United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
April 24, 2016
Executive Summary: Over the past few years, street protests surged. The Kuomintang failed to keep pace with social change. It failed to respond. As a result the public abandoned it. Conversely, political opportunists who lusted for power hitched a ride on the protests. Once they gained entry to the halls of power however, they refuse to recognize the very people who put them there. They blank out promises made to supporters. They discard younger generation supporters who expected real change, as if they were old shoes. That is perhaps the most grievous betrayal of all.
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The Sunflower Student Movement and related groups advanced on the Legislative Yuan to protest the DPP version of the "Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations". The draft version reneges on five commitments made to the Sunflower Student Movement. Student leader Lin Fei-fan blasted the DPP version for retaining the "memorandum" requirement. He said it was no different from the KMT version. The Sunflower Student Movement is just over two years old. The DPP and NPP benefited from the Sunflower Student Movement, but are changing their tune or in full retreat. How can the Sunflower Student Movement generation not feel indignation? What must the man in the street think?
Back then the protesters included key Sunflower Student Movement players Lin Fei-Fan and Lai Chung-chiang. They also included the "Economic Democracy Connection" and other groups with only a few dozen members. These failed to become part of the system. Protestors included even sympathizers from the New Party. The scene was a far cry from the heyday of the Sunflower Student Movement. Back then its leaders occupied the legislature, and had the power to “summon the wind and rain”. The scene revealed how much the Sunflower Student Movement's luster has faded, and how much its influence has been diluted by realpolitik.
Back then the Sunflower Student Movement opposed the STA and black box operations. It demanded the authoring of “Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations”. Back then DPP legislators aided and abetted student occupation of the legislature. DPP legislators ghost-wrote a so-called "peoples' version” of the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations. It defined "cross-Strait relations” as “international relations”, and substantially multiplied the obstacles to bilateral agreements, before and after signing, as well as during negotiations. The public has not forgotten these developments. They are clearly noted in the Legislative Yuan's records.
The DPP and NPP rode the Sunflower Student Movement to power. The general public and the younger generation assumed that the ideas raised by the Sunflower Student Movement would be implemented the moment the DPP and NPP assumed power. Little did they know events would take a very different turn. During the election, Tsai Ing-wen did an about face and adopted "maintaining the status quo" as her cross-Strait policy platform. The Sunflower Student Movement denounced the STA as "selling out Taiwan". Premier to be Lin Chuan-che did an about face, and now says "Of course we intend to promote it!” Most critically, the DPP changed the wording of the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations back to “two sides” from “two nations”.
Nor was the New Power Party to be outdone. It originally vowed to incorporate the "two states theory" into the "peoples' version” of the oversight regulations. But nothing has been heard of this since. When asked about the DPP's about face, the NPP shined it on, saying "Not having seen the actual text, we are unable to comment". Other comments by the NPP are equally disingenuous. When asked about Kenya's extradition of Taiwan scam artists to the Mainland, Huang Kuo-chang urged "co-operation with the other side". He averred that “politicizing the issue would be unwise”. On US pork imports, Huang Kuo-chang said "Exports are very important for us. Taiwan must go out into the world". He now sings a very different tune than he did during the Sunflower Student Movement.
These changes are highly revealing. The Sunflower Student Movement toppled the KMT, and the green camp rose to power. But since then, it has ignored the demands of the faithful, and reneged on its promises. The protesters' influence has waned drastically. Their high-profile media appeal was merely a stepping stone by which politicians could rise to power. The protestors have been used once and thrown away. Their so-called “ideals” have become utopian fantasies.
Tsai Ing-wen has seized power. Can she meet public expectations? We will soon find out. Student movement leaders who enabled the DPP to seize power must be subject to the same scrutiny. Are today's feeble protests an affirmation of principles, or a song and dance to appease the masses? Two years ago, they took to the streets and occupied the legislature. Do they have their own ideals and opinions? Do they plan to oversee and discipline the DPP?
Over the past few years, street protests surged. The Kuomintang failed to keep pace with social change. It failed to respond. As a result the public abandoned it. Conversely, political opportunists who lusted for power hitched a ride on the protests. Once they gained entry to the halls of power however, they refuse to recognize the very people who put them there. They blank out promises made to supporters. They discard younger generation supporters who expected real change, as if they were old shoes. That is perhaps the most grievous betrayal of all.
The realpolitik of democracy means that no one who rises to power can implement radical social change. No one can meet all the demands made by social movements. But are unscrupulous politicians concerned solely about toppling and replacing their rivals? Are they utterly indifferent about whether their positions are consistent with principles? If so, the result will be "yesterday's truth is today's lie". Populism will proliferate. Methods will become more ruthless. Rational political discourse will come to naught.
兩岸協議監督條例》 草案未落實當初在太陽花運動時承諾的五大原則。 學運領袖林飛帆並批評，民進黨版還保留協議文「備查」的規定， 簡直跟國民黨沒有兩樣。太陽花學運剛滿兩周年， 因太陽花風潮而獲益豐碩的民進黨和時代力量， 卻已不斷改變或退縮了立場。這看在太陽花世代眼中， 不免感到憤慨，而一般民眾又作何感想？
尚有其他未進入體制的「經濟民主連合」等團體，僅寥寥數十人； 其間，還包括前來聲援的新黨人士。 比起太陽花運動在占領國會期間的呼風喚雨，其間差距，何止雲泥。 這樣的景象，除顯示太陽花煙火盛會的消散， 也說明學運理想被稀釋在政治現實中屍骨無存的慘狀。
後來更延伸到「制訂兩岸協議監督條例」。當時， 民進黨立委不但全程幫占領國會的學生護航， 更由民進黨立委代提出所謂「民間版的兩岸協議監督條例」，將「 兩岸」定義為「兩國」，並大幅加強兩岸協議簽署前、 談判中和簽署後的監督程序。這些事實， 均留存在國人記憶中和立法院議事紀錄中。
社會各界和年輕世代都以為， 他們在執政後一定會落實貫徹太陽花運動的主張。誰料， 事實發展卻大異其趣。大選期間，蔡英文即以「維持現狀」 作為兩岸政策主張；對於太陽花指為「賣台」的《服貿協議》， 準閣揆林全則強調「當然要推」。此外，最關鍵的《 兩岸協議監督條例》，民進黨團則翻臉改提截然不同的版本，將「 兩國」改回「兩岸」。
民間版監督條例」，卻未見下文；對於民進黨立場的變化， 該黨也僅輕描淡寫地說：「沒看到具體版本，不便評論」。此外， 觀察最近時代力量的其他發言，例如在詐欺犯遣返事件中， 黃國昌呼籲「和對岸合作」，並說政治刁難不明智；在開放「美豬」 議題上，黃國昌則強調：「我們對外貿易非常重要， 台灣一定要走出去。」對照他在太陽花學運時的慷慨激昂， 已是截然不同的面貌。
但綠營取得政權，並未忠實回應群眾的訴求， 甚至無法履行自己先前的承諾。相對而言，今天抗議者的聲量大跌， 也顯示當年他們的高調訴求，只成了政客奪權的墊腳石， 其結果卻是「用過即棄」。所謂的理想，也變成了烏托邦的幻覺。
很快即需接受檢驗。同樣的，那些把民進黨推上台的運動領袖， 一樣必須接受檢驗：他們今天的荏弱抗議，究竟是仍在展現堅持， 或者只是虛晃一招應付群眾？兩年前走上街頭、占領國會， 若果真有自己的理想和見解，那麼今後要如何繼續監督、 鞭策民進黨？
疏於回應，因而遭到民意吞噬。反過來看， 投機的權力競逐者依附這些街頭運動而起， 登上權力殿堂後卻翻臉不認人，把當年自己的承諾拋在腦後， 把那些渴望「改變成真」的新世代支持者棄如敝屣， 堪稱是赤裸裸的政治「變臉」。
都不可能對社會作翻天覆地的改造；社運者的訴求， 政治人物也未必能照單全收。 但政治人物若只想著如何不擇手段扳倒對手， 卻不顧立場與原則是否一致，勢將招致「昨是今非」之譏， 也只會使社會的民粹口味越來越重，手段越來越激烈。那樣， 理性問政終將化為烏有。