Thu, Nov 18, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Voters to judge traitorous blue camp

This country has been kidnapped by both Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜). The Lien-Soong ticket was defeated by an extremely narrow margin in the March 20 presidential election, and on Nov. 4, the Taiwan High Court determined that the re-election of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) was valid. However, Lien and Soong are unwilling to concede and are mobilizing the blue camp's resources to protest.

Although the Dec. 11 legislative elections are only about three weeks away, we have little sense of their imminent arrival. Both candidates and parties have failed to propose any tangible policies. No one notices the new faces, as campaign rallies are mostly occupied by familiar faces. Lien and Soong are shouting themselves hoarse in accusing Chen of cheating, while Chen has accused Lien and Soong of launching a "soft coup d'etat" by encouraging several military officials to retire or take sick leave right after his re-election.

The fundamental problem for Lien and Soong is that they have failed to come up with any concrete evidence. Meanwhile, Chen has also failed to identify those who were involved in the so-called "soft coup d'etat." Such pre-election campaigning is at once boring and exasperating. People are wondering when the presidential election will finally be over. Why can't people just cast ballots and get it over and done with? If this chaos continues, how can we live?

In this light, the legislative elections are simply a slow torture. The Taiwanese people have already made their decision over the results of the March 20 election and they will express this with their votes on Dec. 11. It's a pity they have had to wait so long.

This election is not really a legislative election at all. It is simply a case of Lien and Soong prolonging the controversies surrounding the presidential election. Although calls from within the KMT for reform and a transition of power to a new generation of leaders have been getting louder, Lien and Soong's insistence that they carry the matter through to the end has effectively prevented any progress on these issues. The DPP might have been able to pursue reforms, but these have been curtailed by the pan-blue camp and the interminable controversy over the presidential election. This is simply obstructing the progress of Taiwan's development and democratization.

Looking at what progress has been made in terms of government reform, the DPP could have put many new faces, including women, in its legislative lineup by introducing a younger generation to the electorate and distinguishing itself from the KMT. But since Lien and Soong have steadfastly refused to let go; the president has had no choice but to take the lead in campaigning, so that the new faces are generally hidden behind him and a number of his stalwarts. The opportunity to give new talent the exposure it deserves is being lost.

The NT$610.8 billion arms procurement bill has become a sacrificial victim. This budget allocation was intended to arm Taiwan to counter the threat posed by China. Lien and Soong continue to ignore this threat and have mobilized pan-blue and pro-unification forces to mount resistance to the bill. It is no surprise, then, that Premier Yu Shyi-kun some days ago became angry enough with such behavior to say that history would be the judge of their traitorous behavior.

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