United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
May 4, 2016
Executive Summary: The KMT has failed to unite. It has failed to set the agenda. It has failed to cultivate new talent. As a result, it has lost its right to rule. So far, none of these problems have been addressed. The DPP will make mistakes. That is inevitable. But the opposition Kuomintang must face its own problems. Only then can it resurrect itself. It cannot hope that its opponent's mistakes will enable it to make a comeback. If it does, then it is much too naive, and much too contemptuous of the electorate.
Half a month remains before the Democratic Progressive Party returns to power. During the four month long transition period, the DPP “shadow cabinet” has thorough discredited itself. It has reversed itself on the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations, Mainland tourists, US pork imports, electricity rates, and other policies. Its vaunted “transitional justice” has been revealed as mere political vendetta. The Tsai family has been implicated in the OBI Pharma scandal. Shadow cabinet members have been shown to be incompetent, and have made embarrassing verbal gaffes. The DPP has broken every one of its pledges to voters. Public expectations of ruling party change have been shattered. Accusations hurled against the KMT when the DPP was in the opposition have been revealed as lies.
Polls show satisfaction with the Lin Chuan cabintet at less than 50%. Voters may have voted for Tsai Ing-wen. But they are clearly dissatisfied with the DPP. Does public dissatisfaction with the DPP, or expectations that it may fail, mean that two general elections from now a dying KMT can make a comeback? Based on the Tsai government's mistakes, can the KMT regain voter confidence and resurrect itself? Based on current evidence, the answer is no.
Following its election debacle, the KMT elected Hung Hsiu-chu party chairman. But so far the party machinery has yet to reveal a new strategy for party renewal. Especially worrisome is the discord between KMT party leaders and the KMT legislative caucus. Will the party whip be elected? How does the KMT intend to conduct itself as an opposition party? No agreement has been reached. As the deadlock between party leaders and the legislative caucus shows, the KMT has too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
The KMT is unprepared for its status as an opposition party. That is currently its biggest problem. This is true for party leaders and for the legislative caucus. All KMT leaders, from Hung Shiu-chu down, still think in terms of a powerful party leadership monopolizing party and governmental authority. The legislative caucus has for the first time adopted the DPP tactic of occupying the podium. But it has yet to perfect its bloc voting tactics or its ability to block DPP bills. In all these areas, it has been found wanting. If it fails to improve, the KMT's disunity will become increasingly apparent, and it will be unable to check the power of the ruling DPP.
Consider the new KMT leadership. Put nicely, they were pulled out of the freezer section. Put less nicely, they were dug out of the recycling bin. One of the biggest problems with KMT talent cultivation has been too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Current KMT leaders have fought Hung Shiu-chu over the presidential and chairmanship nominations, or marginal figures from other factions, merely to flex their own muscles.
This is due in part to Hung Hsiu-chu's leadership style and lack of prestige. In order to control the agenda, Hung Hsiu-chu has appointed Tsai Cheng-yuan chief policy director. Tsai has a sharp tongue. When addressing issues, he has the requisite determination. But his remarks are often abrasive and emotional. He sometimes scores Pyrrhic victories. His rhetoric may firm up blue camp loyalist votes, but may not attract swing votes.
The KMT has never been able to grasp the issues. It has never been able to the right words to express its position. Instead, it has invariably fallen back on cliches. For example, in response to the DPP's Orwellian “transitional justice”, the KMT spoke of "a return to the White Terror" and "a return to secret police". But the White Terror and secret police were products of KMT one-party rule. Such references may make voters disgusted with the DPP. But they will not necessarily make them feel good about the KMT.
The last and most important question is: Where is the talent? The KMT has long lacked talent. Never mind the younger generation. Even middle-aged political stars are rare. If the KMT is to begin anew, its first goal must be the 2018 county and municipal elections. By then, DPP political stars Lai Ching-teh and Chen Chu will no longer be eligible for another term. But so far not a single KMT contender has emerged. The KMT may not even be able to retain its New Taipei mayoral seat. During the recent power transition, many Ma government cabinet members shone. But will the KMT continue to use their talent? Will it permit them to become a party resource?
The KMT has failed to unite. It has failed to set the agenda. It has failed to cultivate new talent. As a result, it has lost its right to rule. So far, none of these problems have been addressed. The DPP will make mistakes. That is inevitable. But the opposition Kuomintang must face its own problems. Only then can it resurrect itself. It cannot hope that its opponent's mistakes will enable it to make a comeback. If it does, then it is much too naive, and much too contemptuous of the electorate.
政權輪替過渡期」，民進黨不論是兩岸協議監督條例、大陸觀光客、 美豬進口政策、電價漲價等政策的轉彎、轉型正義變成政治追殺， 或蔡英文家人捲入浩鼎案，乃至準政務官失言、 及新內閣布局乏善可陳等，都顯示民進黨過去對選民的承諾、 民眾對政權輪替的期待，甚至在野時對國民黨的批評陸續破功。
即使在大選裡投票給蔡英文的選民，也未必滿意民進黨的表現。 然而，目前所見民眾對民進黨的不滿或期待落空， 是否意味在兩次大選裡奄奄一息的國民黨將有重新再起的機會？ 國民黨是否能夠靠著民進黨和蔡英文政府的犯錯而逐漸重拾選民的信 心，甚至讓國民黨重新站起？從目前的情況看，答案並不樂觀。
由洪秀柱繼任主席。然而，黨機器迄今的運作， 似乎並未因新人擔綱上陣而出現新的振作契機；其中， 尤令人擔憂的是，國民黨中央和立院黨團的齟齬不斷。 從大黨鞭是否票選，到國民黨的在野抗爭策略該怎麼走， 似都呈現黨中央與黨團「一人一把號」各吹各的調的情況。
的準備，無論黨中央和黨團皆如此。在黨中央，從洪秀柱以降， 仍自以為是當年「黨政一把抓」的強勢中央黨部， 可以對國民黨團任意發號施令。在立院黨團， 雖然初次領略了搶占主席台的戰法， 但在團結投反對票或反駁民進黨議案的論述，都顯得力有未逮。 若不能改善，國民黨雙頭馬車的問題會越來越明顯， 恐怕也就很難發揮制衡監督的戰功了。
裡尋找人才來用；但說難聽，其實是從「資源回收桶」找人。 過去國民黨人才培育最大的問題之一，就是山頭林立，互不信任； 如今國民黨中央的新核心，不是跟著洪秀柱打總統、 主席選戰的核心，就是其他派系的邊緣人物，未免顯得荏弱。
為了控制議題走向，洪秀柱邀請蔡正元擔任政策會執行長。 在發言的辛辣度、議題的開發上，蔡正元固然衝勁十足， 但他發言常流於尖銳及情緒化，有時難免「殺敵一千，自傷八百」。 那些論調，或能鞏固既有藍軍支持者， 但對游離的中間選民未必有號召作用。
則是國民黨始終有待克服的問題。例如， 在轉型正義相關法案的攻防上，國民黨訴諸「白色恐怖再現」、「 警總捲土重來」，問題在， 白色恐怖和警總難道不是國民黨一黨獨大時的產物？用這樣的訴求， 充其量只是讓選民對民進黨反感，卻無法轉化為對國民黨的好感。
國民黨的人才荒由來已久，青年世代不論， 連中壯世代的政治明星都已成鳳毛麟角。國民黨要再起， 首先應瞄準的是二○一八縣市長選舉；屆時， 民進黨的政治明星賴清德、陳菊都將不再續任， 但國民黨的角逐者卻迄今連影子都未浮現， 甚至連保住新北市唯一一席直轄市長都未必有把握。 在最近的政權交接期，不少馬政府閣員臨去秋波展現了不錯的身手， 但國民黨有辦法讓他們的能量延續嗎？ 能讓他們變成黨內人才庫的可用資源嗎？
而失去執政權，迄今這些問題都不見改善。 民進黨執政當然會有失誤的時候，這是必然；但國民黨作為在野黨， 若不能夠面對自己的問題重新站起來， 卻以為對手犯錯就是自己的機會，那未免太天真，也太小看選民。