Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Pig Snout Plebiscite: The Plebiscite to Join the UN Self-destructs

The Pig Snout Plebiscite: The Plebiscite to Join the UN Self-destructs
United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 24, 2007

Annette Lu noted that the logo for the Plebiscite to Join the UN campaign looks remarkably like a pig's snout. As a result some people began referring to the "Plebiscite to Join the UN" as the "Pig Snout Plebiscite."

Superficially, it would seem that Chen Shui-bian has successfully demagogued the "Plebiscite to Join the UN" issue. But because the campaign has been conducted in an uncivilized, unconstitutional, illegal, and anti-democratic manner that violates human rights, he has undercut its legitimacy and hastened its demise. The political image of the Plebiscite to Join the UN has been badly tarnished.

Chen Shui-bian should beware of overkill, i.e., a promotional effort that produces diminishing returns because it repels rather than attracts. He should not provoke political moderates into snorting contemptuously: "Pig Snout Plebiscite!"

The Plebiscite to Join the UN began with a positive image. It gave vent to accumulated public frustration. It championed the rights and interests of citizens of the ROC on Taiwan. These were among the plebiscite's selling points. But the Chen regime has resorted to means that cannot be justified. It has ordered the post office to stamp "Join the UN" slogans on private correspondence. It has coerced civil servants to participate in petition drives. It has embezzled public funds to underwrite "Join the UN" campaign activities. It has printed "Join the UN" slogans on sales slips. It intends to "package deal" the "Plebiscite to Join the UN" with the 2008 Presidential Election It intends to force voters to accept plebisite ballots along with presidential election ballots, whether they want them or not. It is violating the Rule of Law and the principle of administrative neutrality. Even the "Join the UN Torch Relay" has been reduced to a "Come and get me if you have the guts!" show of bravado. These political excesses clearly violate Article 13 of the Referendum Act, which states: "Unless prescribed by this Act, no administrative entity may in any form, carry out a referendum or commission any other organization to carry out a referendum on any topic, and may not draw upon any funds or use government employess at any level to do so." The ruling DPP has turned the system upside down and demonstrated its utter contempt for constitutionalism and the Rule of Law.

Chen Shui-bian needs to realize that if the "Join the UN" campaign peaks too soon, by the time the presidential election rolls around five months from now, any initial thrill from the "Plebiscite to Join the UN" will have died down. The public may then begin to realize the extent of the DPP's violations of the constitution, of the law, of democratic norms, and of human rights. The public may begin to see through its lawlessness and its perversions of the truth. On election day, moderate voters may dismiss the highly touted "Plebiscite to Join the UN" as nothing more than a "Pig Snout Plebiscite."

Chen Shui-bian said that "Nothing bad will happen merely because we hold his 'Plebiscite to Join the UN'." In other words, no matter what the result of the "Plebiscite to Join the UN" might be, Taiwan won't gain membership in the UN, nor will a "Nation of Taiwan" be born. Actually, even though we have yet to hold a "Plebiscite to Join the UN," can we really say that "Nothing bad has happened?" Actually a great deal has happened. A lawless government has violated the Rule of Law and the principle of administrative neutrality. Something very bad indeed has happened.

For Chen Shui-bian to exploit the "Plebiscite to Join the UN" as shamelessly as he has, may cost him more than it is worth. The "Plebiscite to Join the UN" campaign is merely a means of linking certain issues with the presidential election. But the Democratic Progressive Party has violated the constitution and broken the law. Will rational voters dare cast their ballots for a political party with no respect for consitutionalism and the Rule of Law? The "Plebiscite to Join the UN" may well have awakened moderate centrist voters. It may motivate them to cast a cold and rational eye on the perils of continued DPP rule.

Chen Shui-bian wants to "package deal" the "Plebiscite to Join the UN" to "Taiwanese Pathos" and "Taiwanese Consciousness." It wants to bolster support for the Democratic Progressive Party during the presidential election. But political moderates may be turned off by the manipulative methods being used. They may see through the Democratic Progressive Party's hypocrisy and lawlessness. They may decide they have no reason to vote for a Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate again. Chen Shui-bian, beware, lest the "Plebiscite to Join the UN" either evaporates or changes into something ugly before our eyes.

The "Plebiscite to Join the UN" is a farce. The sequence of events should have been: The Democratic Progressive Party proposes a "Plebiscite to Join the UN" -> The voters give their approval -> The government formulates a policy -> The government proposes a "Plebiscite to Join the UN" before the United Nations General Assembly. This procedure has been turned on its head: "The government proposed a "Plebiscite to Join the UN under the Name Taiwan" before the United Nations General Assembly -> The United Nations General Assembly rejected it -> The government violated the constitution and the law promoting a "Plebiscite to Join the UN under the Name Taiwan" -> On March 22 of next year the government will hold a "Plebiscite to Join the UN under the Name Taiwan." The inversion of the proper procedure, from beginning to end, shows that Chen Shui-bian never had any intention in of "Joining the UN." He merely wanted to use the feelings of victimization engendered by the inability to join the UN to destroy the constitution, the law, and the nation. The cost be damned.

Chen Shui-bian and Democratic Progressive Party need to pay attention. The moral legitimacy of the "Plebiscite to Join the UN" has been undermined. The political image of the "Plebiscite to Join the UN" has been tarnished. If political moderates see the Democratic Progressive Party behaving lawlessly while promoting the "Plebiscite to Join the UN," destroying the law and destroying the country, will they dare to vote for the Democratic Progressive Party during the presidential election?

The Democratic Progressive Party demands the holding of a "Plebiscite to Join the UN under the Name Taiwan," even though it knows that such a plebiscite will never result in UN membership. What are moderate voters to conclude, except that the Democratic Progressive Party has no respect for law and order? What are they to conclude? Other than that the DPP, which purports to "love Taiwan," is determined to destroy Taiwan?

2007.10.24 03:47 am












No comments: