Mon, Feb 27, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letters: The people should choose

By Mark Sokkappa

Did anyone watch the interview with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on the BBC's Hardtalk program on Feb. 21?

Unfortunately, the interviewer did not follow up on his questions very well.

When Ma was asked whether he would run for the presidency, he said that it was up to his party. Note that he did not say it was up to the people of Taiwan or himself. Yet later, he said that Taiwan would remain a democracy under reunification with China.

A better interviewer would have asked Ma what kind of democracy would leave the decision of whether he runs for the presidency to his party, rather than to the Taiwanese people? One may call that a "republic" rather than a "democracy." But then, what is the difference between a Communist Party that dictates who will be the president and a KMT that dictates who will run for their party?

Both are a nondemocratic form of republic. At least China claims to be a people's republic. Taiwan doesn't even bother to lie about its nondemocratic way of choosing presidential candidates.

In the past two presidential elections, the people of Taiwan have been forced to reject two old men who feel they have a birthright to the presidency of Taiwan.

They came from an old leadership that knew no democracy. Taiwan has been forced to settle for whatever alternative candidate is running. Will the next presidential election see these old men once again attempt to take the office they feel is already their's? Or will they simply act as puppets when the People's Republic of China strikes a deal to have them lead Taiwan in 2008 without any election?

Mark Sokkappa


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