Thu, Dec 01, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Nation can't afford election boycott

People who are new to the nation's political scene are often bemused by the colors that are attached to various parties and political phrases. For instance, "black gold" -- referring to corrupt money -- "White Terror," "red" China fever. Or the colors green, representing the pro-independence ideals of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), and blue, associated with the pro-unification KMT and People First Party (PFP).

Last Sunday's KMT campaign rally, however, raised the question of whether Saturday's local government elections will be the usual battle between blue and green camps, or instead a fight between supporters of green and yellow -- the latter color representing the New Party, with the symbolism of "pure Chinese."

Marching alongside KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明), KMT Vice Chairman Kuan Chung (關中) and KMT Taipei County commissioner candidate Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋). There was one characteristic those three share in common -- the blood of the so-called "pure Chinese."

Where was Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平)? When approached by reporters asking why he hadn't appeared with the other pan-blue heavyweights, he said, "Nobody told me where to go."

Poor Wang. After trying hard to pretend he was one of "them" -- that is, one of the "Chinese" -- during his chairmanship campaign against Ma in June, he is still not "pure" enough to be in their league. Now, with Ma at the helm of the KMT, Wang appears to have been shunted aside, along with the rest of the so-called "pro-localization" faction of the KMT.

In the wake of recent corruption scandals involving the DPP administration, there have been calls from disappointed pan-green supporters to boycott Saturday's election in order to teach the DPP a lesson. While this view is understandable, in Taiwan -- which hasn't yet become a "normal" country -- ?such boycotts would only hurt the nation as a whole. They would send the wrong message to a hostile China, which covets Taiwan and every day searches for ways to annex it.

The true power of the people lies in the ballots in their hands. By exercising their fundamental right to vote, the people are demonstrating this strength. Likewise, giving up on voting means giving up the sovereignty of the people. This only leaves room for opportunistic politicians to pursue their cynical machinations, unhindered by the public will.

With Lien's speech at Peking University in May, the KMT made public its alliance with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Saturday's elections can therefore be seen as part of a long-term campaign by the KMT, in cahoots with "Red" China, to annex Taiwan. It is fair to say that a victory for the pan-blue camp would be tantamount to a victory for the CCP.

Some pan-greens fear that if they vote for the DPP, the party will not engage in much-needed reflection and reform. But in thinking in such a way, people are mistakenly equating the DPP with the pan-green camp -- ?and punishing the entire camp for the DPP's sins. The fact is, there are other pan-green choices available, such as the TSU.

Rather than sitting at home watching cable news and ranting about the DPP administration, it is time for angry Taiwanese to show their true colors with their votes.

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