The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) national congress passed a motion to dissolve the party's factions to thunderous applause.
But the effort was wasted, because shortly after the motion was passed at around 2pm on July 23, the factions were resurrected in the Central Standing Committee election.
Except for Vice President Annette Lu (
As a mediator between the nation and public, a political party in a democracy has two major functions. First, it must recommend political and legislative talent to all levels of government, including directly elected government heads, representatives and administrative officials. Second, it must compile public opinion to form policies and laws to run the nation.
Within a party, factions play the role of mediator between the party's headquarters and its members. They help to select party and public officials, and collect opinions from members.
Outside of politics, even civil organizations have factions. Without a board of directors supported by factions, the head of an organization would be hard-pressed to pass any administrative measures. Still, unity among such factions is much looser, because civil organizations do not exercise power at the national level.
The general public and the government have no way to link without parties, and different parties have arisen to reflect the diversity of public opinion. Similarly, the diverse memberships of parties and organizations means they split into factions.
But although all parties have factions, their operations may differ. The factions of more conservative parties tend to pay less attention to ideals and instead focus on winning public posts. The factions of revolutionary or reformist parties, however, often give more weight to ideals and party direction, and tend to launch more reforms. This is the situation abroad as well as within the DPP.
Without the maneuvering of factions, the DPP may not have passed such measures as its "Resolution on Taiwan's Future," its pro-Taiwan independence platform and the "mass line," as they may have been considered too radical at a time when the party was focused on winning official positions. Without the support of the factions, it is possible that the party's pro-Taiwan independence platform would have been removed under the leadership of President Chen Shui-bian (
The DPP's decision to dissolve its factions was useless, because the key to weakening them lies instead in reforming the party at a fundamental level. Using the US as an example, the party leadership must be further weakened, the Central Standing Committee must be abolished, party leaders must not interfere with national policies, the party chair should only be an election campaign manager or a general affairs director, and nominations for official posts should be based entirely on public primaries. Even with all this, factions are likely to persist, as so-called "party bosses" still exist in the US.
The dissolution of factions, just like the halving of the number of legislative seats, was simply a populist move. The only consolation is that the former will be much less harmful than the latter.
Lin Cho-shui is a Democratic Progressive Party legislator.
Translated by Eddy Chang
With its passing of Hong Kong’s new National Security Law, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to tighten its noose on Hong Kong. Gone is the broken 1997 promise that Hong Kong would have free, democratic elections by 2017. Gone also is any semblance that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plays the long game. All the CCP had to do was hold the fort until 2047, when the “one country, two systems” framework would end and Hong Kong would rejoin the “motherland.” It would be a “demonstration-free” event. Instead, with the seemingly benevolent velvet glove off, the CCP has revealed its true iron
At the end of last month, Paraguayan Ambassador to Taiwan Marcial Bobadilla Guillen told a group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators that his president had decided to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, despite pressure from the Chinese government and local businesses who would like to see a switch to Beijing. This followed the Paraguayan Senate earlier this year voting against a proposal to establish ties with China in exchange for medical supplies. This constituted a double rebuke of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) diplomatic agenda in a six-month span from Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in South America. Last year, Tuvalu rejected an
US President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday last week announced it would impose sanctions on the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a vast paramilitary organization that is directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and has been linked to human rights violations against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The sanctions follow US travel bans against other Xinjiang officials and the passage of the US Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which authorizes targeted sanctions against mainland Chinese and Hong Kong officials, in response to Beijing’s imposition of national security legislation on the territory. The sanctions against the corps would be implemented
US President Donald Trump on Thursday issued executive orders barring Americans from conducting business with WeChat owner Tencent Holdings and ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of popular video-sharing app TikTok. The orders are to take effect 45 days after they were signed, which is Sept. 20. The orders accuse WeChat of helping the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) review and remove content that it considers to be politically sensitive, and of using fabricated news to benefit itself. The White House has accused TikTok of collecting users’ information, location data and browsing histories, which could be used by the Chinese government, and pose