Sat, Jun 11, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Who is Soong trying to kid?

By Michel Cote

People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) is the last person in Taiwan who should be lecturing anybody on democracy. The White Terror's former gestapo chief is a fountain of misinformation.

It was former French president Charles de Gaulle who wrote the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, the current Constitution of France. It was former US president Thomas Jefferson who drafted the Constitution of that country. Germany and the UK's constitutional reforms were written and enacted by members of their respective parliaments and Canada's former prime minister John Mcdonald drafted his country's Constitution.

Indeed there are very few instances where the leaders of a country haven't been at the head of constitutional reform. There is nothing "undemocratic" about a sitting president initiating either referenda or constitutional reforms, so long as it is a consultative process and the final decision to adopt or not to adopt a certain policy is made by the people in a free and fair vote. Look at the constitutional exercise now playing out in Europe. Who is Soong trying to kid?

Soong's real complaint is that he isn't the leader of Taiwan after he and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) were squarely, fairly, and soundly defeated in the presidential election last year. Therefore the two of them and their parties continue to thwart any real political or constitutional reform or legislative action and in fact do their best to cripple Taiwan both politically and economically in an effort to destabilize the current administration.

If Soong and Lien were to follow democratic traditions, they should both have resigned the leadership of their party when they were beaten in national elections the first time back in 2000. The KMT and the PFP need to put their democratic houses in order before coming out and lecturing on democracy.

Soong shouldn't insult the intelligence of the Taiwanese people or the international community. We have eyes. None of us need a lesson in democracy, but perhaps he does.

Michel Cote


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