Sat, Dec 10, 2005 - Page 8 News List

【 Letters 】

Ma should pass arms bill

The "three-in-one" elections have just come to an end. Under the leadership of Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) won a landslide victory. Meanwhile, many academics and political critics have appealed to both the ruling and opposition parties for reconciliation. And this is what voters want to see, because all the people in Taiwan are fed up with the present chaotic situation.

Therefore, I suggest that Ma focus on the predicament of the special arms procurement package and the confirmation of the Control Yuan members to show his sincerity. Especially as the chances of him winning the 2008 presidential election are high. At present, he should pay more attention to national security, monitoring of the ruling party and showing some concern for the livelihoods of all the nation's people.

Ma's rational nature gives people the impression that he is cool-headed. But if he carries on following the KMT's previous path of blocking the arms deal and stubbornly boycotting military procurement, he may in fact end up giving the opposite impression.

Moreover, if one day he is elected president and suddenly realizes that national security is a key issue to Taiwan's survival and that he should transcend partisan politics, he will be faced with the need to boost national defense capabilities. By the time he plans to increase the arms budget, he too may receive severe criticism from opposition parties.

In fact, it would be more pragmatic for Ma to allow the arms bill to pass to the approp-riate legislative committee. Then he can invite academics and professionals to rationally discuss the issue at hearings. After a cautious evaluation and review, legislators can then decide whether or not to buy the arms, or which specific items to buy. To do so, I believe, would show a responsible attitude and it would repay the faith of the people in Taiwan who supported his party in the recent elections.

Chang Juinxiong


Non-voters the loser

A shifting political climate is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy. Resting on the laurels of past achievements leads to decay and other unworthy pursuits.

The Democratic Progressive Party received a wake-up call. The KMT did not receive a mandate to sell Taiwan to China. It merely received another chance to govern the people of Taiwan.

Now is a chance for more dialogue on where Taiwan wants to go. Along with the older dialogue about who and what Taiwan is, Taiwanese now have yet another chance in a free society to define themselves for the future.

Those who didn't vote are the real losers in this important election. They have already shown a lack of desire to be individual citizens and let others decide their fate. Inaction may be a quality trait for certain religious values but in society it is a formula for disaster.

Bill Parkhurst


Judiciary a joke

It is pathetic that the prosecutor-general would discount democracy, even after criminals have been elected ("Election results irk prosecutors," Dec. 6, page 2). The 10 corrupt local council and town chiefs that were elected are but the tip of the iceberg. For one cockroach seen there are 10 unseen.

It is not democracy that is at fault. Rather, it is the system where the vote-buyer gets elected, and after he assumes office is able to profit from his position and pay back his cronies, all the while going unpunished.

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