Tuesday, November 30, 2010

KMT Must Confront Faultline at Leadership Level

KMT Must Confront Faultline at Leadership Level
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 30, 2010

Executive Summary: During the recent five cities elections, the outcome of the mayoral race between Blue Camp candidate Jason Hu and Green Camp candidate Su Tseng-chang took everyone by surprise. Jason Hu won his bid for reelection. But his margin of victory was so narrow his victory was an embarrassment. Ironically, it is the KMT that finds itself in a state of crisis. It went from ruling party to opposition party, then from opposition party to ruling party. Through all of this, the KMT's leadership crisis persisted, unchanged. Now that unfilled positions have appeared at the grassroots level, how long can one expect stability at the central government level?

Full Text below:

During the recent five cities elections, the outcome of the mayoral race between Blue Camp candidate Jason Hu and Green Camp candidate Su Tseng-chang took everyone by surprise. Jason Hu won his bid for reelection. But his margin of victory was so narrow his victory was an embarrassment. Su Tseng-chang was unsuccessful in his bid for Taipei Mayor. His margin of defeat was so wide, it too was an embarrassment. The falling and rising fortunes of Hu and Su, reflect the crises and opportunities faced by the two parties. The DPP has been presented with new opportunities, Su Tseng-chang may have been defeated. But DPP heavy hitters keep coming, one after the other. Ironically, it is the KMT that finds itself in a state of crisis. It went from ruling party to opposition party, then from opposition party to ruling party. Through all of this, the KMT's leadership crisis persisted, unchanged. Now that unfilled positions have appeared at the grassroots level, how long can one expect stability at the central government level?

In fact, the KMT's leadership crisis is advancing relentlessly from south to north. Jason Hu won by a paltry 30,000 vote margin. His opponent, Su Chia-chuan, the DPP's candidate for Greater Taichung City Mayor, lost. But he put on an impressive performance. Soon afterwards, he announced his intention of remaining a Taichung resident. Two years from now, he may become Tsai Ing-wen's running mate in her bid for the ROC presidency. He may even make a bid for the presidency himself. Suppose he attempts a comeback four years from now, and once again challenges Jason Hu? Will Hu be able to squeak by yet again? That is hard to say.

The reason why isn't necessarily whether Jason Hu did a good job. No matter how well a local official might do his job, nine years is a long time. Two more terms would be another eight years. For voters, "change" is always better than no change. Su Chia-chuan offered "change." People were impressed. After all, "change" is the main theme of democracy. During the first six years of Hu's nine-years in office, the DPP controlled the central government. He could not move upstairs. He could not return to the central government. The Ma administration has been in office over two years. Hu killed himself in Taichung holding down the fort on behalf of the KMT. Yet the KMT failed to arrange a successor for Hu, merely because he was in office? How could the KMT be so foolish?

The KMT found itself out of power for eight years. During this time, it learned what it was like to be out of power. Yet after the KMT regained power, the public was frustrated to discover that they KMT was still unable to offer the public people of talent. Nominees for cabinet members and elective offices were mostly tired old warhorses. If one repeatedly brings them out of retirement, and puts them back in the game, what young person is going to want to join the party? This is true at the cabinet level. This is also true in Tainan and Kaohsiung, where the DPP has ruled for at least 12 to 16 years. How much fresh talent has the KMT cultivated during that time? After Kuo Tien-tsai was defeated in Tainan, all he could do was return to teaching. He is unlikely to become involved in politics again in this lifetime. Huang Chao-shun campaigned hard in Kaohsiung. She suffered a painful defeat. During the next four years, Jason Hu will have to contend with another challenge from Su Chia-chuan. Does the KMT have anyone who can challenge Chen Chu, who has been in office for 12 years?

Kuo Tien-tsai is an academic who took up politics. Huang Chao-shun, on the other hand, is a member of a political dynasty. She got her start by campaigning at the grassroots level. From where else can the KMT recruit talent? The victorious candidates in the five cities elections were Hau Lung-pin, Chu Li-lun, and Jason Hu. All three were academics who took up politics, When they took up politics, the KMT still had a plan for cultivating new talent. Does the KMT still have a plan for cultivating new talent? Does it still allow ambitious elites in diverse fields to learn step by step how to serve their party and their country?

Following the five cities elections, local politics underwent a major change. The Blue north Green south strategic scenario does not appear as if it is about to undergo change in the near term. But the DPP has an abundance of fighting spirit. The Green south will relentlessly advance northward. Chiayi County was once an alien landscape for the DPP. But the DPP stopped at nothing. It went all out and recruited Chen Ming-wen. Chiayi County is now DPP country. Chiayi County is fast becoming an alien landscape for the KMT. Has the KMT ever taken the time and effort to consider whom its candidates will be for the next five cities elections?

An election is held on Taiwan virtually every year. The content and style of elections, large and small, are never the same. One cannot draw definitive conclusions based on past campaigns. But the one constant is the candidate. The candidate remains the most important variable during an election. The right candidate is half the game. But for whatever reason, the KMT invariably gets this half wrong. No wonder every election is an uphill battle.

The five cities elections are over. The 2012 presidential election and legislative elections are looming. The DPP has Tsai Ing-wen and Su Chia-chuan, Consider the results of the five cities elections. The DPP may have lost seats. But it received 400,000 more votes than the KMT. The DPP has experienced a massive surge in political momentum. By contrast, the KMT has taken on a sickly pallor. Leave aside the question of whether Ma Ying-jeou can rebuild the momentum the KMT enjoyed during the 2008 presidential election. The KMT is going to have a hard time maintaining its absolute majority in the Legislative Yuan. It will be all it can do to maintain a 51% majority. The KMT is consoling itself on passing its "midterm exam." But has it given any thought to how it will perform in the finals?

During the recent elections, DPP campaign propaganda adopted centrist rhetoric. It eschewed the "ethnic" (community group) antagonism and reunification vs. independence cards. The net effect was relatively appealing. If this is how the DPP intends to run its 2012 election campaign, President Ma will face a completely different campaign team as he makes a bid for re-election. How many fresh faces can Ma Ying-jeou present to the public? How many new appeals can he make to attract voters dissatisfied with the status quo? A campaign team must be able to pass the torch from one member to another. It must be able to demonstrate vitality and fighting spirit. Otherwise, how can it meet challenges from other political parties? During the five cities elections, the voters demonstrated wisdom. They used their votes to send a message to the two major parties. Wherever one finds opportunities, one invariably confronts crises. As long as one sees the crises, as long as one resolves the crises, one will always be presented with fresh opportunities.

2010-11-30 中國時報










Monday, November 29, 2010

Defeat Amidst Victory, Victory Amidst Defeat

Defeat Amidst Victory, Victory Amidst Defeat
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 29, 2010

Executive Summary: Regarding the five cities elections, the most incisive observation has been that the KMT experienced "defeat amidst victory", and the DPP "victory amidst defeat." Victory contains the seeds of defeat. Defeat contains the seeds of victory. The KMT has experienced "defeat amidst victory." It should seek victory amidst defeat. The DPP has experienced "victory amidst defeat." It should seek to avoid defeat amidst victory.

Full Text below:

Regarding the five cities elections, the most incisive observation has been that the KMT experienced "defeat amidst victory", and the DPP "victory amidst defeat."

The KMT held onto to three cities in the north. But during its victorious 2008 presidential campaign it received 1.1 million votes more than the DPP. This time it received 400,000 fewer votes than the DPP. Altogether, it received 1.5 million fewer votes than before. In two cities in the south, it suffered landslide defeats. Hence, the characterization, "defeat amidst victory." By contrast, Although the DPP was unable to beat the odds in the north, it received 1.5 million more votes than in 2008. It also made major gains in the number of city council seats held. The two cities in the south remain Green Camp bastions. Hence, the characterization, "victory amidst defeat."

But the night the ballots were tallied, history had already been rewritten. The criteria for victory in the five cities elections, may not be the criteria for victory in the 2012 presidential election. By then, how the candidates are measured against one other may have changed. The issues may have changed. The level on which the campaigns are conducted may have changed. Therefore the criteria for victory may also have changed. When Ma Ying-jeou runs for reelection, will the KMT have lost so many votes since the five cities election, that it will also lose the presidential election? Conversely, will Tsai Ing-wen, assuming she is the DPP candidate, have gained so many votes since the five cities elections that she wins the presidential election? The answer should be clear. Nothing is impossible. But nothing is guaranteed.

The five cities elections are, after all, different from the presidential election. During the recent five cities elections, the DPP avoided all discussion of national identity and cross-Strait issues. But during the presidential election it cannot avoid these two issues. The DPP opposes the "1992 consensus." But during the presidential election, it must reiterate whether it opposes the "1992 consensus." During the five cities elections, the DPP can say that "ECFA is a central government issue." But during the presidential election, the DPP must respond. Does it intend to honor ECFA? If so, how? If it opposes the "1992 consensus, how can it possibly honor ECFA? In the five cities elections, the DPP put its "Platform for the Coming Decade" on hold. But can it refuse to reintroduce it during the presidential election?

The DPP's current "victory" was won mainly on the basis of well-executed campaign tactics, and Tsai Ing-wen's apparently moderate public image. But these were the thinnest of political masks. The DPP has yet to alter either its fundamental ideology or its innate character. Su Tseng-chang held an evening rally to thank supporters in his unsuccessful bid for Taipei Mayor. Hundreds of young people stayed on after the rally concluded. Were they there to listen to the musicians, or to Su Tseng-chang? Clearly the DPP must get back to basics.

The increase in DPP votes can be attributed to the "Deep Green biological mother" plus "swing voters wet nurse" phenomenon mentioned in one of our recent editorials. On the one hand, the DPP's deft campaign tactics attracted a number of swing voters who hope desperately that the DPP will undergo a complete metamorphosis. On the other hand, Chen Chih-chung's "one nation on each side connection" consolidated support from Deep Green Taiwan independence extremists, who remain deeply embedded within the genetic makeup of the DPP. These divergent sources of support and conflicting expectations mean that when the DPP makes appeals to national identity and cross-Strait policy, it is caught on the horns of a dilemma. These internal contradictions will put the party to the test during the 2012 presidential election, at which time it will no longer be able to duck the issues. Therefore, one has to ask whether the victory scored during the five cities elections will be repeated during the presidential election?

The DPP may achieve victory in the 2012 presidential election through sophisticated campaign tactics. But if it continues relying on both its "biological mother" and its "swing voter wet nurse" to win elections, how can it govern while it holds these internal contradictions? Chen Shui-bian's eight year regime was a nightmare. The DPP "won the election, but lost its values." It was a "technical victory, but a substantive defeat." It showed the public that the DPP "knew only how to win elections, but not how to govern the nation." This has always been the case. Suppose the DPP replicates its five cities "victory amidst defeat" during its 2012 presidential campaign? At most it will experience the same fate as Chen Shui-bian. In the end it will merely experience "defeat amidst victory."

Now let's look at the KMT. The Ma administration's most important contribution over the past two and a half years, has been the establishment of a clear framework for national identity and cross-Strait policy. This framework has a close relationship to the survival of Taiwan's economy. It includes the "1992 consensus," "one China, different interpretations," "no reunification, no independence, no use of force," a diplomatic truce, direct flights, allowing Mainland tourists to visit Taiwan, ECFA, and enabling ROC citizens to visit over 100 countries without the need for visas. This framework may be imperfect. It may involve well-recognized risks. But the ROC has no alternative. By contrast, Taiwan Independence is utterly infeasible. It is a concept fast being relegated to the history books. So why are so many people still addicted to Taiwan independence ideology?

The Ma administration should apply itself to the following policies. On the one hand it must explain to the public on Taiwan how such a framework defends their interests and upholds their dignity. It must persuade people through deeds. On the other hand it must increase public support for our national identity as ROC citizens, and increase public discussion of cross-Strait issues. If it allows the DPP to monopolize the role of "champion of Taiwan" and to obtain a patent on "loving Taiwan," it will never be able to allay Deep Green concerns about "pandering to [Mainland] China and selling out Taiwan." The KMT lost many hearts and minds in the south. The Ma administration's policies may be correct. But it may lose the presidential election nevertheless. As mentioned earlier, Chen Shui-bian "won the election, but lose the DPP's values." Ma Ying-jeou could "retain the KMT's values, but lose the election."

Victory contains the seeds of defeat. Defeat contains the seeds of victory. The KMT has experienced "defeat amidst victory." It should seek victory amidst defeat. The DPP has experienced "victory amidst defeat." It should seek to avoid defeat amidst victory.

【聯合報╱社論】 2010.11.29











Friday, November 26, 2010

The Leader of a Nation Should Be Preoccupied with Economic Growth

The Leader of a Nation Should Be Preoccupied with Economic Growth
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 26, 2010

Executive Summary: Tsai Ing-wen said "President Ma's head is filled only with thoughts of economic growth and increased GDP." This is truly flabbergasting. The Cold War is over. Ideology is in retreat. Globalization has transformed economic and trade relations, The key to national governance is now economic governance. Economic growth and increased GDP are the key indicators of sound economic governance. If the president's head is indeed "filled only with thoughts of economic development and increased GDP," so what? What is wrong with that?

Full Text below:

Cross-Strait issues have vanished from the five cities election campaigns without a trace. Even economic issues seem to have faded from the agenda. Fortunately at the eleventh hour, DPP leaders have seen fit to remind everyone they have not forgotten it. At a campaign rally Tsai Ing-wen told the crowd that even though many people remain in dire economic straits, the KMT chose to hold a carnival style parade. She said "President Ma's head is filled only with thoughts of economic growth and increased GDP."

President Ma responded to Tsai Ing-wen's criticism. He said that without economic growth, how can one equalize the distribution of wealth? How can one extricate people from their economic plight? Whether political parties should hold carnival style parades depends on whom you ask. But to condemn the leader of a nation for being concerned about the state of the economy, and to characterize his concern as some sort of delusion or sin, is truly incomprehensible. Whether President Ma's head is in fact "filled only with thoughts of economic growth and increased GDP" is another matter. But ensuring economic growth is the key to governing a nation. If a president is preoccupied with the economy, we can hardly say that is wrong.

Chen Shui-bian governed for eight years. He drained all vitality out of the economy. As a result industries withered on the vine. Many young and middle-aged workers remain unemployed. The DPP can hardly shirk responsibility. After assuming office the Ma administration removed political and economic shackles. As a result Taiwan's economy has gradually climbed out of the financial crisis. This year Taiwan's growth rate will be close to 10%, establishing a record 20 year high. Per capita income is expected to reach 19,000 USD, breaking through the barrier of the past decade. Unemployment has fallen below 5%. Therefore although "many people remain in dire economic straits," one can hardly wipe away the economic achievements of the Ma administration in one fell swoop.

When the Democratic Progressive Party was in office, how many times did it say it was determined to "revitalize the economy?" When Chen Shui-bian took office in 2000 and established the Economic Development Council, he vowed to "revitalize the economy." What followed instead was "My daughter has now been married," "I have now become a grandfather," "My son Chih-chung has now married," and so on, and so forth. Chen Shui-bian solemnly declared at least 28 times that "The most important task during my term of office will be economic revitalization." This means that Chen Shui-bian also knew that economic growth was the key to national governance. But selfishness and corruption during his eight years of misrule saw the economy go from bad to worse. Only in his private vaults did the piles of money grown higher and higher.

Chen Shui-bian paid empty lip service to economic revitalization. Tsai Ing-wen has yet to utter a single word of apology. Ma Ying-jeou has dramatically improved the nation's economy. Yet she accuses him of ignoring the feelings of the poor. Tsai Ing-wen's political compass appears to be broken. Perhaps someone should provide her with one that works. Lest we forget, when the DPP was in office, it set a record for the highest suicide rate in Taiwan's history, not to mention a wave of young and middle-aged unemployment. This makes Tsai Ing-wen's accusations against Ma Ying-jeou even more incredible.

The problem can be seen from two perspectives. First, the factual perspective. No sooner had the Ma administration taken office, than the financial tsunami struck. As a result the economy failed to improve "immediately." But as we can see today, it did improve "steadily." By contrast, the DPP is playing the "good governance" card. If it is referring to its economic performance during its eight years in office, it can't begin to compare with the Ma administration. Secondly, the social perspective. Although the DPP has expressed concern for disadvantaged members of society, it has not in fact promoted economic growth or increased our GDP. This means its effusive expressions of concern are nothing more than hypocritical and empty talk. The DPP expects to dispense economic subsidies even as it neglects economic growth. No economic system can do what the DPP expects. For example, the DPP canceled relief for the elderly in Taoyuan County, but then placed the blame on Chu Li-lun. What did the DPP do, but shoot itself in the foot?

Tsai Ing-wen opposed ECFA. Therefore she issued a statement opposing economics first and export-oriented policies. Today she is apparently even more opposed to concern for economic growth and increased GDP. This is truly flabbergasting. The Cold War is over. Ideology is in retreat. Globalization has transformed economic and trade relations, The key to national governance is now economic governance. Economic growth and increased GDP are the key indicators of sound economic governance. Tsai Ing-wen snickered, "President Ma's head is filled only with thoughts of economic growth." Perhaps the people should ask Tsai the same question. "What is your head filled with?" If economic growth is unimportant, what is?

Chen Shui-bian once said that "Even if I revitalize the economy, that does not mean I will get reelected." But will ruining the economy get one reelected? Besides, if one is incapable of revitalizing the economy, what is one capable of doing? And if one is incapable of implemeting the necessary supporting policies, how can one do a good job of revitalizing the economy? The DPP ruled for eight years. It failed to implement the necessary supporting policies. As a result, the economy went from bad to worse.

"Economic growth" is not an isolated concept. As far as Taiwan is concerned, cross-Strait relations and the domestic investment environment must be improved before one can improve the economy. Therefore if a national leader's "head is filled only with thoughts of economic growth and increased GDP," he must as a matter of course successfully implement the necessary supporting policies. If the president's head is indeed "filled only with thoughts of economic development and increased GDP," so what? What is wrong with that?

2010.11.26 02:56 am










Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yang Shu-chun: An Authentic Beauty

Yang Shu-chun: An Authentic Beauty
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 25, 2010

Executive Summary: Yang Shu-chun is not merely an impressive taekwondo martial artist. She is also physically attractive, pure of mind, and kind of heart. She is "adroit with both the sword and the pen." She is beautiful inside and out. She has earned our admiration and deserves our respect. In speaking out, Yang Shu-chun has personified the values of civilization and humanity. Election season has coincided with the Asian Games. One might say that a gross injustice has become the occasion for a valuable moral lesson.

Full Text below:

Yang Shu-chun is not merely an impressive taekwondo martial artist. She is also physically attractive, pure of mind, and kind of heart. She is "skilled with both the sword and the pen." She is beautiful inside and out. She has earned our admiration and deserves our respect.

The entire nation is outraged at the injustice she suffered. Politicians and the media have demagogued the issue. Public anger is boiling over. She has become the object of public idolatry. Yet she remains clear-headed. Her reflections on the incident on the evening of her return were both touching and thought-provoking.

The incident provoked conflict between the ROC and the ROK. But Yang Shu-chun said "We must deal with the matter rationally. This is truly not the fault of the Korean people." The incident provoked frictions between Taiwan and the Mainland, and touched upon issues of national dignity. But Yang Shu-chun said "Politics is politics, sports is sports." The incident provoked electoral and partisan disputes between Blue and Green political parties. But Yang Shu-chun said "Do not demagogue the issue." The incident drew attention away from fellow Asian Games competitors. But Yang Shu-chun said "Other team members also took gold medals. My teammates performed brilliantly. They should be applauded."

Yang Shu-chun was confronted with fellow citizens caught up in the excitement. But she kept her head. She demands justice for herself and for her nation, of course. But she also knows that some people have become caught up in their emotions. They may express solidarity with her, but they lack a genuine understanding of what happened. She refused to take advantage of their human weaknesses to boost her own celebrity. Instead, she cited first-hand information and judgments from the athletes themselves, and helped people rise above hatred, misunderstanding, and confusion.

When Yang Shu-chun was victimized by an unjust referee, she sat on the floor and wept, eliciting public sympathy. When Yang Shu-chun returned home, she urged fellow citizens to remain clear-headed, eliciting public respect. She was, after all, concerned about the big picture. She had no desire to politicize the issue. She was concerned about human foibles. She did not want people to become victims of their own emotions. She considered this more important than the humiliation she suffered.

The black socks incident touched off a firestorm of controversy. It revealed public concern for justice and public feelings of patriotism. This is natural and normal. It also attracted international attention, bringing with it positive benefits. Therefore this sudden outpouring of public emotion should not be reprimanded, but cherished. But the primary goal remains the pursuit of truth and justice. Therefore, we must allow our emotions to settle. Only then can truth and justice emerge. Yang Shu-chun's remarks will contribute mightily to this pursuit of truth and justice.

Consider how the incident unfolded. From Day One, some alleged conspiracy. They screamed, "[Mainland] China and South Korea conspired to to do away with Yang Shu-chun!" They then blew the incident up totally out of proportion, alleging insults to our national sovereignty and our national dignity. Needless to say, it immediately became a Blue vs. Green political football. Today, Yang Shu-chun has told everyone she was indeed the victim of an unjust decision, but one unrelated to politics. She urged people "not to demagogue the issue," and "not to hurt innocent people."

Yang Shu-chun has earned our respect. She insists on the pursuit of truth and justice. But she is unwilling to pursue truth and justice by distorting the facts. Yang Shu-chun has unfortunately lost her chance to win a gold medal. But her commentary on the incident has enlightened the public on Taiwan. This is even more valuable and important than a gold medal.

Society on Taiwan suffers from cognitive dysfunction, especially during election season. The black socks incident has been distorted as a result of the elections. Yang Shu-chun pointed this out. Consider the water spinach incident, the Jiang Ping incident, the fictitious "30,000 NT subsidies for Mainland students" incident, and the "official persecution of Chen Chih-chung" incident. Which of these incidents was not an aberration? Which of them did not involve cognitive dysfunction? Which of them was not an ersatz "pursuit of truth?" Which one of them did not involve fabricating lies while trumpeting truth and justice?

On the 23rd this newspaper published an article in our editorial column "Black and White Chronicles." We said society on Taiwan is plagued by a number of blind spots. These include the exaggeration of Machiavellian trickery and the neglect of fundamental truths, the exaggeration of rumors and the neglect of facts, the exaggeration of defeats and the neglect of achievements, the exaggeration of the negative and the neglect of the positive, the exaggeration of the exceptional and the neglect of the normal, the exaggeration of pathos and the neglect of healing, the exaggeration of divisions and the neglect of integration. This determination to twist the truth has left our society spinning its wheels, wallowing in self-pity, incapable of bettering itself.

Yang Shu-chun has deftly pointed out these blind spots, these cognitive and emotional weaknesses. We deeply regret the fact that Yang Shu-chun lost her chance to win the gold medal. But we cherish the fact that Yang Shu-chun has used this opportunity to enlighten the public on Taiwan.

In speaking out, Yang Shu-chun has personified the values of civilization and humanity. Election season has coincided with the Asian Games. One might say that a gross injustice has become the occasion for a valuable moral lesson.

【聯合報╱社論】 2010.11.25













Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Biological Mother and Wet Nurse: Chen Chih-chung's "Ballots for Justice"

Biological Mother and Wet Nurse: Chen Chih-chung's "Ballots for Justice"
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 24, 2010

Executive Summary: Those who have pinned their hopes on Tsai and Su, hoping they will "transcend" Deep Green dogma, are certain to have their hopes dashed. Unless one can change the DPP's Deep Green nature, all such hopes will be in vain. The Deep Greens will vote for Chen Chih-chung. Needless to say they will also vote for Chen Chu, Su Tseng-chang and Tsai Ing-wen.

Full Text below:

The truth in the Chen Chi-chung prostitute solicitation scandal has emerged. Paradoxically Chen Chih-chung's election prospects have been given a huge boost. Democratic Progressive Party candidates in the same voting district are hurting, and have declared an emergency. Even Frank Hsieh, who has been stumping for Chen Chih-chung, is worried that "the votes may be too concentrated."

How should one interpret this apparently incomprehensible phenomenon? Some think this is merely the reaction of Deep Green voters, and lacks larger significance. Such a view involves a serious and long-standing misconception. It assumes that Deep Greens are merely a "minority," merely a "tail wagging the dog." In fact, Deep Greens are not a minority. They are a voting block constituting roughly 20% of the public. They advocate Taiwan independence and indiscriminately oppose Pan Blue administration policy. DPP core supporters constitute roughly 40% of the public. Deep Greens constitute about half of that 40%. Deep Greens are no minority. More importantly, as this newspaper noted on the 13th, Deep Greens may not command an absolute majority within the Green Camp, but neither are they "merely a tail." They constitute its hard core, its main body. Chen Chih-chung is not the only one seeking to survive by appealing to the Deep Greens. So are Chu Chen, Tsai Ing-wen, and Su Tseng-chang. None of them can turn their backs on the Deep Greens and expect to survive, That's because the Deep Greens are the mother of the Green Camp and the DPP. They are the source of Green Camp nourishment.

The simple fact remains that Deep Greens in the Xiaogang District and Qiancheng District will be casting their ballots for Chen Chih-chung. They will also be casting ballots for Chen Chu. That is why Chen Chu stumped for Chen Chih-chung. Similarly, Deep Greens in Kaohsiung will be casting their ballots for Chen Chih-chung. Deep Greens in Taipei will be casting their ballots for Su Tseng-chang. Deep Greens in Xinbei City will be casting their ballots for Tsai Ing-wen. What this political paradox means is that in the eyes of Deep Green DPP supporters, Chen Chih-chung is no different from Su or Tsai. Conversely, Tsai, Su, and Chen Chih-chung must acknowledge the Deep Greens as their biological mother, and their primary source of political support.

Chen Chih-chung, Chen Chu, Tsai Ing-wen, and Su Tseng-chang are the same. All consider the Deep Greens their biological mother. Where Chen Chih-chung differs from the others, is that he has suckled only at the teat of his Deep Green biological mother. The others have also suckled at the teat of swing voters. As a result, several generations of "swing voter wet nurses" have nursed these politicians in their Deep Green biological mother's stead. The result has been several generations of genetically and indelibly Green politicians. The bizarre spectacle of politicians jointly raised by their biological mothers and their wet nurses is nothing new. These politicians did not make their debut during this year's five cities elections. If we think back, we realize this is an old story. The actors may change, but the script remains the same.

The Deep Greens are the biological mother. The biological mother backs Chen Shui-bian, Chen Chih-chung, and Cheng Hung-yi. Therefore no DPP politician can distance himself from Chen Shui-bian, Chen Chih-chung, or Cheng Hung-yi. No DPP politician can "transform himself" or "transcend Deep Green dogma." No DPP politician can extricate the Democratic Progressive Party or Taiwan from Deep Green quicksand. That is because the Deep Greens are their biological mother. They are the main body, not the tail.

This is the source of political deadlock on Taiwan. Generation upon generation of "swing voter wet nurses" have nursed liberal reformers within the DPP, in the hope that they would "transform" themselves or "transcend Deep Green dogma," that they would extricate the DPP and Taiwan from Deep Green quicksand. But a wet nurse is merely a wet nurse. Who is willing to be an unfilial son and defy his biological mother? Therefore swing voters are merely icing on the Deep Green cake. Just as wet nurses are merely icing on the biological mother cake.

Everyone says the DPP is adept at electioneering. What they really mean is that it is adept at manipulating its biological mother and its wet nurse. The ongoing five cities elections show that the Deep Green biological mother is willing turn a blind eye to Chen Shui-bian's corruption, to Chen Chih-chung's solicitation of prostitutes, and to Cheng Hung-yi's repeated uttering of "F**k Your Mother!" As a result, Tsai and Su are playing the "new happiness" and "transcendence" cards. They have no qualms about acting coquettishly toward their wet nurse. Their biological mother nurses them unconditionally. Their wet nurse nurses them in the hope they will turn over a new leaf. In the end however, they merely wind up nurturing yet another generation of Deep Green politicians.

This "biological mother plus wet nurse" campaign strategy helped make Chen Shui-bian. Remember his "New Centrist Path?" It will also help make Tsai Ing-wen, Su Tseng-chang, and Chen Chu. Consider their recent "pink themed" makeovers, and their electric light versions of the Third Lotus Prince. Every generation of DPP politician trots out his own "centrist path." Every generation of "swing voter" reenacts the role of long-suffering wet nurse. But as long as the DPP's biological mother remains the Deep Greens, every generation of DPP politician will merely be another Chen Shui-bian or Chen Chu. They might not engage in corruption. They might not solicit prostitutes. But they will invariably march toward the same political dead end. They will invariably attempt to divide society and provoke hatred between Taiwan and the Mainland. Why? Because of the support they receive from their biological mother and wet nurse. Their biological mother and their wet nurse have fundamentally different expectations regarding good and evil and right and wrong. These differences in expectations allow them to manipulate their supporters. During a crisis of authority, they can always seek refuge in their biological mother's arms. Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian have both done precisely this. The farther they proceed, the deeper they descend. The farther they proceed, the lower they sink. Not one of their successors has been able to escape this fate.

As a result, those who have pinned their hopes on Tsai and Su, hoping they will "transcend Deep Green dogma," will have their hopes dashed. Unless one can change the DPP's Deep Green nature, all such hopes will be in vain. The Deep Greens will vote for Chen Chih-chung. Needless to say they will also vote for Chen Chu, Su Tseng-chang and Tsai Ing-wen.

【聯合報╱社論】 2010.11.24










Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Shallow Yet Far-Reaching Election

A Shallow Yet Far-Reaching Election
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 23, 2010

In terms of campaign rhetoric, the Saturday vote is an extremely superficial election. In terms of real world impact however, it is an election which will have far-reaching consequences.

The 2008 presidential election ended the chaos of the Chen regime, which had generated a constant state of anxiety by unnecessarily provoking both internal and external problems. The Ma administration inherited a nation in political and economic ruin. After two years of stumbling about, the five cities election can be considered a report card on the new government. In 2008, the DPP did not just lose power. It also suffered a humiliating repudiation of its political agenda, and a catastrophic loss of moral legitimacy. But during the current election, it has apparently bottomed out and is making a recovery. It has gathered momentum and is staging a comeback. Most people consider the five cities election a precursor to the Big Event in 2012.

This is an election that will have a profound impact on the future. Ironically it may be the most superficial election since martial law was lifted over 20 years ago. Important elections in the past invariably involved issues of national identity, cross-Strait policy, strategies to cope with economic globalization, and "ethnic" (community group) relations. These issues were upsetting and made people feel helpless. But they undeniably relevant to our political and economic survival. By contrast, the current election may involve core issues affecting life on Taiwan. But these issues have been almost completely obscured during the current election. Before the election, Tsai Ing-wen put forth a "Platform for the Coming Decade." But it has since vanished without a trace. Su Tseng-chang meanwhile, sports a pink shirt. He squats in the mud on an overhead pedestrian bridge. He stands on the sidewalk next to a broken brick paver. He hugs babies and makes faces at them. He eagerly sprovides reporters with photo ops. Both Su and Tsai are candidates for the 2012 presidential election. But neither dares to participate in a political debate. Considering the fact that this is supposed to be a precursor to the 2012 presidential election, isn't their conduct a bit too superficial and hypocritical?

In fact, the DPP would like an in-depth debate over political and economic grand strategy. It surrounded and harassed Zhang Mingqing. It forced Chen Yunlin to remain inside his hotel room. It spun ECFA as "pandering to [Mainland] China, as "selling out Taiwan," and as an "insult to the nation." These are all core issues affecting the ROC. They are also issues the "Platform for the Coming Decade" ought to explain. But once campaign season began, the DPP willing only to say that "ECFA is a central government issue." These issues were buried and hidden. The DPP even reneged on its "Platform for the Coming Decade." Does the DPP really intend to bring this election down to the superficial level of broken brick pavers on overhead pedestrian bridges?

The jewel in the crown of Ma administration policy is cross-Strait relations. But the public is apparently unimpressed. In two short years, the Ma administration implemented direct flights, enabled Mainland tourists to visit Taiwan, signed ECFA and joint crime-fighting initatives. These are significant policies that amount to a radical improvement in long-term cross-Strait relations, and have provided an effective buffer against the impact of the financial crisis. The Jiang Ping issue, the Yang Shu-chun issue, and the Cheng Hung-yi "30,000NT subsidies for Mainland students" are superficial and untrue jibes. Yet they have obliterated the Ma administration's cross-Strait policy achievements in one fell swoop.

Attempting to to use "30,000NT subsidies for Mainland students" to negate cross-Strait policy is superficial. Attempting to use "20NT water spinach" to negate the Taipei Flora Expo is superficial. Yet these superficial arguments have flooded the media and filled people's heads. Eventually it was proven that ECFA would benefit our political and economic system. It was proven that vegetable growers who guaranteed live water spinach plants for six months had been mistreated. But superficial stereotypes had already taken shape. Superficial attitudes of hatred and victimization had already taken hold. Many voters have already decided that "30,000 NT subsidies for Mainland students" invalidate the Ma administration cross-Strait policy. They have already decided that the water spinach issue invalidates the Hau administration's achievements throughout Taipei. These are indeed superficial political ploys. The question is, will voters respond in an equally superficial manner?

As we all know, this election is a precursor to the 2012 presidential election. But within this election, national identity, cross-Strait policy, strategies to cope with economic globalization, and our political and economic prospects in the wake of ECFA, have been buried. They have vanished without a trace. Tsai Ing-wen retracted the DPP's "Platform for the Coming Decade." This alerted the public to its hidden agenda. Cheng Hung-yi's "F**k Your Mother!" fiasco reminded the public that the DPP's problems persist. Otherwise this atypical election would have reached a superficial and hasty end.

The Democratic Progressive Party is wearing a pink mask. Perhaps it hopes that by doing so it can "squeak by" during this election. But immediately afterwards it must confront the 2012 presidential election. The major issues can no longer be covered up. When the time comes, the DPP can no longer hope that these issues will be dealt with on such a shallow level.

【聯合報╱社論】 2010.11.23









Sunday, November 21, 2010

Democracy and The Rule of Law, From Tranquility to Anxiety

Democracy and The Rule of Law, From Tranquility to Anxiety
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 21, 2010

Judgments have been rendered in some of the Chen family corruption cases. On November 11, 2008, Chen Shui-bian was taken into custody, On November 11, 2010, a judgment was rendered in the Chen Shui-bian corruption case. At first, no one knew when the Chen corruption case would reach a resolution. They always assumed it would evolve as Chen Shui-bian described, "stalled between the second and third instance trials." The public was once filled with anxiety and anger. Now, only two years later, the gavel has come down in the third instance trial. Judgments have now been rendered in the trial of the century.

Anxiety and suspicion are the primary emotions felt on Taiwan. People feel anxiety because they cannot endure the waiting. People feel suspicion because they cannot trust the system. The public on Taiwan is fickle. But given the record of the Chen corruption case, democracy may require a little more patience and calm.

Two years ago, Chen Shui-bian was taken into custody for the very first time. No one knew how the case would evolve. Under Chen Tsung-ming, the Special Investigative Unit remained hamstrung. Huang Fan-yen fled the country. Efforts to recover embezzled funds from Switzerland ran into a myriad of obstacles. Chou Chan-chun released suspects without bail. All this aroused public suspicion and anger towards the justice system. But despite public controversy and setbacks, judgments were finally rendered in at least some of the Chen corruption cases. They have at least, not been too far off the mark. They have at least, not deviated too much from the public's perception of the law and justice.

Two years have passed. For the public, the experience has been long and difficult. But as far as the justice system is concerned, two years to reach a third instance judgment is considered swift. It is the amount of time necessary to undergo all the required steps. During this period, many people directed their anxiety and suspicion at President Ma Ying-jeou. They concluded that his "weakness" and "lack of drive" contributed to a watch and wait attitude among justice system officials. But suppose Ma Ying-jeou had intervened in the case while it was still in the courts? Suppose he had issued directions to any entities or officials within the justice system? Not only would he immediately have been accused of "political interference in the administration of justice," the credibility of the justice system would have been destroyed. The judgment rendered in the Chen corruption case could not have be accepted as calmly as it has been today.

After two years of investigations and trials, the once almighty Chen Shui-bian has been forced to bow before the law. The once glib DPP has been rendered speechless. Looking back over the past two years, we see that progress toward democracy and the rule of law has not been easy on Taiwan. Nevertheless it has been made. The road to democracy and the rule of law has not been as smooth as we once imagined. But it may also be reached right before our eyes.

The sublimation of democracy sometimes occurs in silence and darkness. Only a few months ago, the DPP denounced ECFA, accusing the Ma administration of bringing ruination and humiliation upon the nation. Now it has fallen silent. In the end, time will tell. What are such changes but forward steps on the rugged road toward democracy? Consider the water spinach controversy. It was initially spun as a major scandal. But after a few days of clarification, it turned out to be mere political farce. Chou Chan-chun is a judge with a clear-cut political stance. He provided society with a valuable object lesson. Chou Chan-chun twisted the Chen corruption case according to his whims. But he inadvertently proved that "The courts are not operated by the KMT." Consider such controversial officials such as Chen Tsung-ming and Yeh Sheng-mao, who were finally purged from the justice system, thereby ensuring its independence and integrity. If, as some advocated, Ma Ying-jeou had forced them to step down as soon as possible, we would be looking at a completely different picture. Looking back at the situation today, it was better to allow the system time to operate. The president must never intervene in the administration of justice.

Consider also the Red Shirt Army of four years ago. A red tide consisting of one million Red Shirt Army supporters swarmed onto Ketegelan Boulevard, laying seige to the city. In the end, they left peacefully. Chen Shui-bian remained ensconced in his official residence, coldly mocking them. On the surface, the Red Shirt Army retreated in defeat. On the surface, Chen Shui-bian consolidated his power and his position. But a mere year and a half later, the legislative elections and presidential elections revealed the will of the people. They forced the DPP government to step down, and Chen Shui-bian to prostrate himself before the law. Had the Red Shirt Army stormed the presidential palace, they would have undermined the 2008 presidential election, The current judgment in the Chen corruption case would have been compromised. Another group of people might storm the presidential palace in the future. Had that been the case, the Red Shirt Army on Taiwan would have been no different than the Red Shirt Army in Thailand.

As we all know, democracy is not an efficient system. Its wheels grind slowly. But it is able to strike a balance between respecting the will of the people and maintaining justice. Politicians on Taiwan have used democracy as an aphrodisiac. Too many expectations of democracy have led to excessive anxiety and suspicion about democracy. The Chen corruption case has undergone twists and turns. As the public looks back at these years of change, it may be able to observe the development of democracy and the rule of law with greater equanimity. A democracy tempered by the flames of anxiety, will hopefully be more robust and enduring.

【聯合報╱社論】 2010.11.21









Friday, November 19, 2010

Appeal to the Olympic Committee, Demand Justice for the Athletes

Appeal to the Olympic Committee, Demand Justice for the Athletes
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 19, 2010

In the international arena, the Republic of China has long been forced to suffer in silence. This is equally true in international sports competition, especially Taekwondo matches. Recently our own Asian Games competitor Yang Shu-chun racked up nine wins and no losses in the first round of competition. At this point, the referee suddenly "disqualified" her. This unprecedented move left people in shocked disbelief. The government has decided that it must appeal to the International Court of Arbitration. It intends to keep a close eye on the case. We must be given a satisfactory explanation. We must demand accountability. Otherwise, citizens of the ROC will not be mollified.

When Yang Shu-chun heard the referee rule that she had lost during the Beijing Olympics, she sat on the floor and wept. She was not the only one who found the ruling unacceptable. Every citizen who watched the match on TV found it unacceptable. The reason was simple. When Yang Shu-chun entered the arena for pre-game inspection, the committee asked her to change her electronic socks. She changed them, and after undergoing a second inspection, including one by the chief examiner, no further mention was made of a problem with the electronic socks. If the socks were a problem, she would have changed them. But the referee refused to listen to objections, and summarily disqualified her. In which case, just exactly what did the previous inspector and chief examiner inspect and examine?

According to the Asian Taekwondo Union, Yang Shu-chun's electronic socks had an extra sensor at the heels. Again, if they really had an extra sensor, why was the problem not mentioned during the pre-game inspection? Why was it discovered only after the match began? The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) later claimed that the sensor was installed in an illegal location by Yang Shu-chun after she entered the arena. How strange is that? She was subjected to two inspections, yet nothing was found. If Yang installed the sensor after entering the arena, why did no one see her do it? Why was she disqualified only after the match had already begun?

By an unfortunate coincidence, the referee was again Korean. After the incident happened, netizens lashed out online. Some even launched a movement to boycott Korean films and Korean goods. Some posted videos on YouTube of Korean kimchee being dumped. South Korea's "patriotic referees" are internationally renowned. This is not the first time ROC athletes have been victimized by Korean referees. Japanese athletes have also been subjected to the same treatment. But was the current incident merely an arbitrary "act of patriotism" by a South Korea referee? The public is furious, but it must remain calm, First, the electronic socks Yang Shu-chun wore were Korean made. If anything should be disqualified, it should be Korean merchandise. Secondly, no Korean athletes were competing in Yang Shu-chun's class. Whether Yang Shu-chun took the gold medal had nothing to do with whether South Korea would bask in glory. The Korean referee had no reason to hand down an unfair ruling. If his decision was wrong, the WTF or the Asian Games must investigate thoroughly. If he made a mistake, the problem is his lack of professionalism.

Because South Korea did not participate, netizen rage has been directed at Mainland China. Netizens have blamed the incident on the Mainland athletes who hoped to win the gold medal, whose most likely opponent was Yang Shu-chun. This anger is also unnecessary. Win or lose, Mainland Chinese friendship with Korea, however deep, can never be deeper than cross-Strait relations. The Korean referee has absolutely no reason to make such a counter-intuitive ruling on behalf of Mainland athletes. We now know that the Referee Committee initially intended to suspend the entire ROC taekwondo team, but the Mainland rebuffed it out of hand. Instead, members of the media from the two sides of the Strait began bickering, leaving everyone dumbfounded, Mainland reporters scolded reporters from Taiwan. Their conduct was outrageous. Taiwan reporters responded angrily with "You're talking shit!" Their behavior was equally inappropriate. Lest we forget, this was an international forum. Regardless of one's occupation or status, one's words and deeds are those of Republic of China citizens.

Others angrily scolded the Ma administration as weak and incompetent. In fact Sports Commission Chairman Dai Chia-ling, who was on the scene at the time, immediately lodged a vehement protest. He demanded that the Asian Taekwondo Union investigate the incident. If any mistakes were made, she insisted, the union would have to assume full responsibility. If a satisfactory accounting was not forthcoming, she said, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee would appeal to the International Court of Arbitration. It would demand that the International Olympic Committee see that justice was done. Premier Wu Den-yih also issued a strongly worded statement. He ordered Dai Chia-ling to present the strongest case possible, and safeguard our national dignity. We must not allow our athletes to wronged, he said. "We must not swallow this indignity!"

Premier Wu voiced intense ROC objections. In fact he was already pointing the finger and naming names. Premier Wu was blasting Sports Affairs Council Vice Chairman Chen Hsien-chung, whose initial behavior was highly disingenuous. The SAC is supposed to serve the athletes. The SAC failed to provide a good environment for the training of athletes. This is reason enough for it to be ashamed. Who knew Chen would say something so outrageous as "When athletes encounter such unjust rulings, they have no choice but to swallow them." He failed to consider the hard work the athletes put in. He even failed to consider the plight of his own comrades on the front line. Even as the chairman was lodging a protest with the committee, and the athletes were weeping in the arena, the Vice Chairman was telling the athletes they had no choice but to passively accept unjust rulings. No wonder he provoked such universal outrage.

You might kill me, but you may not insult me. ROC citizens have thrown their full support behind Yang Shu-chun. SAC members must grow spines. It is not enough to demand that the Asian Taekwondo Union offer us a satisfactory explanation. We must appeal the International Olympic Committee. The fairness of the Asian Taekwondo Union has repeatedly been called into question. Only with sufficient international pressure, can we ensure good sportsmanship, and establish fair and equitable rules of the game. Only such a sporting event makes sense. Only such a sporting event can win public respect.

中時電子報 新聞
中國時報  2010.11.19
一定要上告奧會 替選手討回公道




 這次事件的裁判,不巧又是韓裔,事發後,在網路上又引起一陣撻伐,甚至有人發起拒看韓片、拒買韓貨運動,還有人在 youtube上po網,丟掉韓國泡菜。韓國的「愛國裁判」,在國際間早已聲名遠播,台灣吃韓國裁判的虧不是第一遭,連日本選手都曾經遭到類似待遇,但是,這次事件,是否這麼簡單歸類為韓國裁判莫名其妙的「愛國舉動」,民眾激憤之餘也得冷靜,第一,楊淑君這次穿的電子襪就是韓貨,若有「失格」,正是韓貨「失格」;第二,楊淑君這個量級的競賽,根本沒有韓籍選手參與,楊淑君不論拿不拿金牌,與韓國的榮耀無關,這位韓裔裁判沒道理因此故做錯誤判決,他的判決是否有誤,世跆總或亞運大會得調查清楚,如有錯誤,是他的專業有問題。





Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moral Bankruptcy: Lethal Threat to Green Camp Survival

Moral Bankruptcy: Lethal Threat to Green Camp Survival
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 18, 2010

Society on Taiwan has been divided into two political camps, the Blues and the Greens. These two political camps have evolved very different styles, cultures, traditions, and value systems.

Cheng Hung-yi and Li Tao are television personalities. They can be considered Deep Green and Deep Blue political icons. When Cheng Hung-yi stumped for a Green Camp political candidate recently, he spread rumors about "30,000NT subsidies for Mainland exchange students." He repeatedly shouted "F**k your mother!" in an effort to incite mob passions. The mob enthusiastically shouted "F**k your mother!" in response. By contrast, one can hardly imagine Li Tao shouting obscenities while stumping for a candidate he approves of. One can hardly imagine Blue Camp supporters shouting obscenities in response. The Blue and Green camps evince entirely different styles, entirely different cultures, entirely different traditions, and entirely different value systems.

Cheng Hung-yi and Li Tao are not the same. The former is willing to stump for a candidate. The latter is not. The former hosts a TV talk show rife with rumors and full of commercials. The latter hosts a TV talk show featuring only public service announcements. The former backs Chen Shui-bian to the bitter end, The latter blasts the Ma administration until its ears burn. The former demagogues the issue of water spinach. The latter opens phone lines to accused parties, providing them with the opportunity to defend themselves. Even the television networks these two talk show hosts work for are different. So are their viewers. If Li Tao were to shout "F**k your mother!" while stumping for a Blue Camp candidate, the very next day TVBS headquarters would be besieged by stone and egg throwing Green Camp masses. Its administration building would be vandalized beyond recognition. Li Tao would probably be unable to stay on. He was once forced to resign as general manager because a reporter under his charge made a mistake. By contrast, SET has turned Cheng Hung-yi into a political "designer label" and cash cow. No Blue Camp supporters have ever held mass protests outside SET headquarters. Li Tao and Cheng Hung-yi are media icons. They exemplify the vastly different styles, cultures, and value systems held by the Blue and Green camps.

These differences between the Blue and Green camps extend from media stars to the man in the street. They have a long history, and have already evolved into traditions. Twenty-five years ago today, on November 18, 1985, Wu Shu-chen was struck by a tractor driven by Chang Jung Choi. The collision was clearly an accident. But it was spun by Ah-Bian and Ah-Chen into a [KMT] political conspiracy. Ever since then, whenever Chen Shui-bian ran for political office, he would carry Wu Shu-chen onto the podium in his arms. Both the Democratic Progressive Party leadership and masses knew in their hearts of hearts that the alleged conspiracy was a lie. But together with Ah-Bian and Ah-Chen, they tacitly agreed to co-star in this charade, and eventually sent Chen Shui-bian into the Presidential Palace. Green camp leaders and followers alike engage in this game of self-deception. They distort reality and numb themselves to the truth. This distortion of reality and numbing oneself to the truth enabled Green Camp masses to swallow the 3/19 Shooting Hoax without question. It enabled Green Camp masses to pretend that bribe money was "earmarked for a nation-building fund." It enabled Green Camp masses to deny that the "Referendum to Join the UN" was merely a ploy by Chen Shui-bian to rally public sentiment in order to evade criminal prosecution. This Green Camp culture and tradition is the result of long practice. When Chen Chu engaged in smear tactics, alleging that "Huang Chun-ying has been caught engaging in bribery," it enabled Green Camp masses to consider Chen Chu's sleazy move as a "master stroke." It enabled Green Camp masses to pretend that Chen Chih-chung never solicited the services of a prostitute, but instead to depict him as an innocent victim and to "demand justice for him at the ballot box." Chuang Jui-jung raised a stink over water spinach and was seen as a hero. Cheng Hung-yi shouted "F**k you mother!" and was seen as a "God of War." Is this not bizarre beyond belief? Yet this style, this culture, this tradition, is what the Green Camp perceives as perfectly normal. In sum, this underscores the Green Camp's moral bankruptcy.

The problem confronting the Green Camp and the DPP is not merely that it advocates Taiwan independence, even though Taiwan independence is a dead end. It is not merely that it incites "ethnic" (communal group) hatred over the 2/28 Incident, even though 60 years of healing have already taken place. It is not merely that it hates [Mainland] China and opposes [Mainland] China, even though cross-Strait rapproachment is a fait accompli. The real problem confronting the DPP and the Green Camp is its moral bankruptcy.

The Green Camp's most serious problem is that its moral bankruptcy is not confined to Green camp leaders and talking heads, but has trickled down to its core supporters. Its leaders have resorted to immoral political ploys to retain the allegiance of their supporters. Its supporters have abandoned their moral bottom line in order to support their leaders. Cheng Hung-yi stands on the podium shouting "F**k your mother!" The masses in the audience shout "F**k your mother!" in enthusiastic response. This is a classic Green Camp scenario. This style, this culture, this tradition, means that the greatest threat the Green Camp and the DPP poses is no longer its advocacy of Taiwan independence, its attempts to divide society, and its attempts to undermine cross-Strait relations. Rather, the greatest threat the Green Camp and the DPP poses is its destruction of fundamental moral concepts, of integrity and conscience.

Without morality, there can be no nation. The Green Camp and the DPP already know they cannot establish a Nation of Taiwan. Yet they demand the annihilation of morality and honor on Taiwan. The Democratic Progressive Party's prospects in the five cities elections are good. It is all geared up to play the "Sacrifice Ma, Defend Taiwan" sympathy card. But do the Green Camp and the DPP intend to confront the moral bankruptcy that now plagues our nation?

The DPP's latest lie is its alleged "ability to govern" and "ability to execute policy." In fact the DPP's only real ability is its ability to manipulate the election process. The failure of its Taiwan independence demagoguery led to its moral bankruptcy. The failure of its "ethnic" (communal group) demagoguery led to its moral bankruptcy. The failure of its cross-Strait demagoguery also led to its moral bankruptcy.
Eight years of the DPP's alleged "ability to govern" and "ability to execute policy" ended in total fiasco, in preoccupation with political intrigue, and the thorough repudiation of DPP members' fundamental humanity. Even assuming the DPP wins the five cities elections, how will it confront the Green Camp's moral, cultural, and traditional bankruptcy? Without morality, without conscience, without a sense of right and wrong, without distinctions between what is true and what is false, whither one's "ability to govern?" Whither one's "ability to execute policy?"

【聯合報╱社論】 2010.11.18









Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The DPP Owes the People an Explanation

The DPP Owes the People an Explanation
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 17, 2010

Chen Shui-bian is about to be sent to prison. The Democratic Progressive Party owes the public an explanation for the eight years of chaos it inflicted upon the nation. Only by publicly acknowledging the legal sentences handed down by the justice system on Chen Shui-bian, and clarifying the party's position, can the DPP shrug the monkey off its back and move forward unencumbered.

Doing so is not that difficult. But the DPP not miss another opportunity. Third instance rulings have been handed down in the Longtan Land Acquisition and sale of official positions scandals. Hoping to avoid any negative impact on its election prospects, the DPP has studiously avoided commenting on the matter. One would think Ah-Bian had nothing to do with the DPP. Deep Green elements are shrilly protesting, alleging that the ruling was unjust. Chen Shui-bian has compared himself to Nelson Mandela. He even said that the "KMT and CCP have joined hands" in order to see him dead. Does the DPP intend to continue hiding behind Deep Green hardliners? Does it intend to remain a political party indifferent to right and wrong, and afraid to own up to its mistakes?

For the sake of political accountability, the DPP should apologize to the people. The people have been waiting for one almost six years. Six years ago, Chen Shui-bian perpetrated the 3/19 Shooting Hoax. This was followed by one Chen family corruption scandal after another, after which the Red Shirt Army took to the streets. This presented the DPP with an opportunity to act decisively. Who knew the party would allow itself to be bought off by Ah-Bian? It did everything in its power to shield him and cover for him. It crushed reformists within the party. Two years ago Chen Shui-bian stepped down. One corruption scandal after another entered the judicial system hopper. This presented the DPP with yet another opportunity to draw a line between itself and Ah-Bian. Instead, it allowed the problem to drag on. The party argued that it wanted to wait for confirmation of guilt before passing moral judgment. But third instance rulings have already been rendered in two of the cases. What exactly is the DPP waiting for?

The DPP can not evade the issue, which should be considered on several levels. First, consider political responsibility. Ah-Bian ruled for eight years. Virtually every member of the Democratic Progressive Party elite became part of the ruling nomenklatura. Chen Shui-bian got away with rampant corruption, decadence, and lawlessness, only because of the aid he received from the entire administration. Even if members of the DPP elite were not directly involved in criminal activity, they cannot shirk political responsibility. They made it possible for Ah-Bian to engage in the rampant looting of state assets. This responsibility is not about to vanish into thin air merely because Ah-Bian is behind bars.

Secondly, consider moral responsibility. Chen Shui-bian's corruption has led directly to the distortion and destruction of society's moral values. These need correcting and clarifying. If the DPP insists that Chen Shui-bian is innocent, and has suffered the same injustice as Nelson Mandela, it should publicly state how the justice system was unfair. It should even urge people to take to the streets to protest. But if it thinks Chen Shui-bian is guilty, and that his conduct should not be encouraged, then it should concede this point to the public and Deep Green supporters. It should liberate Taiwan from Ah-Bian's negative influence, and restore Taiwan's moral compass.

Third, consider responsibility to the nation. The Democratic Progressive Party has long exploited Blue vs. Green confrontation to its advantage. It has repeatedly cast doubt on the legitimacy of the government. This has led to a loss of confidence in public authority, and led the people toward nihilism. The Chen corruption trial rendered a judgment on the nation's highest leader. This was the justice system's last line of defense. Moreover, Chen Shui-bian was prosecuted by the Special Investigation Unit he himself established. That makes it even more remarkable. It is bad enough that the DPP failed to prevent Ah-Bian from engaging in corruption. What's worse is how even today it refuses to support our nation's justice system. It insists on repudiating its legitimacy by means of political demagoguery. The public will find it easy to see which political party lacks sincerity.

Chen Shui-bian, by going from "political golden boy" to "the first head of state to enter prison," has nullified the Democratic Progressive Party's "progressive" credentials. He has turned Taiwan's democracy into a joke. The degree to which the public has suffered is incalculable. The DPP should not assume that such wounds will heal automatically. It should not assume that its responsibilities will disappear with Chen Shui-bian's imprisonment. The DPP is busy trumpeting the "good government" card. But the Chen corruption case is raising such a stink, who is going to buy into the DPP's promises of "good government?"

A political party that cannot face up to its own mistakes, cannot help revealing its cowardly, deceitful, and insincere nature. In fact, the DPP must do far more than merely distance itself from Ah-Bian. It must solemnly apologize to the public for eight years of brutal, corrupt, and myopic rule. In fact, isn't this something the justice system has overlooked as it prosecutes the guilty?

Over the past twenty years, the DPP has stridently demanded apologies from the KMT for an endless list of offenses. Ma Ying-jeou bears no responsibility whatsoever for the 2/28 Incident. But no matter how many times he has apologized for it, the Green Camp is never satisfied. By contrast, the DPP eagerly aided and abetted Chen Shui-bian's corruption. Yet no one has heard it offer a single apology over the past several years. A legal judgment is the least a nation has the right to expect. The people also need to hear the DPP express remorse and offer them an apology. The DPP owes the public an explanation.

【聯合報╱社論】 2010.11.17










Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The G20 Summit and the Rise and Fall of G2 Power

The G20 Summit and the Rise and Fall of G2 Power
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 16, 2010

On the 12th of this month, under the dark cloud of a currency war, the Group of Twenty (G20) Summit adjourned its meeting in Seoul, South Korea. In the end, summit leaders issued a vaguely worded statement. They agreed to adopt a more market-oriented exchange rate system in order to avoid a currency war and trade protectionism. Discussion of the specifics were postponed until next year. The vague statement is unlikely to resolve tensions between the major currencies, or improve global economic imbalances. It also reflects the rise of Mainland China, and the decline of US power.

The Group of Twenty is comprised of the world's 19 largest economies, plus the European Union. Following the outbreak of the financial tsunami, leaders of the G20 met in Washington for the first time, seeking a way to resolve the financial crisis. The G20 has replaced the original G8, and become a major global economic forum. During the financial crisis, national leaders experienced a heightened sense of crisis. They were willing to work together to resolve difficulties. As a result last year's summit in London arrived at a number of specific agreements designed to prevent the global economy from falling into a Great Depression. The Seoul summit was the fifth Leadership Conference held since the outbreak of the financial crisis. As each of the nations moves towards recovery, selfish considerations have paradoxically made concrete agreements more difficult. Steven Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, said bluntly that the summit failed to address any critical problems.

This time the leaders of both Mainland China and the US confronted each other over exchange rates. This became the focus of the summit. President Barack Obama once again applied pressure on the RMB exchange rate, but failed to elicit an explicit response. Mainland President Hu Jintao stressed that the Mainland would adopt gradual exchange rate reform. He also criticized U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy for its second wave of quantitative easing. This actually made for a weaker dollar and triggered the large scale entry of hot money into emerging markets. He called on the United States as a major reserve currency economy to adopt a responsible monetary policy, and to consider the interests of emerging economies. Also, the United States had previously proposed a quantitative indicator to avoid competition over currency devaluation. It had proposed limiting the GDP current account surplus or deficit to approximately four percent. In the end this motion came to nothing due to opposition from Mainland China and Germany.

During Barak Obama's recent ten-day Asian trip, the main theme was economic and trade issues. But it ran aground during negotiations on the RMB exchange rate issue and the bilateral US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement. This suggests that U.S. influence in the international arena is gradually weakening. The Wall Street Journal noted that Obama's setback in Seoul was due mainly to the weak U.S. economic recovery and the defeat of the Democratic Party in the midterm elections. This weakened the United States as a global economic leader. The New York Times noted that the compromise-filled "Seoul Declaration" reflects the rise of Mainland Chinese influence.

This year for the first time, Mainland China's economy surpassed Japan's. It has now become the world's second largest economy. It is not merely the world's largest factory. It is also the world's largest market. According to statistics, last year it accounted for nearly half the world's consumption of coal, zinc, and aluminum. It consumes twice as much iron and steel as the US, the European Union, and Japan combined. China is also the world's largest automotive and mobile phone market.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Mainland China will account for one-fifth of the world's economic growth this year. During the financial crisis, the U.S. entered an economic recession. Mainland China on the other hand, maintained its growth. Although Mainland China still cannot replace the United States, the fact that the United States failed to make a breakthrough on trade issues during the G20 summit underscores Mainland China's growing international influence.

The Fed's quantitative easing has become everyone's favorite target. This has weakened the United States' demands for RMB appreciation. Even host nation South Korea expressed concern. This is one reason US-South Korea free trade negotiations failed to reach any agreement. The International Monetary Fund has long opposed capital controls. Now however, it favors capital controls for emerging countries, when necessary. The "Seoul Declaration" in particular, hinted that emerging nations could adopt prudent capital controls measures to avoid exchange rate volatility caused by hot money. This endorsement handed emerging nations their most powerful weapon in their fight against hot money. It also showed how intense dissatisfaction was among emerging nations for the United States' policy of quantitative easing.

Obama declared the Seoul summit a success. But U.S. economic power is undeniably waning in the wake of the financial crisis. This was the reason for the setbacks Obama suffered. On the other hand, on international economic and trade issues, Mainland China's voice is increasingly influential. Without Mainland China's cooperation it is difficult to reach a consensus. As we monitor the rise of Mainland China and the decline of U.S. power, we realize that power is never permanent. Nations will cooperate. They will also compete and conflict. Within the fabric of the international trade system, if one wishes to become a major power, one can do so only through overwhelming economic strength.

從G20峰會 看G2勢力消長
2010-11-16 中國時報









Monday, November 15, 2010

Chou Chan-chun: Using Constitutional Pretexts to Set Criminals Free

Chou Chan-chun: Using Constitutional Pretexts to Set Criminals Free
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 15, 2010

The Supreme Court has handed down its rulings in the four Chen family corruption cases. It has essentially nullified the legal opinions offered by Chou Chan-chun in the Second Financial Reform scandal trial. The Taipei District Court Full Court, led by Chou Chan-chun found former President Chen not guilty. It cited legal sophistries about "presidential authority" and the "official duties of the president." Fortunately the Supreme Court knows the difference between right and wrong. It has reaffirmed the correct legal principles. It has put the legal system back on track, in accordance with the understanding of a majority of the nation's citizens.

Chou Chan-chun expended a great deal of ink writing his judgment. He wrote that the president's authority was constrained by the constitution and 16 amendments. He wrote that the majority of scholars and judges also feel that the president has exceeded his executive authority. From this he concluded that promoting the Second Financial Reform "program" was not within the president's legal authority. When Chen Shui-bian intervened, he exceeded his authority. Since his conduct was not part of his official duty, therefore the money he collected cannot be considered bribes.

Such a legal opinion misapplies a dispute pertaining to constitutionally mandated presidential authority to criminal law regulating the conduct of civil servants, in order to arrive at the fallacious conclusion that "The president was innocent of corruption." Put simply, whether the president should intervene in a particular area of executive power is one thing. It is a constitutional matter. Whether a president who has already exceeded his executive authority is also committing a crime, is something else altogether. It is a criminal matter. The two must not be conflated.

The ruling handed down by the Supreme Court restored the case to the realm of criminal law. It stated bluntly that "Article V, Paragraph One of the Punishment of Corruption Act stipulates that accepting money or gifts based on one's official position, constitutes a crime. This includes all sorts of considerations disguised as gifts and other benefits. The term "official duties" refers to what a civil servant should do or must do within the scope of his duties. As long as his conduct bears a relationship to the nature of his duties, and he wields substantial influence during the performance of those duties, then his conduct is defined as his duty." The Supreme Court specifically mentioned several points. It stated that if a civil servant wields substantial influence during the performance of his duties, then his conduct is defined as his duty. This dissolves the fog of confusion Chou Chan-chun attempted to generate between constitutionally mandated presidential authority and criminal law. In other words, according to the Supreme Court, the president's official duties provided him with substantial influence over the Second Financial Reform "program." He took advantage of that influence to collect bribes, and that constitutes corruption. These are established facts. Under these circumstances, one may not arrive at the ludicrous conclusion that the president was innocent of corruption.

Another aspect of the Supreme Court's judgment is worth noting. It increased Lee Chieh-mu's sentence to three years and six months, without the possibility of parole. The Chen family corruption case involves four parts. In the second instance they were found guilty. But their sentences were reduced to an unreasonable degree. The most extreme example is Lee Chieh-mu. He was the mastermind behind the Longtan Land Acquisition scandal. He shared his practical expertise in the administration of the Science Park. He found ways to profit illicitly. Companies going under would allow the government to pick up their debt. Lee helped Ah-Bian and Ah-Chen to profit from the opportunity. He acted as Chen's "stalking horse." Contrast this with his former image as a "scholar for democracy." One truly has no reason to sympathize with him. He was granted probation during the second instance trial. This newspaper pointed out that the judge clearly pulled his punches. His conduct was completely unacceptable.

The Supreme Court now says that the "Original decision did not find Lee Chieh-mu deserving of any sympathy for the crimes he committed. According to the text of the original decision, he showed no remorse. Yet in accordance with Article 59 of the Penal Code, his sentence was reduced. But Article 59 of the Penal Code stipulates that mitigation of punishment requires expressions of remorse over one's criminal conduct. It applies only to defendants for whom the lightest penalty is still too severe." Therefore the original sentence amounted to a commutation of the sentence. This was illegal, and a misapplication the law. Therefore the Supreme Court rendered its own decision in the matter. It ruled that Lee Chieh-mu must serve time.

Also, the State Affairs Fund case must be retried. It is being retried by the Supreme Court, but can only be retried based on the Second Instance ruling. The grounds given for retrying the State Affairs Fund scandal include all applicable laws, but also mention "the impact of findings of fact." The original decision explained away many of the Chen families improper expenses as part of the president's official duties. It failed to pursue them. It ignored the "Southern Front" and other fraudulent schemes. Clearly the Supreme Court considered this unacceptable.

The State Affairs Fund case involves the crime of embezzlement of public property, as specified in Article Four, Paragraph One, Line One, of the Punishment of Corruption Act. The heaviest penalty that can be imposed is life imprisonment. The original sentence failed to include huge sums of embezzled funds. That was the only reason for the lighter sentences. The retrial will take into account these sums. If the findings of fact are overturned, and the sums involved become larger, it is possible that Ah-Bian and Ah-Chen's sentences may be increased.

【聯合報╱社論】 2010.11.15