Wed, May 03, 2000 - Page 8 News List

What happened to KMT reform?

By Wang Chien-chuang

The KMT experienced two crushing defeats during the past half century. First, it was defeated in civil war by the Chinese Communist Party, ending its rule over China. It then suffered a devastating political defeat against the DPP in this recent presidential election, and lost its rule over Taiwan.

In the first few years after its retreat to Taiwan, the KMT deluded itself and others with counterattack and restoration slogans. These slogans were repeated every day, as if the Communist Party would collapse if everyone called out the slogans loud enough. However, after decades of slogans, the KMT remains unable to take back China.

In the first month following its election defeat, the KMT headquarters was besieged by mobs for several days. Criticism against members of its Central Standing Committee snowballed. The party's chairman, Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), was forced to step down. All party leaders put on sad and pathetic faces.

The KMT's reaction to failure has remained the same for the past 50 years. Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) put together a reform committee 50 years ago. Lien Chan (連戰) has now done the same. They act as if the KMT's failures would be successfully reformed with the right slogans and ceremonies.

However, those key players in its reform efforts, including Lien, all look so deflated and exhausted from their defeat. Their voices lack power. One cannot help but wonder how they would reform others when they look like the ones who need reform the most.

Those reform ceremonies; the endless seminars and discussions, are merely show. Plus, the reform conference has become a "venting" session. Many people feel fulfilled so long as they get a chance to curse Lee's name loudly. They feel that they have done their job as long as they say a few empty words about democracy.

But exactly how will the KMT carry out reform? No one in the KMT knows. Everyone is clueless. If you ask them "will the party chairman be elected by popular election," they will tell you "it is hard to say." If you ask them "whether the Central Standing Committee is being eliminated," their answer is the same. Ask them, "will the nature of the party will changed," the answer is "no." Obviously, the so-called "reformers" do not intend to reform at all. Quite possibly, the reform proposal submitted by the KMT in the days to come will be nothing but empty talk.

Even more absurd is that former chairman, Lee, actually had the naive idea that a change of party name will substantively change the KMT. If a person who has failed does not change from within and instead changes his or her name, he or she is still a failure.

After the US' Republican Party lost the last presidential election, it only changed its policies, not its name. No one would suggest that changing its name alone would bring victory in the next election. Does the KMT really expect the people to forget its old name or their views about the KMT by renaming it? Obviously, the KMT lost its brain along with the election.

The KMT has made a mess in Taiwan since March. The elimination of the National Assembly may have pleased some people, but it virtually drove people crazy. A climatic ending was finally reached with the Assembly's elimination. No wonder some people seem to have been driven up the wall.

If the fiasco keeps up, the KMT will sooner or later completely screw itself up. It wouldn't surprise anyone if the name "KMT" becomes a mere memory.

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