The first day of the latest legislative session was simply a farce orchestrated by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators, who occupied the legislative floor holding placards and banners demanding new legislative elections and that the president, vice president, premier and legislature step down, as well as slogans like, "Corrupt Cabinet: Premier should face investigation" and "Fight corruption, save Taiwan."
This behavior set a terrible example for the public. If the KMT intends to force a re-election of the legislature, it should call for a no-confidence vote against Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷). Once such a no-confidence vote is passed, the governing party can invoke the Constitution to ask the president to dissolve the legislature. This will necessitate a new legislative election.
Democratic politics, simply put, is about replacing breaking heads with counting heads, and replacing boycotts with the drawing up of proposals. It is certainly not about engaging in pointless political bickering.
Recently there seemed to be a chance of the legislature passing the arms procurement act, but People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) dashed people's hopes by making an outrageous statement: "The PFP does not want to squander the nation's wealth, so it blocked the rash passage of the arms procurement act in the last legislative session and will do so again in this one."
Such a remark seems inexplicable. This sudden turnabout can only appear to the public as opposition for opposition's sake, or perhaps Soong is seeking some political advantage for his party with this move.
Besides, the pan-blues have said that they would be letting the pan-green camp off the hook if they permitted the bill to be put before the legislature. They portray their majority as a fragile one, and claim to fear that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would use its administrative resources to lure pan-blue legislators into supporting the bill.
In fact, the pan-blues are attempting to cover up their wrongdoing with exaggerated rhetoric. They are doing all they can to obstruct all types of bills in the Procedure Committee, which resulted in a number of important bills -- such as the arms procurement bill and the "eight-year, NT$80 billion" flood control budget -- not being discussed in the legislature.
How can anyone believe that the pan-blue camp has Taiwan's interests at heart while it is behaving in such a manner?
Chao Lai-wang is a legislator for the DPP.
TRANSLATED BY DANIEL CHENG