People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (
Soong's anti-Su proposal was clearly meant to raise his profile and set the stage for his mayoral bid. But while the KMT may have been willing to accommodate Soong in the past, the PFP chairman's latest action has created a rift in the pan-blue camp as it would pit him against the KMT's own candidate, Hau Lung-bin (
With Soong joining the Taipei mayoral race, there seems to be little hope now of the two parties cooperating in the year-end contest. The PFP hopes to keep the fire of the anti-President Chen Shui-bian (
What does the PFP hope to achieve in toppling the Su Cabinet? Realizing that the shift to the "single-district, two-vote system" next year would be unfavorable to smaller parties, the PFP is hoping that toppling the Cabinet would lead Chen to dissolve the legislature, paving the way for early elections. The PFP would rather risk a snap election now when it can ride on the wave of public support for the anti-corruption campaign, thinking that the current political mood would favor its more radical line.
The KMT is the biggest opposition party, and looks set to regain its power. While it shares the PFP's stance against the ruling party, it is not as desperate nor as uncompromising. Legislation for new electoral districts and voting methods have not yet been completed. As such, if the legislature were dissolved, there would be a period in which the executive, legislative and control yuans will have to cease all normal functions. All checks on the president's authority will cease -- a situation that the KMT would not like to see.
If the government falls and Chen chooses to forgo disbanding the legislature in favor of inviting Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
After more than a month of anti-Chen demonstrations, KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (
Unfortunately, the PFP's indiscriminate slash-and-burn politics and Shih's street protests are all designed to upset the nation's stability. Soong and Shih are nothing but political opportunists unconcerned with the nation's long-term political development. With the havoc that the two have created in the past, the DPP, or possibly the KMT in the future, are left with the long and laborious task of picking up the pieces.