Anyone who felt hopeful in recent weeks that for once the Legislative Yuan would get its act together by passing some highly important bills before the presidential election -- most notably the political donations bill and the bill to reduce the number of seats in the Legislative Yuan by half -- was utterly disappointed last week.
\nWith the breakdown of negotiations between the legislative caucuses, it isn't good enough for the pan-blue and pan-green caucuses to distract people's attention by focusing on which side is standing in the way of reform.
\nOriginally the caucuses had agreed that on March 12 the legislature would review and pass some long-overdue bills, with the political donations bill at the top of the list. But when the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucuses demanded that a bill to reduce the number of seats in the legislature be reviewed that day as well -- a proposal which the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) rejected -- negotiations broke down.
\nAnyone who has been following the presidential campaign knows that passing bills on political donations and on reducing the number of seats in the legislature has become an important issue in the campaign, and that both presidential candidates have given their support to the bills.
\nWith respect to reducing legislative seats, this initiative was a plank in the campaign platform of almost all the parties in the last legislative election. Opinion poll after opinion poll has shown that passing such a bill is supported by an overwhelming majority of the public.
\nIt isn't hard to understand why people support the bill -- just look at the pathetic performance of the Legislative Yuan, where lawmakers resort to physical violence against each other and verbal violence not only against each other but also against government officials at interpellation sessions.
\nThe inability -- or refusal -- of the legislature to pass important bills year after year shows that in addition to being a rude body, it is also an incompetent one.
\nIn response to the Legislative Yuan's inaction on the bill to cut the number of seats in the legislature, former DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung (
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