， 期待國民黨好好振作，當一個有理念、有戰力的稱職在野黨， 做好監督執政、民主制衡的工作。
但反映了國民黨年輕世代仍不放棄發聲的積極動能； 國民黨的中青代，也有部分在網路上發起在野論述平台， 在選後的極短時間，即凝聚相當的人氣。 這些都反映了許多人擔心民進黨一黨獨大後的失衡， 將對台灣民主發展不利。 國民黨對這股社會脈動應有精確的掌握與認識， 也應該對這樣的社會期許做出正確的回應。
防止民進黨走上對抗中國的死亡之路， 及慣性的權力傲慢與貪腐惡疾復發有很深的期許，基於此， 我們對國民黨有幾點建議。
都曾在國民黨執政體系擔任要職，理應共同承擔敗選責任。 她們必須承諾，當選後願擔當「過渡」與「改造」的責任。 換句話說，她們只能做到補選任期屆滿，絕不連任。 在黨主席補選期間，應舉行路線辯論， 讓所有的候選人及關心國民黨前途者都可以參與， 辯明理念才能為在野的國民黨指引方向。
應以最大在野黨立場邀請親民黨宋楚瑜、 新黨郁慕明以及民國黨新任主席，擔任泛藍聯盟共同主席， 共商監督政府合作定位。同時改造國民黨主席選舉制度， 打破不合理的參選高門檻，讓有志者均有機會參選黨主席， 地方黨部主委也應採取直選，讓國民黨成為一個外造政黨， 以擴大理念同盟，並引新血活水，豐富國民黨的多元性。
都會是一條艱鉅的路。國民黨存續或傾覆？ 要花多久的時間重新贏回執政？最重要的決定者不是民進黨， 而是國民黨自己，能不能反省、拿不拿得出行動好好表現， 感動選民。