Mon, Jan 07, 2008 - Page 8 News List

Referendums are key to democracy

By Chen Lung-chu 陳隆志

There are three major political events this year: the presidential and legislative elections, and the referendums. They are crucial to the continuance and deepening of Taiwan's democratic system, and will significantly affect the nation's future. Also, they are opportunities to rid ourselves of power struggles among political parties and resolve legislative conflicts.

Among these events, the four referendums have received much public attention. The Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) recent decision to call on the public to boycott the referendums is likely to remain a point of focus during the legislative election battle, and perhaps even the presidential campaign.

If the KMT's decision was prompted solely by fear that the Democratic Progressive Party's referendum on recovering the KMT's stolen assets would pass, then the KMT deserves the harshest criticism. Such behavior is reprehensible.

Referendums are a sign of a mature democracy. In the elections, we need to support not only good candidates but also the referendums, so as to ensure democratic development.

Chen Lung-chu is the chairman of the Taiwan New Century Foundation.

Translated by Eddy Chang

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