Fri, Aug 25, 2006 - Page 8 News List

If I were Premier Su Tseng-chang

By Yao Jen-to 姚人多

IF I were Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), I would know that the biggest obstacles on my way to the top spot are President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), not Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his party. I would make an in-depth review of the ultimate meaning of the public's support for the DPP regime, and I would seriously consider what exactly the DPP's name represents for the people of Taiwan.

If I were Su, I would position myself as a "counterbalance" to Chen, rather than his subordinate. With the Presidential Office severely battered by corruption scandals, I would demonstrate my daring and resolution by turning the Cabinet into the cleanest government agency and placing it beyond manipulation by anyone. I would appoint a fearless minister without portfolio to take responsibility for anti-corruption reforms. I would build a report and disciplinary system to counteract corruption among government officials, demanding that every Cabinet agency root out the practice of red envelopes and behavior such as bribery and exchanges of interests. Were such behavior to be encountered, it would be thoroughly investigated.

If I were Su, I would know that the bureaucratic system as a whole has lost its central ideal, and that the gigantic government machine has become a mechanism for personal gain rather than for serving the public. Rebuilding the integrity and core values of the system does not require Chen's approval or negotiations with the opposition, it only takes determination, resolution and solutions.

If I were Su, I would pay attention to the class problem in political parties. Classes are a kind of social structure. Whether people talk about them or not does not change the fact that they exist. If I were Su, I would know that no party can represent both capitalism and the working classes at the same time.

I would redistribute social wealth through tax reform and concrete measures from the Council of Labor Affairs, vowing to the public that the DPP during my term would refuse to lean toward or pledge its loyalty to big business and that from now on, the DPP would be transformed into a party that represents workers, farmers and the general public. The era that emphasized ethnic origin must make way for class politics. If political development must be decided by categorization of people into different groups, then the DPP must replace the concept of "origin" with the concept of "distribution."

If I were Su, I would get rid of the Taishan (泰山) and Gangshan (岡山) toll collection stations first to give residents in Taipei and Kaohsiung a good reason to vote for the DPP in the year-end mayoral and city councilor elections. In fact, all the toll stations on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway, which opened to traffic in 1978, should have already passed into history according to promises of the former KMT regime. However, during the six years of DPP rule, the entire system has remained in place, even becoming a channel for collusion between the government and business. If I were Su, I would know that such problems cannot be resolved by appointing a new minister of transportation and communications.

As people's incomes constantly shrink because of the economic downturn and with the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system having descended into farce, I would meet the promises that the former KMT regime failed to fulfill and turn the freeway into a real "free way" for the people, not a channel for government-business collusion.

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