Mon, Dec 13, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Legislators, remember your duty

By the Liberty Times editorial

The intense elections for the Sixth Legislative Yuan concluded yesterday without incident, bringing joy to some and disappointment to others. With almost 500 candidates vying for 225 seats, competition was fierce. No matter, voters have now made their decision and the elections are over. We want to congratulate the winners and express our sympathy for the losers.

According to Central Election Commission (CEC) statistics, votes were divided between the different parties as follows: Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), 35.72 percent; Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), 32.83 percent; People First Party (PFP), 13.90 percent; and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) 7.79 percent, with none of the other groups reaching 5 percent. The pan-blue camp won a total of 114 seats, and the pan-green camp a total of 101. The Non-partisan Solidarity Union won six seats, while four seats went to independent legislators. The blue camp formally gained a majority of the 225 seats, but in practice, little has changed from the fifth Legislative Yuan. This caused KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) to call the outcome a victory for the Republic of China, while the DPP's Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) and Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) offered to resign to take responsibility for the outcome.

From a democratic perspective, the inability to gain a majority of the electoral votes demonstrates that one's political point of view does not have sufficient public support. To regain that support, it is necessary to adjust one's actions and ideas to better conform to the wishes of the people. On the other hand, those elected also have to take on a new responsibility: they must deliver on their promises and solemnly take responsibility for the nation and people in order to fulfill the important duties that come with popularly elected office. No legislator wants to become a one-term legislator, which is why they have to be constantly mindful of how to go about winning the public's approval over the next three years.

The last few years in Taiwan have been a period filled with troubles. National development has been a complex issue requiring cooperation between the government and the opposition parties. Taiwan's future, improving the economy, and creating social harmony are all issues that require the efforts of all the people of Taiwan. It is sincerely hoped that, beginning today, the 225 newly-elected legislators will consider how to work for the nation and the people of Taiwan.

For many years, the legislature has been criticized for being a stage for some legislators who have ignored their duties, and who only sought to remain in the media limelight. This situation has inspired public dislike for the chaotic legislature, and it is something that the newly-elected legislators should keep in mind.

Another longstanding shortcoming of the legislature is that many legislators have given priority to party ideology and showed a lack of national consciousness and awareness that the people of Taiwan should be the top priority. The result has been that, as they have been faced with proposed legislation or major national policy issues, they have generally staunchly adhered to the party position and ignored the question of whether the issues at hand would be beneficial to the nation and the people. We have often seen legislators agree on an issue just for the sake of agreement, or oppose it for the sake of opposition, while having no interest in discussing the merits of the issue.

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