Recent developments have again belied Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's (
Ma has been running on these themes for months now, taking great pains to paint an economy with a healthy growth rate as stagnant and to blame every problem under the sun on the past seven years of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) governance.
A vote for Ma, he says, is a vote for the underdog and a sure-fire path to a brighter future.
But all the promises of rejuvenating every single industry and sector in the economy and ensuring the well-being of every citizen under his care pale compared with the time-honored KMT tradition of placing party interests above everything else.
The latest example? Ma's party has placed a draft amendment to the Organic Law of the Central Election Commission (CEC) (
It seems the pan-blue dominated legislature, so well-versed in the art of ignoring important bills, can move fast when it wants to.
But don't expect anything other than the usual tomorrow -- in other words, yet another blocked bill. The KMT is determined to address the draft amendment, but several DPP lawmakers are just as determined to prevent that from happening and told the pan-blue camp it would have to pass the amendment "over our dead bodies."
If the KMT caucus really cared about economic development and the public good, it would put non-controversial bills at the top of the agenda tomorrow before the circus begins.
Otherwise, bills that really affect the nation's development won't so much as pass the legislative speaker's lips.
Several draft amendments to the Statute for Upgrading Industries (
But instead of getting any work done, tomorrow the legislature will treat the public to the latest chapter in the increasingly absurd spat over election procedures.
If the pan-blue camp passes the amendment, which would require commission members to be selected according to the number of legislative seats held by each party instead of being nominated by the premier and appointed by the president, it will hold the majority on the commission. That would give the KMT the means to work against all DPP-initiated referendums, including the plebiscite on recovering the KMT's stolen assets.
If actions speak louder than words, then Ma's pledges won't go very far. The KMT's performance on the legislative floor is likely to erode his credibility once more.
Taiwan’s status in the world community is experiencing something really different; it’s being treated like a normal country. And not just a “normal” country, more like a valuable, constructive, democratic and generous country. This is not simply an artifact of Taiwan’s successes in combatting the novel coronavirus. It is a new attitude, weighing Taiwan’s democracy against China’s lack of it. Before I continue, I should apologize to the readers of the Taipei Times. I have not visited Taipei since the opening of the American Institute in Taiwan’s new chancery building in Neihu last year, so I was unprepared for the photograph
At a June 12 news conference held by the Talent Circulation Alliance to announce the release of its white paper for this year, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) emphasized that, in this era of globalization, Taiwan should focus on improving foreign language and digital abilities when cultivating talent, so that it stands out from global competitors. I suggest the government should consider building a professional translation industry. If the public believes that there is a relationship between learning English and national competitiveness, then the nation must consider the social cost of language education. This should be assessed to maximise educational effectiveness: Is
In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, cities around the world are re-evaluating the importance of accessible green spaces for the benefit of public health and well-being. However, Taiwan’s success in containing the virus might impede opportunities to transform its cities into greener, healthier and more resilient places. Urban vegetable gardens have been highlighted by community planners worldwide during this wave of the green-space movement. Such gardens help enhance food security and also mental health, which in turn fosters social resilience in local communities during lockdowns. Since 2015, Taipei has run the “garden city” program, which allocates vacant land for use as
In March 2011, then-US president Barack Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, told the US Senate Intelligence Committee that, considering both its capabilities and intent, communist China presented “the greatest mortal threat” to the US, followed by Russia. In the ensuing years, in the face of faltering US responses, China expanded and intensified its hostile actions against US interests and values. Consistent with US President Donald Trump’s call for a dramatic new approach, within months of taking office, his administration’s National Security Strategy said of China’s multidimensional assault: “China is using economic inducements and penalties, influence operations ... implied military