Sun, Aug 05, 2001 - Page 8 News List

DPP must withstand challenge of new group

By Chin Heng-wei 金恆煒

Whether it is a "political party" or a "political group," the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) has officially become one of the participants in the year-end elections. The goal of participation is to win, to gain the largest possible number of seats. That's the only way the union's existence will make any sense, and that is the only way to gain the credibility, indeed the right to continue to participate in politics. This is the political principle of real power.

The TSU's battle preparations will certainly enable them to capture some KMT and DPP seats by attracting votes from the two parties.

To establish whether it will be the KMT or the DPP that suffers most, we will have to watch their responses, as well as the platforms and methods with which they compete during the election.

The goal the TSU has set for itself is to stabilize the political situation, and the aim is to help the DPP to gain an absolute majority in the elections, thus helping it to escape the threats and power-grabbing of the opposition alliance.

But even the securing of that majority is no more than a means to the end of further consolidating the common aim of localization shared by Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). This is the real strategic concern.

The DPP developed from an illegal tang-wai (黨外, "outside the [KMT]") organization into today's ruling party, with almost total control of local governments in addition to that of the presidential palace and the Executive Yuan, a degree of power unprecedented in the party's history.

It is strange that the party, having achieved such victories, is so riddled with pessimism that it is even afraid to nominate candidates for more than half of the seats in the legislature.

But of course the worsening situation resulting from the increasingly factionalized nature of the ruling party is one of the factors.

The DPP will not be able to gain a majority of seats in the legislature, and the KMT, PFP and New Party plans to join hands in order to grab political power after the elections is already an open secret. Given this situation, the establishment of the TSU certainly is a saving grace, making up for the inadequacies of the DPP, or, to take a wider perspective, an expansion of the green camp's power base, which, judging from the intrinsic qualities of the DPP's factional interests, no longer seems to hold the possibility of outward expansion.

The DPP is constantly attacking the TSU for trying to eat the same cake as itself, unable to understand that the TSU is a political party that will not be restricted or controlled by the DPP, and that complaints and curses will not change its disposition or development.

If the DPP cannot even withstand the challenge of the TSU, how is it going to take on the opposition coalition? The TSU poses no real threat to the DPP. It's time the ruling party cncern itself with its real foes.

Chin Heng-wei is the editor in chief of Contemporary Monthly magazine.

Translated by Perry Svensson.

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