The saddest thing about Taiwanese politics is that when most politicians point their fingers at someone, they fail to see that other fingers are pointing back.
Especially for those who have their eyes on the 2008 presidential election, the campaign to oust President Chen Shui-bian (
Among them, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) obsessive and continuing use of double standards to score political points has finally backfired.
The following are some examples of Ma's flip-flops:
When first lady Wu Shu-jen (
However, when former Taitung County commissioner Wu Chun-li (
Ma's ambiguous attitude toward People First Party Chairman James Soong's (
When incumbent Keelung Mayor Hsu Tsai-li (
As a lame-duck mayor of Taipei City, most citizens are not impressed by Ma's performance. His relatively high approval rate is due to his personal image, rather that the efficiency of his team.
The decline of internal discipline within the city government has been lost on no one. The latest abuse of power by the director of the Research and Examination Department, Chou Wen-tsai (
Ditto for Ma's use of his executive budget for private affairs. His inability to provide any kind of explanation raises the prospect of corrupt dealings in the mayor's office.
As the anti-corruption sentiment grows amid the campaign to depose Chen, Ma's soft approach to dealing with Hsu was slap him on the wrist. He has applied a blatant double standard to be "harsher on his enemy and softer on his own men," which calls into question his ability and qualifications to be the next national leader.
Indecisiveness in decision making, failure to execute internal discipline, use of double-standards for political ends and a marked tendency toward opportunism are the sum total of Ma's character.
A mirror has two faces. When Ma urged the public to hold a national referendum to force Chen to step down, he must remind himself that he has been walking on the same path that Chen set foot on when he overlooked increasing public dissatisfaction with his performance.
The public insists that leaders fulfill their promises, be consistent with policy and be honest. Instead of molding his public image, the favored contender for president in 2008 must bring strength of character, integrity and consistency to the nation's problems.