Mon, Dec 03, 2007 - Page 8 News List

LETTERS: The KMT mocks democracy

The Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) efforts to amend the Organic Law of the Central Election Commission (CEC) (中央選舉委員會組織) shows that Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) is correct in his view that "the two-step voting format that pan-blue cities and counties propose using for the Jan. 12 legislative elections" is illegal.

It seems the KMT first tried to ignore the law and publicly claimed is was law-abiding in its electoral schemes. But when faced with threats of enforcement of the law, it switched tactics and now seeks to change the law.

Though the KMT will not admit it, this tactical change underscores its agreement with the fact that the law gives the CEC control over local election commissions. So the only way for it to get its way is to force a change in the makeup of the CEC.

Though it claims that the CEC is biased, the change it seeks indicates its preference for a biased CEC, as long as it is in the pan-blue camp's advantage. It provides further evidence that its own commissioners would not be neutral.

The behavior of the KMT leadership over voting procedures truly shows their antipathy toward democracy. Those in the KMT who genuinely support democracy must put pressure on the party elite to accept the CEC ruling.

But they haven't done so. What are they afraid of?

Anyone who supports democracy should embrace the principle that every citizen's opinion matters and has equal dignity. He or she would say: "If my own party's policy position or candidate is voted against, so be it. The people have spoken. I will abide by the results and work to persuade people in the next election."

One who embraces democracy does not seek to buy or manipulate votes, or manipulate laws to make it easier to commit electoral fraud.

It should be obvious that a one-step voting procedure will guard against fraud and help preserve a secret ballot. If the KMT were serious about its desire for a referendum, it would not matter if the referendum were given out at the same time as the election ballots.

Instead, its opposition has unveiled the fact that it couldn't care less about its referendum and only proposed it to sabotage the efforts of the Democratic Progressive Party.

In a democracy, the end does not justify the means. Rather, it is appropriate means that give legitimacy to the ends.

Joel Linton

Taipei

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