Wed, Nov 10, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Voters must have final say

By Poyao Andy Wang

Writing on the morning after the US election, I cannot help but compare the similarities and differences to Taiwan's past election. I am proud of both countries and their ability to grow through democratic processes and difficult situations. However, we can see how a mature democracy can be a great example to Taiwanese politicians.

The difference we can see between the two elections is that no baseless accusations have been levied by any party. No party has accused the other of election fraud. US President George W. Bush extended the courtesy of giving Senator John Kerry more time to review the results before declaring his victory. Many stories also reported that candidates who have lost [in state and congressional campaigns] have made phone calls to the winner to concede defeat and congratulate them.

I hope Taiwanese politicians can learn from our experiences in the US to give confidence to the Taiwanese people. Voters should have the last say in who is elected and politicians should carry themselves with the utmost dignity. In many US states the difference in the votes is less than 20,000 votes. All of these states are now carefully counting the votes but the nation and the candidates must accept the outcome. This is in stark contrast to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party ChairmanJames Soong's (宋楚瑜) failed coup.

I want to encourage Taiwanese to stand up and let their voices be heard. Don't stand for hooligans who want to gain political power through illegal means. As the legislative elections are coming soon in Taiwan, I hope that Taiwan can progress and grow into a beacon of democracy in East Asia. In that way, we can all be proud of our democracies.

Poyao Andy Wang

St. Louis, Missouri

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