Fri, Jun 09, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Taiwan, Banana Republic of China?

Okay, so let's imagine for a moment that, all reason having been tossed aside, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) succumbs to the demands of the opposition parties and resigns.

Such an event would mark the end of democracy in Taiwan and the beginning of mob rule. Taiwan would be left with a mockery of a political system based on the mercurial whims of the entrenched political elite. Heads of state could be selected and overthrown based on deals made in backrooms, by ever-changing alliances of different political factions.

Of course, such a system would leave the general public with little room to exercise its right to choose its leaders, but that shouldn't be a problem. Let's take a page from our comrades in Zhongnanhai. They tell the Chinese people that they aren't ready for democracy -- that it is an ugly affair, which inevitably results in chaos.

Well, aren't they correct? Isn't Taiwan chaotic, now that it is a democracy? Isn't the lawlessness of modern Taiwan terrible? Maybe it isn't exactly the anarchy depicted in the film The Road Warrior, replete with bike gangs who terrorize the populace -- but that's the logical next step, isn't it? Oh, the horror of our society. Why, one can't walk the streets at night without fear of being robbed or killed, right?

Luckily, the opposition parties are trying to do something to counteract the vicious chaos of democracy, with its hideous personal freedoms and its awful system of making the government accountable to the people.

They have devised a better system, in which government officials are held to account by other government officials. They can all keep each other honest together, because nothing is so honest as a politician. The more politicians you have, the more honesty you have -- that's the logic behind all of this.

The people need never be bothered by having to make decisions about their country or its leaders -- that's what the political elite is for. The elite is supposed to control things -- that's what makes them elite. And they should control the people, because the people don't know how to control themselves -- that's why there is so much chaos in Taiwan.

So the opposition parties can solve all of this by forcing the president out of office. They don't like him and they don't want him. And why should they? Just because he was duly elected by a majority of the voters? Just because a fundamental underpinning of democratic systems is the belief that governments exist solely by the consent of the governed?

Well, the opposition parties have shown that they believe Taiwan needs no such confusing, namby-pamby hogwash if it wants to get things done. The opposition parties have a better way -- a stronger, simpler way of dealing with the problems of governance.

The opposition parties can ensure that the people will never be upset by having to read stories about government corruption again. After all, they have decades of experience in controlling the media and persecuting critics. If a journalist wants to pester the people by talking about government malfeasance and graft, the solution is simple: shoot her.

Isn't this what the opposition parties envision for us? Can't they bring back the heady, halcyon days of orderly, calm, controlled society? Taiwan can once again grow and prosper under the loving care and stern gaze of Big Brother. Surely it's much more preferable for Taiwan to seek the safety and security of totalitarian rule.

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