United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
July 20, 2015
Executive Summary: Following wave after wave of chaos, the Kuomintang has finally anointed Hung Shiu-chu its presidential candidate for 2016. Eric Chu has laid the groundwork for Wang Jin-pyng to remain legislator without portfolio. He took advantage of a technicality and dissuaded the "nativist" faction from jumping ship. The 2016 election is a mere six months away. The KMT needs to understand how precarious its situation is. It must unite and see the big picture. Otherwise it should expect a defeat even more catastrophic than the nine in one elections.
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Following wave after wave of chaos, the Kuomintang has finally anointed Hung Shiu-chu its presidential candidate for 2016. Eric Chu has laid the groundwork for Wang Jin-pyng to remain legislator without portfolio. He took advantage of a technicality and dissuaded the "nativist" faction from jumping ship. The 2016 election is a mere six months away. The KMT needs to understand how precarious its situation is. It must unite and see the big picture. Otherwise it should expect a defeat even more catastrophic than the nine in one elections.
A political process that cannot keep up with the times is despicable. Over the past six months, the KMT has been hijacked and lost all sense of direction. Its leaders lack vision. Supporters lacked initiative. Buffoons have taken over and are raising a ruckus. Cadres are indifferent. Comrades are at loggerheads. The party has apparently given up without a fight. It is all one can do not to avert one's eyes. Only recently, following shuttle diplomacy by key party and government figures, plus Hung Shiu-chu's timely changes, has the situation been stabilized. The anticipated disruptions of yesterday's National Party Conference failed to take place. The anticipated ambush by "Stop Hung" elements failed to materialize. Protests held outside the venue were feeble, and failed to make an impact. Clearly the KMT Central Standing Committee's threats that it would begin slitting throats had an effect. This is the first step the KMT must take in order to rally its forces.
A political process must constantly change with the times. From this perspective, Hung Shiu-chu is not the ideal candidate for the blue camp. But now that she is the candidate, that is no longer the focus. The KMT has no time for regrets. It has no time to wonder who it should have nominated if it could do it all over again. The KMT cannot turn the clock back. It must find the will to fight. It must rally its supporters, including the disillusioned and the alienated. Even if it loses this battle, it must lose with dignity. If the blue camp is afraid to fight, if it behaves in a cowardly manner, if it remains a "plate of loose sand", how can it expect the public to support it?
Hung Shiu-chu's ringing speech yesterday, was something seldom heard in recent years within the KMT. Hung was decisive, comprehensive, and measured in both her offense and defense. On cross-Strait policy, she reaffirmed the Constitution, the party platform, and the 1992 consensus. She stressed that "Taiwan must come first, the people must be heard, and equality and dignity must prevail". This will ensure peaceful cross-Strait relations and refute McCarthyite red smear allegations. She also stressed empathy and a sense of responsibility, to ensure generational justice, equal treatment for urban and rural, rich and poor, regardless of class, race, or gender. She promised justice and fairness, the unwavering pursuit of national dignity and the achievement of national prosperity.
In an even more moving passage, she spoke in fluent Taiwanese (Minnan dialect) of her impoverished roots. Her father could not find work for 40 years following his release from Green Island Prison. Her mother worked as a laborer. Yet she never nursed a grudge. She never felt afraid. As the saying goes, "Potatoes do not rot because they touch the ground". She struggled relentlessly. She knows the pain of others on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. Hung Shiu-chu may not be the only one within the blue camp with such a family background. She may not be the only one who pulled herself up by the bootstraps. But her father was a victim of the white terror, yet in an unusual display of character, she refuses to put all the blame on government persecution. The green camp will of course do everything within its power to smear her as a "red", but it may not succeed.
Hung Shiu-chu's appearance yesterday underscored the contrast between herself and Wang Jin-pyng. KMT insiders originally wanted Wang Jin-pyng as their candidate. Eric Chu was apparently happy to oblige. Who knew Wang Jin-pyng would refuse to take part in the primaries. This missed opportunity changed Hung Shiu-chu's candidacy from a lark into the real thing. The two switched roles. This led to unnecessary twists and turns. Hung's appearance was a wake-up call to all politicians. When democracy is subjected to rapidly changing public opinion, those who cling to political deal-making cannot keep up with society, and even less with the voters.
Will Wang Jin-pyng accept the legislator without portfolio position the KMT has custom tailored for him by changing the law? That remains to be seen. The key is whether internal Kuomintang regrouping is enough to give the presidential and legislative elections a boost. Is it enough to ensure a KMT majority in the legislature? Is it enough to ensure that Wang Jin-pyng remains speaker? In Western democracies, unless a speaker has committed a major blunder, he or she is usually eligible for special privileges. During speaker of the parliament elections, the opposition parties deliberately refrain from nominating a candidate, as a show of respect. The KMT nominated Wang Jin-pyng legislator without portfolio on a whim. If doing so boosts the presidental and legislative campaigns, and helps the KMT avoid a breakup, then fine. The problem is the "nativist" faction has been relentlessly making trouble. It has been poor mouthing the party and severely undermining the blue camp image. if the blue camp cannot win an absolute majority, Wang Jin-pyng will be just another legislator without portfolio, rather than speaker. Is Wang Jin-pyng ready for that?
Following the nine in one election debacle, and nearly six months of infighting, the KMT finally approved Hung Shiu-chu as its presidential candidate. The battle has been continuous, with thrills and chills all the way. Now Hung has finally broken out of her encirclement. The KMT finds itself in an embarrassing situation, the result of Taiwan politics, the result of years of ruling vs. opposition party bickering over the same tired issues. Their rhetoric may change based on their current status. But they have never shown any desire to serve the people or solve society's problems. This is what we mean when we say that a political process that never changes is despicable. This is true of the Kuomintang. This is also true of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, which looks on with cold eyes. But has the DPP ever asked itself how much ability it has to promote change?
一六總統參選人。與此同時， 朱立倫則留下了王金平可續任不分區立委之伏筆， 技術性化解了本土派的分裂危機。距離二○一六大選僅剩半年， 國民黨必須認清當前形勢的險峻，若還不能團結面對大局， 恐怕要準備迎接一場比九合一更慘烈的敗績。
國民黨一直是處於某種自我放棄與自我綁架的形勢中：領導無方、 群雄觀望、小丑喧囂、幹部漠然、同志離心離德， 舉黨一副未戰先降的姿態，讓人不忍卒睹。直至近日， 經黨政關鍵人物穿梭協調，加上洪秀柱及時調整口徑， 方才穩住陣腳。從昨天的全代會看， 原本磨刀霍霍準備鬧場的戲碼並未上演，原來預謀奇襲「卡柱」 的隊伍並未出現，至於場外的各路鬧劇，即不再足道。可見， 中常會日前大刀開鍘發揮了威嚇作用。 這是國民黨整飭軍容的第一步。
洪秀柱是不是藍軍最強的人選，在她正式成為候選人後， 顯已不再是重點，國民黨也沒有時間再去懊悔「如果一切重來」 誰應該如何如何。重點在，國民黨面對這場無路可退的戰役， 要如何拿出最大的意志和力量， 呼喚那些失望或疏離民眾重新認同與歸心；就算無法贏得這一役， 至少要輸得不難看。試想，如果藍軍自己表現得畏戰、懦弱、 一盤散沙，要如何號召民眾支持？
態度果決，結構完整，攻守有致。談到兩岸政策，她回到憲法、 黨綱及「九二共識」，強調「台灣優先、民意為本、平等尊嚴」 的原則，以此推動兩岸的和平發展，足以駁斥先前的「抹紅」指控。 她並強調，要用同理心和責任感，推動實現跨越世代、城鄉、貧富、 階級、種族、性別的正義與公平，堅定不移追求國家的尊嚴、 實現國民的幸福。
父親從綠島回來四十年沒有工作，母親當過女工，但她沒有怨恨，「 番薯毋驚落土爛」，一路打拚，因此很能了解基層的甘苦。在藍營， 像這樣沒有任何家世背景而孤軍奮起者，洪秀柱也許不是唯一特例； 但父親遭遇白色恐怖，她卻未將一切歸咎政府迫害， 顯示其品格殊不尋常。綠營即使再千方百計抹紅，也未必能夠得逞。
國民黨內一心想要角逐總統大位的人是王金平， 朱立倫似也頗有意促成；未料，王金平拒絕參加初選，一錯過， 竟讓原本玩票的洪秀柱假戲成真，兩人角色旋即易位， 也引來後續無謂波折。這一幕，是對所有政治人物的當頭棒喝： 當民主政治已進到民意瞬息萬變的時代，還留戀抬轎文化的人， 不可能跟得上社會，也跟不上選民。
王金平是否接受國民黨為他量身打造修法以續任不分區立委， 仍是未定數。其關鍵，在國民黨的內部整合是否順利， 足以拉抬總統和立委的選情，使藍軍仍能維持國會的相對多數地位， 才足以確保王金平續任院長。在西方民主國家， 國會議長除非犯下嚴重錯誤，通常獲有特殊的政治禮遇； 議長參選時，在野黨在該選區甚至刻意不提名候選人， 以示尊崇與禮讓。國民黨要不要提名王金平為不分區立委， 只在一念之間，若有助於總統與立委選情，並可避免國民黨崩裂， 未必不可。問題是，經本土派幾度鬧場唱衰，使藍軍形象大受影響， 如果國會無法搶得絕對優勢， 屆時王金平的不分區將只是一名光桿立委，而非「議長」之尊。 那樣的話，是王金平願意面對的形勢嗎？
國民黨昨天終於通過洪秀柱代表參選，可謂一路且走且戰， 驚險萬狀，而終於殺出重圍。國民黨的窘狀， 其實也是台灣政治的困境，朝野多年來纏繞在老議題上反覆辯論、 廝殺，不斷隨著戰鬥位置的變化改變論述， 卻始終無意為人民及社會解決問題。這就是我們說的： 不能往前推進的政治，是可恥的。國民黨如是， 但民進黨除了占著在野的便宜冷眼冷語， 它又思考過自己有多少推進政治的能力嗎？