Sun, Feb 04, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Our `amazing' legislature

By Chiu Hui-yun

This country we live in may not have as many natural wonders as the US. The documentation of the country's history may not stretch back 5,000 years, unlike China's. And Taiwan may not have huge ancient castles like Europe.

But Taiwan does have the most amazing legislature in the world, and surely no other country can compare.

One might call it the "amazing legislature."

On Jan. 19, lawmakers ruined the country's image by making quite a scene.

One legislator fell off a desk during a brawl. The world from New York to Hong Kong to Singapore got a great view of his bottom.

During the scuffle, another legislator threw her shoe at the legislative speaker.

The public was amazed, as observers in Beijing, other parts of Asia and the West surely were, to see her shoe flying through the air and landing on a man next to the speaker.

This embarrassing situation all began when lawmakers from the Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) tried to block a vote on the country's election commission.

I bet that if I sent that clip to Funniest Home Videos I could win first prize.

But none of this should come as a surprise. Our lawmakers have been behaving in an unacceptable manner for ages. They need to shape up if they care about the country's reputation.

I have some suggestions to improve their behavior.

The media turn politics into a show. They turn theater lights on the politicians and encourage them to perform. Journalists should be selective about what information should be presented to the public. If the media were to stop reporting on sensational behavior, the lawmakers wouldn't be as apt to put on a show.

We should also take a good look at the US' C-SPAN system and create a similar network here.

Every development in the legislature would be public, and that would give us the full picture of legislative developments, instead of feeding us with selected, sensational tidbits.

In addition, the public must learn to report inappropriate broadcasting to the National Communications Commission. Many of us have complained about the chaos, but few actually take a stand. Unruly politicians are one reason why the public is becoming indifferent to developments in our country. And that, in turn, leads to rising crime rates and other social problems.

If people stop providing a public for sensational media coverage of politics and sensational behavior from politicians, the legislature might start acting like adults.

I hope one day our "amazing" legislators can treat each other with respect and debate important issues peacefully.

Chiu Hui-yun

Taoyuan County

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