Democracy has thrived in Taiwan since 1988, when the despotic rule of Chiang Kai-shek
The new government formed by the DPP was born after a peaceful transfer of power. This was a big step in Taiwan's democracy. But the power transfer cannot be complete unless the KMT makes a thorough review of its faults and undertakes drastic reforms to win back public support.
The KMT's peaceful return to power would make the "rotation of political parties in power" a normal practice. Only then will Taiwan's democracy be able to catch up with those of other developed countries.
The KMT was defeated in March despite its enormous social, financial and political resources. While people rejoiced over the peaceful transfer of power, they must have worried whether the KMT could recover from its defeat and normalize the rotation of parties by returning to power later.
The KMT was driven out of power because of its bad performance. Since the inauguration of the new government, however, the KMT has had an equally awkward job ibeing an opposition party. The KMT has greatly disappointed people who have been looking forward to its comeback.
The legislature is the most important stage for an opposition party to bring about a power transition by monitoring and questioning the administration. An opposition party's legislative caucus can coordinate its members in policy promotion. In addition, the opposition's lawmakers can use their powers to question government officials and review bills to prevent irregularities.
The opposition party can also outperform the ruling party by putting forward credible policies. If it does these jobs well, an opposition party has a good probability of regaining power the next time around.
To our disappointment, the KMT has not accepted reality and adjusted to its new role as an opposition party. Instead, it has abused its majority status in the legislature -- humiliating new government officials, using its legislative power to pass bills that are difficult to implement, boycotting the policies proposed by the new government, impeding the administration by slashing its budgets, and embarrassing it by triggering a stock market slump with a massive sell-off of its share holdings, and so forth.
All these moves have reflected the KMT's attitude of "opposing for the sake of opposing" and "seeking revenge for the election defeat." The KMT has also disregarded the damage done to the government, the people and the country by their actions.
The KMT's unsettling, repugnant propositions on cross-strait relations have been the most loathsome of all its acts. On July 7, its policy committee
After many changes in cross-strait relations, the KMT proposes the codification of the guidelines issued nine years ago. At that time, people had reached no consensus on Taiwan's ultimate political status and there had been serious clashes of opinions before the introduction of the guidelines.
Former President Lee Teng-hui
As a result, Lee was intentionally passive in implementing the guidelines and convening the council. In addition, he promoted the "special state-to-state" model for cross-strait relations and thus won the admiration and recognition of the people of Taiwan.
Now the KMT has tried to back-pedal on Lee's efforts and proposed codification of the guidelines. Obviously, the party is out of its mind.
The KMT's proposal to form a confederation with China as the ultimate goal for both sides is equally outrageous. Once a confederation is established, it would be extremely hard for Taiwan to maintain its sovereignty but very easy for China to annex Taiwan given the disproportionate gap in size and population.
I really hope the KMT will change its attitude and do its job as a responsible oppositional party and work to help normalize the rotation of political power.
Lee Hong-hsi is a law professor at National Taiwan University.
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