Sun, Nov 25, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Taiwanese identity has no color

By Lu I Ming 呂一銘

IN EVERY ELECTION,identification with Taiwan is a subject that touches a nerve in every ethnic group, so much so that it has become a political doctrine in itself. Because of the long-term animosity between political parties in Taiwan, the guileless supporters of these factions are often construed as being either entirely blue or green.

To make matters worse, news media get involved and deliberately stir up animosity, so that Taiwanese society is torn up into mutually exclusive, opposing camps of blue and green. This can be considered a great tragedy in the development of Taiwanese democracy.

For instance, identifying with the policies and ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is considered a shortcut to identifying with Taiwan, as though the DPP is the "key to Taiwan," with the right to define and direct what it means to identify with the country.

Legally and logically, there is no foundation for this notion. In the end, it is the public rather than the parties themselves who determine whether the parties live or die. The fact that people identify with the land and the country is a matter of naturally ordained right.

However, the many evils committed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in its 50-year reign remain unaddressed. Although they are now relegated to the position of the opposition party, the KMT still retains ill-gotten party assets, and has yet to undergo a transition into justice. Much resentment is still buried in the hearts of family and friends of unavenged victims of the regime.

Unable to comprehend the need to acknowledge their guilt and demonstrate genuine remorse, the KMT has recently been using the rather feudal slogan of "win back Taiwan." It is difficult to see how this can win the hearts of the public. Rather, it makes those who previously suffered under KMT rule feel that the power of the party-state is attempting to reinstate its rule, and the threat of a revival of the specter of "black gold" politics looms.

Compared with the DPP's lack of administrative ability, the KMT's actions are like demons and this instills fear in our hearts. From this we know that the public despises the KMT above all else. This shadow attacks whenever elections loom, and should never be underestimated.

Recently, men who were forced to join the KMT against their will have variously defected, drawing a line between themselves and the party, thereby severing all ties. Various professors have declared their association with the KMT as the greatest stain of their lives during talk-show appearances. Others profess the enormity of their shame through confessionary articles in newspapers. The majority scold the KMT in private.

The KMT brought this upon itself like digging its own cesspool when it chose to disclose its old records of membership. Even presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) could detect an unbearably foul smell in the air. Apparently the KMT still has to learn how to make a new start in Taiwan. Otherwise, it would be difficult to account for why we find it so detestable.

Of course, there are some who question why it is necessary to always criticize the KMT when the DPP has imitated its poor example and likewise suffered a host of corruption scandals during its reign -- after all, the DPP is not much better. These individuals are not aware that the DPP is protected by its grassroots image: unless it becomes corrupt from within and self-castrates, the DPP will remain the unimpeachable weeble of Taiwanese politics.

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