Ketagalan Boulevard is not the DPP's Permanent Destination
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
January 14, 2012
Summary: Taiwan has never lacked "raging citizens." Nor has it ever lacked protest marches. The DPP in particular, has never lacked "raging citizens." Still less has it lacked protest marches. Merely expressing "rage" is not a solution. Merely expressing "rage" is not a policy. The DPP should rise above "rage." It should offer solutions to Taiwan's problems. The solution to Taiwan's problems is not "rage." The DPP went to a great deal of trouble to lead its supporters to Ketegelan Boulevard and back. It should offer Taiwan a way out in terms of policy.
Full Text below:
Taiwan has never lacked "raging citizens." Nor has it ever lacked protest marches. The DPP in particular, has never lacked "raging citizens." Still less has it lacked protest marches.
The weather of late has been both cold and wet. The protestors' enthusiasm was inspiring. The DPP has repeatedly marched to Ketegelan Boulevard and back. But just exactly where are they leading them? Are they merely spinning their wheels, while awaiting the next Ketegalan Boulevard "Raging Citizens Protest March?"
This particular protest march differed from past protest marches in three respects. One. There were no calls for "upholding sovereignty," or "defending Taiwan." On the one hand, this reflects pressure for reform. On the other hand, it reflects the vacuousness of the DPP's cross-Strait policy. Two. Su Tseng-chang, the instigator of the recent protest march, is the highly controversial. His support within the party and among the public is weak. Three. This is the first time voices from both inside and outside the party have loudly criticized the DPP for failing to include a credible policy proposal as part of the protest march. As critics put it, "All we see is rage. We see no policy proposals."
The protest marchers made three demands. They demanded a cabinet reshuffle. But this demand found little traction. They trumpeted "opposition to pro-[Mainland] China media bias" This demand failed to see the forest for the trees. They demanded "pension reform." This demand is trapped within a political struggle. The protest march was the consequence of "an abundance of rage, a dearth of proposals."
Consider the DPP's demands. The DPP alleges that the media is guilty of "pro-[Mainland] China media bias." Therefore it must not permitted to enjoy a "monopoly." We have no desire to debate the truth or falsity of this allegation. We agree that the media's commentary on social issues is subject to public criticism. But the DPP's "opposition to pro-[Mainland] China media bias" is part and parcel of its own anti-[Mainland] China political bias. It is clearly evading its own bias and indulging in selective indignation.
The DPP is currently under pressure from within to reform its cross-Strait policy. But it has yet to propose a policy that deals with the Big Picture. The DPP's only "China Policy" is to proclaim its "opposition to pro-[Mainland] China media bias." But the media is hardly alone in letting down its guard. The public on Taiwan is at risk in many respects. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lacks any grand strategy for cross-Strait relations. The best the DPP has been able to do, is trot out "opposition to pro-[Mainland] China media bias." What is this, if not failing to see the forest for the trees? What is this, if not seeing the mote in another's eye while ignoring the beam in one's own?
For the past twenty years, the DPP has equated Taiwan independence with cross-Strait policy. Return to the past for a moment. Recall Taiwan independence rhetoric about "demands for freedom of speech" and "calls for a single voice." This forced the public to endure a "death of a thousand cuts." The DPP wants once again to become the ruling party. Can it do nothing more than express "opposition to pro-[Mainland] China media bias?" Is it content to have no forward-looking, comprehensive cross-Strait policy? What is this, but the consequence of "an abundance of rage, a dearth of proposals?"
Now take the pension system for military veterans, civil servants, public school teachers, labor and farmers. The DPP approach is twofold. One. Demean the Legislative Yuan. Call for the convening of a "National Policy Conference." Two. Proclaim that it already has an "alternative," but offer absolutely no details.
If the DPP's undeclared "alternative" compassionately lavishes benefits on the public, it will contradict its current position. If it ruthlessly slashes benefits, it may receive little public support. Can the Presidential Office and the Cabinet reach a reasonable compromise? The public, military veterans, civil servants, public school teachers, labor, and farmers may conclude that if the DPP withdraws, a more reasonable solution is possible. The public may conclude that not convening a "National Policy Conference" was a good thing. The public may decide that they DPP should show them just what "alternative" they have in mind. Why not show us what you have? The DPP may increase or cut benefits. Either way, it will end up on the horns of a dilemma. What is this, if not the consequence of "an abundance of rage, a dearth of proposals?"
It is true. The Ma administration's record is unsatisfactory. Public "rage" and disappointment are universal. As the ruling administration, the Ma government is in no position to accuse the DPP of "an abundance of rage, a dearth of proposals." Instead, it should consider the protest march an indicator of public sentiment. It should examine the defects in its national policy. It should acknowledge the need for reform and improvement.
Critics accuse the protest organizers of having "an abundance of rage, a dearth of proposals." Yesterday, Su Tseng-chang responded to these charges. He announced that the DPP would impeach KMT legislators and President Ma. But this was hardly a declaration of policy. This was nothing more than a call to arms in a political struggle. The DPP is citing the KMT's attempt to impeach Chen Shui-bian as justification for its attempt to impeach Ma Ying-jeou. But Ma is not Chen. The two mens' situations are entirely different. The nation's situation, then and now, are entirely different. The DPP's moves may muddy the water. But it may also cover itself in mud.
Decades of political experience have taught the public that ideology is not policy, political struggle is not reform, and the incitement of social divisions is not love for Taiwan. The DPP is attempting to package deal its impeachment attempt with next year's seven in one elections. But it would be well-advised to make a rational evaluation of the pros and cons of its strategy first.
Merely expressing "rage" is not a solution. Merely expressing "rage" is not a policy. The DPP should rise above "rage." It should offer solutions to Taiwan's problems. The solution to Taiwan's problems is not "rage." The DPP went to a great deal of trouble to lead its supporters to Ketegalan Boulevard and back. It should offer Taiwan a way out in terms of policy.
2013.01.14 02:56 am