Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Clashes Erupt between the DPP and NPP

Clashes Erupt between the DPP and NPP
United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
January 13, 2016

Executive Summary: The dream of "total rule" is seductive. Perhaps that is why the DPP is so angry with the NPP. But from another perspective, this imperfect power structure may teach the DPP humility. From this perspective, whether DPP seats in the legislature exceed one half does not matter. The DPP need not bear a grudge against the NPP.

Full Text Below:

Ever since the election began, the KMT has been the party crying “Help!” The DPP, by contrast, has been campaigning lying down. Who knew that at the last moment, DPP legislator at large candidates would collectively demand to be rescued? Why? Because the New Power Party (NPP), which the DPP nurtured and has long seen as a wing of the DPP, has become a serious threat to DPP legislator at large candidates.

The election has yet to determine their fate. Clashes between the "big green" DPP and "little green" NPP have occurred. This is something the DPP failed to anticipate. This real life battle, fought with live ammunition, is offering everyone a preview of coming attractions under green government. The person most embarrassed by this is director Wu Nien-chen. Just last weekend, he stood on the dais at an NPP rally and expressed solidarity with his personal friend, director Ko Yi-cheng, a New Power Party legislator at large candidate. Who knew that only two days later, he would be launching a "big green" ad campaign, urging voters to “Cast your political party ballot for Number One, the DPP”. His self-contradictory endorsements, one after the other, have been described as "Wu Nien-chen defeating Wu Nien-chen". The incident was deeply embarrassing.

Wu Nien-chen may have assumed that the big green and little green parties are both green parties. As long as voters vote green, then all is well, and any differences are negligible. But back in the real world, each voter is only permitted one political party ballot. He cannot votes for two different parties. A vote for Party Ameans one less vote for Party B, and possibly fewer seats as well. This is a simple numbers game, with no room for ambiguity. The DPP considers its prospects in the presidential and legislative elections good. It believes that "total rule" is imminent. Who knew its dream may be shattered, not by the rival blue camp, but by the "little green" power the DPP itself so carefully nurtured. This is truly ironic.

The difference between the "big green" and "little green" parties is not merely a matter of size. DPP candidates are doing well in the presidential and district legislative races mainly because the DPP devoted so much time and effort cultivating green camp youth corps on college campuses. This led to several major attempts to unseat Ma Ying-jeou over the past three years. The "little green" party supplied younger generation and social movement members. The DPP supplied opposition party logistic support. The DPP used its political power to provide the “little green” party the financial resources and logistical support necessary for their election campaigns. It gave the New Power Party the opportunity to gain strength.

The problem is, when the DPP energetically cultivated the New Power Party, it underestimated its power. It underestimated the voters' autonomy, and overestimated its own image. Hence its embarrassing scramble for party ballots. Actually, even before the scramble for party ballots, the DPP and the NPP had a serious blowup. DPP party whip Ko Chien-min is running for the legislature in Hsinchu. He faces a powerful challenge from NPP candidate Chiu Hsian-chi. Chiu refused to withdraw or even negotiate. He denounced Ko Chien-min as a back room deal-maker. When DPP legislator at large candidates cried “Help!”, Chen Chien-jen called on supporters to “not vote for the little party”. Chen Wei-ting, who supported Chiu Hsian-chi, swiftly lashed back, saying that "voting for the small party" will support a third force, to provide a check on conservative forces and local factions within the DPP.

This constitutes a more serious problem. The NPP was born out of social movements. Its mission is to check those in power and to be the voice of pluralism. But once the DPP comes to power, will the NPP continue to be a DPP auxilliary? Or will it represent the public, and keep a watchful eye on the DPP? The DPP of course expects the  "little green" party to remain the "big green" party's sidekick. But given NPP strength and the character of its members, is it really willing to confine itself to the role of cheerleader, and follow the “big green” DPP lead? And just suppose it is willing to remain the "little green" party? If the DPP abuses power, and refuses to be accountable, won't those who voted for the NPP feel betrayed?

This is why both the DPP and NPP need to rethink their "big green and little green are both green" premise. The NPP and Social Democratic Party (SDP) grew out of last year's Sunflower Student Movement. Between the two, the NPP is more pragmatic. It accepted the role of auxilliary to the DPP, and integration into the green camp. It chose to fight side by side with the DPP in order to quickly gain strength. The SDP was less willing to compromise. It chose to go its own way. But it lacks the blessing of sitting politicians. Therefore its prospects for growth are limited. On the surface, the NPP approach seems shrewder. It is trendier and has made greater gains. But if the NPP fails to become the voice of the people in the legislature, and a genuinely progressive force, it will merely give the Sunflower Student Movement and social movements a bad name.

The dream of "total rule" is seductive. Perhaps that is why the DPP is so angry with the NPP. But from another perspective, this imperfect power structure may teach the DPP humility. From this perspective, whether DPP seats in the legislature exceed one half does not matter. The DPP need not bear a grudge against the NPP.

2016-01-13 03:19 聯合報 聯合報社論


選 戰尚未定江山,「大綠」和「小綠」之間的矛盾已現,這恐怕是民進黨始料未及,也為未來的綠色執政預演了一場真槍實彈之爭。在這個序曲中,最感尷尬的,莫過 於導演吳念真。他上周末才站上「時代力量」的造勢舞台,聲援列名該黨不分區的導演好友柯一正;未料兩天後,民進黨卻推出他幫「大綠」錄製的政黨文宣短片, 懇請大導演吳念真日前公開力挺時代力量洪慈庸。報系資料照

在 吳念真眼裡,或許以為反正大綠、小綠都是綠,只要投綠就好,沒有太大差別。但回歸現實,每個選民卻只有一張政黨票,不可能投兩個黨。票投了這個黨,那個黨 就少了票,就可能少了席次,這是一板一眼的政治算數,加減乘除沒有含糊的空間。民進黨自恃在總統及區域立委形勢大好,以為「完全執政」唾手可得;豈料,可 能打破導演吳念真日前公開力挺時代力量洪慈庸。報系資料照

回頭檢視,「大綠」和「小綠」間,並不是一 個簡單的大於或小於的關係。民進黨這次在總統與區域立委的氣勢如虹,主要是得力於綠營在校園長期經營的青年軍,在過去三年幾次重大社運中發揮了倒馬的作 用。亦即,「小綠」以新世代和公民運導演吳念真日前公開力挺時代力量洪慈庸。報系資料照
動的形貌,在街頭幫民進黨撐起了反對黨的氣勢。相對的,民進黨則利用自己的政治實力,給予小綠各種必要的財力或能見度 的支援,並在選舉中為其拉抬造勢;這也給了時代力量茁壯的機會。

問題在,民進黨在大力栽培時代力量時,可能低估了對方的能量,也低估了選 民的自主性,更高估了自己的形象;因此,才會出現今天爭搶政黨票的窘境。事實上,在這次搶票之前,民進黨和時代力量已爆發過一次嚴重矛盾,那就是民進黨大 黨鞭柯建銘在新竹市參選立委,遭到了時代力量候選人邱顯智的強烈挑戰;邱顯智拒絕接受勸退或整合,並嚴詞批評柯建銘是密室協商始作俑者。包括近日民進黨為 政黨票告急時,陳建仁呼籲支持者「不要投小黨」,支持邱顯智的陳為廷立刻反嗆「應該投小黨」,呼籲支持第三勢力,才能制衡民進黨的保守勢力和地方派系。導演吳念真日前公開力挺時代力量洪慈庸。報系資料照

這 裡,便出現了一個比較嚴肅的問題:時代力量脫胎於公民運動,以制衡執政者、表達多元聲音為主旨;而一旦民進黨執政,時代力量是要繼續充當民進黨的側翼打擊 手,或者會站穩「公民」的立場,對民進黨進行監督?依照民進黨的想法,「小綠」當然就是要當「大綠」的綠葉或跟班;但以時代力量成員的性格,會願意只扮演 搖旗吶喊角色嗎?而如果它竟然甘於當個「小綠」,一切聽從大綠的指揮,一旦民進黨濫權,它也不由分說力挺,那麼,投它一票的新世代不會覺得失望嗎?

也 因此,對於「大綠小綠都是綠」這個說法,我們認為,民進黨和時代力量都必須重新咀嚼、消化。「時代力量」和「社民黨」的成立,主要皆源於前年的太陽花學 運。其中,時代力量較具現實取向,因此接受了民進黨側翼之定位,並與綠營整合、分進合擊,以求迅速茁壯;而社民黨則更堅持理念,選擇走自己的路,但因缺乏 檯面政治人物加持,成長有限。表面上看,時代力量的路線似乎更為準確,因迎合潮流而斬獲更多;但如果回歸「公民運動」的本質看,時代力量進入國會後若不能 一本初衷為廣大公民發聲,成為真正的進步力量,恐怕只會辱沒太陽花及公民之名。


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