Tue, Feb 15, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Rooster year dawns amid politicians' crowing

By Ku er-teh顧爾德

The sensational events of the nation's Legislative Yuan speakership and vice speakership elections are now over, and though there was plenty of intrigue, it achieved little, for the overall blue-green division of the political map remains unchanged. And most of what was sensational about it proved to have been orchestrated by the politicians themselves, with the media painting a picture of a minority government full of hope and an opposition in the throes of anxiety.

The "intrigue" was little more than gimmicks used by politicians to enhance their position.

The media's coverage made pan-green supporters believe that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) had a chance of winning the speakership, while the pan-blues were concerned whether People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong would remain loyal to the pan-blue cause.

The pan-greens have nothing to feel disappointed about in the election results, nor do the pan-blues have anything to rejoice over. The political map was already very clear cut, and if the so-called "intrigue" had managed to turn the tables, is there any guarantee that they would not turn back again in 10 days or a month's time?

What would have happened if Ker had bought off legislators eager to sell themselves to the highest bidder and managed to win the speakership that way? Would it be plain sailing for him? Frankly, both the green and blue camps risked being found out or double-crossed, for if this had happened both sides would have needed to engage in secret deals that would not bear scrutiny.

That Ker fought for the speakership is understandable, but pan-green politicians have behaved like junkies who constantly need a fix. And as for pan-green supporters, if Ker had won through secret deals, they might have seen their "green" candidate undermined by "blue" influence. In this case, how could a speaker from a minority party have directed the legislature?

The pan-green camp may not be that foolish. Although they vowed to win over some pan-blue legislators during the legislative speakership election, they apparently did not, metaphorically speaking, put their money on the table. On the other hand, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had to put up with its legislators putting themselves up for auction. If the pathetic KMT had ended up losing the speakership as well, then it would have suffered an irreparable loss of face.

Soong has come out of the election best. He has returned to Taiwan, [after visiting the US to speak with government officials there], and clearly no longer has any fear of the Chung Hsiung Bills Finance scandal (興票案). Now, whatever Soong says, the nation's governing and opposition parties listen with rapt attention and even try to curry favor. No wonder Soong appears cocky and his morale is high.

Now it is the Year of the Rooster, and Taiwan's cocky politicians are crowing to herald a new spring of political power. But is this a new spring for the Taiwanese people as well? The basic call from politicians is "I want power," and they differ only their demands for either "recognition of `one China'" or "Taiwan's sovereignty."

They believe that these hackneyed phrases are the most exulted of harmonies.

These cockerels regard the people as capons, emasculated and ineffective, capable only of making a fuss on the sidelines. But have the politicians ever discussed what they would do should they become legislative speaker, vice premier or head of the Straits Exchange Foundation? If they have not, then they certainly are showing contempt for the power of the people.

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