Sun, Aug 20, 2006 - Page 8 News List

The TSU must find its own way

By Shu Chin-chiang 蘇進強

Stabilizing the political situation, reinvigorating the economy, consolidating democracy and strengthening Taiwan are the core founding values of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU). The TSU was established five years ago to help and consolidate the localized government led by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Although the TSU was opposed by some DPP factions at the beginning, it kept its focus on the big picture.

It is a matter of regret that even though the TSU has supported the DPP, some DPP members now take the arrogant approach that the TSU must support the DPP and must not compete with the DPP. Some pro-independence factions, civic groups and voters also think that the stronger party should be supported. They think that the TSU must concede in any competition with the DPP, saying that it lacks solidarity and is splitting the pro-localization effort if it does not.

A sober look at the DPP's six years in power still leaves one thinking that where there's smoke, there's fire. It is a matter of great urgency for the administration to engage in serious soul searching, bring about sweeping reform, give the public a sense of well-being and restore a feeling of dignity and glory to the Taiwanese people and those supporting localized rule. These are also the criteria the TSU will use to measure any future interaction with the DPP.

In other words, the TSU must serve the people of Taiwan by making the public's wishes, preferences and dislikes the party's mission.

Last year, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the DPP cooperated on a plan to amend the Constitution. They set such a high threshold on the public's fundamental right to initiate a referendum on creating a new constitution and changing the nation's title that doing so has become almost impossible.

In addition, the lack of appropriate measures to support the new single-member district, two-vote system violates the democratic spirit of "one man, one vote," setting the DPP up for an electoral loss before the next election has been held and putting the TSU in an even more difficult situation than before.

The TSU is not aiming to make an enemy of the DPP, but when the DPP fails to ensure the well-being of all citizens and the nation's dignity, when it can no longer rely on its reputation for being clean and supporting localization, and when it is no longer capable of winning the support of the majority, the TSU must forge its own road.

Localization should not be used as a veil by any political party to cover up impotence and corruption. The true meaning of localization is to ensure clean politics and honesty, and to look at Taiwan as a single community with a shared fate. A localized regime should work to bring happiness to all Taiwanese people.

Democracy should not be a tool to legitimatize either the DPP's arrogance or the KMT's one-party autocracy.

Localization and democracy should not be used to win elections or seize power. Corruption and the KMT's pretense that its stolen party assets are legitimate are the two major culprits undermining the localization and democratization of Taiwan. The TSU will not only keep a distance from corruption and strictly monitor the government, it will also call on the public to launch a signature drive to initiate a referendum aimed at reclaiming the KMT's stolen assets.

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