Sun, Mar 21, 2004 - Page 22 News List

Editorial: Election reaction is playing with fire

It would have been nice to write the editorial that we had planned, an upbeat piece about how, now President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had won the presidential election after a campaign so bitterly divisive that an attempt had even been made on his life, the people of Taiwan had to relearn how to get on with each other. Blue camp and green camp still have to share this country and the sooner the rifts created by the election healed the better.

Let us make it clear, this rapprochement must still take place. And in this light Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Lien Chan's (連戰) behavior last night was criminally irresponsible. Lien deliberately sought to whip up the feeling of his disgruntled supporters to create a riot. There is no other possible explanation of his speech.

It was not a concession speech. It was not the speech that an honorable and responsible political figure would make telling his supporters that they had had to abide by the verdict of the ballot, go home and try again in four years time.

Instead Lien told his supporters that the election had been stolen, he demanded that it be annulled and tried his best to turn an election crowd into a vengeful mob. The message Lien gave his supporters was that until the assassination attempt on the president on Friday was cleared up, the election should not have gone ahead.

This is amazingly ironic given that it was the pan-blues who had said that the Democratic Progressive Party would try to find some pretext before the election to declare martial law and stop it from happening. Even with the president lying shot in hospital -- and let us reiterate that the idea that the president had himself shot in the stomach as a ploy to win the election can only be the product of minds unhinged by the irrationality and bitterness of the pan-blue campaign -- the DPP stood firm on its commitment to democratic practices. It is the pan-blues that now want the election, having taken place, annulled. Why? Simply because they lost.

The pan-blues reject the result of the election because they lost. Taiwan is apparently only allowed to hold elections that the pan-blues win. Thus the pan-blues show what their real attitude toward democracy is. Something perhaps like Joseph Stalin's who once said that the trouble with free elections was that you never knew who was going to win them.

Let us be frank: Today's pan-blues are yesterday's bunch of vicious, thieving, fascistic thugs who raped and looted Taiwan for half a century. They have been trying to give the impression that they are reformed, that they are democrats to the core and during the election campaign we at least tried to believe that this was so, even if we though their policies stank. But last night they reveled themselves in their true colors.

There was patently nothing wrong with the election -- it was honestly carried out and the vote tallying was impartial. That the DPP went ahead with it after Friday's shooting was none the less brave for being the sensible thing to do. We have no doubt that the challenge to the election will fail. But we now have to fear what mischief the pan-blues have up their sleeves.

Lien last night appeared to want to foment a state of civil insurrection. This is either because his mind has been unhinged by losing or because he seeks a pretext to invite China to intervene in Taiwan's affairs.

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