Mon, Oct 09, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letters: The DPP's downward spiral

I keep hoping that the DPP will stop self-destructing, but nothing seems to be able to stop its suicidal plunge.

One sign of its disconnection with reality is its recent discussion on constitutional reform.

I cannot imagine who really believes constitutional reform is feasible under the current political conditions.

The DPP may believe it represents the heart and soul of Taiwan but more and more people are coming to the realization that there is a yawning gap between its rhetoric and reality.

Though I would have liked to see the DPP succeed, it was apparent from the early days of the administration that the party could not make its vision for Taiwan a reality.

Over time, the party abandoned its left-wing ideals and gradually turned into a nationalist party. Positioning itself as the native party against the foreign KMT, the DPP filled its campaigns with gestures to appeal to nationalist central and southern Taiwanese voters. These were the easiest votes for the DPP to capture.

The new Taiwan was a place where past imbalances would be redressed. Resources would be reallocated to make the country just and fair. Instead of trying to make the pie bigger, the DPP would carve it up differently. Just as the KMT had its civil servants, teachers and soldiers, the DPP would build up its own support base.

But over time, it became clear that the DPP was not really trying to become better than the old KMT. Its politics were designed not to compete with and beat the opposition parties but to delegitimize them.

As the correctly aligned native party, the DPP believed it could control political discourse and eventually become the nation's dominant party. It worked for a while, but then something happened.

The majority of people stopped believing DPP rhetoric. The party lost credibility because it was in charge but not delivering the goods.

My advice to the DPP is that it should continue to devote most of its time discussing issues of nationalism. In a couple of years, it will then have even more time to discuss them -- as a minor opposition party.

Name withheld


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