While many believe that Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (
The purported reason for the youth corps is to inject new blood into the party to boost reform. This is a straight rip-off of the China Youth Corps, founded by late president Chiang Ching-kuo (
The media recently dubbed the KMT's youth corps the "clique of princes," as its senior members include former chairman Lien Chan's (
This is almost a replica of the situation in China, in which sons and daughters of powerful fathers used their family position to gain access to political and commercial power.
Ma recently said he hoped that "the youth corps might produce another Hu Jintao (
Such elitism can also be found among the pan-blue camp members who are chomping at the bit to become Taipei mayor: KMT legislators John Chiang (
The Democratic Progressive Party's association of the names of contenders for the party's Taipei mayoral nomination with that of former dictator Chiang Kai-shek (
Growing up in a family that has been politically powerful for generations is a great education, and the inheritance of family resources makes it easier for the next generation to make its mark in the political arena. The question of how the KMT wants to realign its power structure and train its new leaders is for the party itself to decide. Relying on nepotism to create a small clique of leaders, however, is behavior befitting a totalitarian system, regardless of whether or not it might produce outstanding leaders.
More participation by the broader public would result in the promotion of more talented politicians through free competition. The exclusion of the average party member will only further disappoint the KMT's grassroots supporters.
If the KMT's new youth corps is nothing more than a platform for the political training of the next generation of party nobility, then this will be a step backward for the party.