After Taiwan's legislative elections on Saturday it is clear that Taiwan needs an in-depth study on how to determine electoral districts.
If the regulation of one winner per electoral district is to continue, then the Central Election Commission (CEC) needs to redraw electoral boundaries based on a nationwide census.
The division of the outlying islands into three electoral districts, for example, means that votes in less populated areas carry more weight than the votes in the rest of the country.
If some votes carry more weight in certain parts of the country, the elections are neither fair nor democratic.
Perhaps some less populated areas should be combined into one electoral district, or alternatively, more densely populated areas in, say, Taipei County need to be split up further.
A study of this kind should be the responsibility of the CEC.
It should be non-partisan and employ a combination of both domestic and foreign-based consulting firms that specialize in election procedure and statistics.
The Legislative Yuan should not be involved in the process.
If a nationwide census cannot be carried out because of a lack of government resources and consequently a fair division of the electoral districts cannot be achieved, then the old system of multiple winners in an electoral district should be re-considered.
Formosan Association for Public Affairs Europe, Greece
Time for Academia Formosa
A recent article in the Taipei Times regarding the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) reminded me of the need for Taiwan's government to change the name to "China Affairs Council."
The "mainland" of "Mainland Affairs Council" must refer to China, since the main function of MAC is essentially to provide an official channel for peaceful resolution of any problems between Taiwan and China. But the use of "mainland" in MAC is problematic, troublesome and inappropriate in terms of Taiwan's sovereignty. This impropriety alone is enough reason for the government to replace the word "mainland" with "China."
The problematic name reminds me of the renaming of the "Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport" to "Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport" early last year. This was a welcome development.
Most recently, the Ministry of Education successfully replaced a plaque alluding to Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) with one reading "Liberty Square" at the former Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂), now the Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall (台灣民主紀念館). This has made all patriotic Taiwanese jubilant, particularly Taiwanese Americans. This symbolizes another "giant step" toward normalization of all inappropriate names for places and institutions in Taiwan.
In fact, it is an action of justice for Taiwan, a country where freedom and democracy were lacking under Chiang's regime. For years, many were ashamed to set foot on that piece of land.
The reason is very simple: Why should we pay tribute to the monster behind the 228 Massacre, which saw an estimated 20,000 Taiwanese elites killed? Chiang was also the implementer of the longest period of martial law in history while he ran the country as a dictator and refused to keep a seat at the UN. This is the key reason that Taiwan is today embroiled in an uphill battle to rejoin the UN.
The rectifications of the names described above have also provided a rationale for us to believe that it is time for the government to correct the name "Academia Sinica" (
The media have reported for years that many members of Academia Sinica with Chinese ethnicity appear to work for China and not for Taiwan's welfare. Because of political discrimination, many distinguished, patriotic Taiwanese candidates were denied membership.
I strongly suggest when the president of the institute prepares to send a confirmation letter to each of the members, he or she should make it absolutely clear that each member must possess virtue, quality, charisma and the will to promote Taiwan's statehood, as well as demonstrate their efforts toward the progression of Taiwan's democracy, elevation of Taiwan's quality of living and advocacy of Taiwan's science education.
Only those who have these characteristics are qualified to be members of Academia Formosa, and thus are able to truly devote themselves to making great contributions to Taiwan. Any members of the so-called "Academia Sinica" who encourage re-unification with communist China should be deprived of membership as they are definitely not qualified to be members of Academia Formosa.
Bang H. Hwang
The National Immigration Agency on Monday confirmed that the majority of foreign residents in Taiwan would once again be excluded from the government’s stimulus voucher program. The NT$5,000 Quintuple Stimulus Voucher would be available to 140,000 foreign spouses of Taiwanese and 16,000 Alien Permanent Resident Certificate holders, but about 870,000 Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) holders would be excluded from the program, regardless of whether they pay taxes. The government has not offered any explanation, but some have speculated that the intention is to prevent migrant workers from receiving the vouchers. Many migrant workers are from Southeast Asian countries and work as
Within the span of a generation, a new super-rich class emerges from a society in which millions of rural migrants toiled away in factories for a pittance. Bribery becomes the most common mode of influence in politics. Opportunists speculate recklessly in land and real estate. Financial risks simmer as local governments borrow to finance railways and other large infrastructure projects. All of this is happening in the world’s most promising emerging market and rising global power. No, this is not a description of contemporary China, but rather of the US during the Gilded Age, from about 1870 to 1900. This
I first met Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in 1999, when I was Acting Director of AIT, as Darryl Johnson had just left and Ray Burghardt had not yet arrived. She was a young aide for then-President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). President Lee just had enunciated a new theory, which came to be known as the “state-to-state” principle, in an interview with a German newspaper. Beijing had predictably gone berserk and was trying to get Washington to come down heavily on President Lee. In the midst of all this, Tsai and I met to discuss the situation. I took a liking to this
It might have been an inelegantly, even ineptly, executed pivot, gratuitously alienating key allies, but by leaving Afghanistan and forming a security pact with Australia and the UK in the Indo-Pacific, US President Joe Biden has at least cleared the decks to focus on his great foreign policy challenge — the systemic rivalry with China. Yet the concern now is how quickly this rivalry could escalate, especially regarding Taiwan. The linchpin of the US alliance system in south-east Asia, Taiwan is the biggest island in the first island chain, the group of islands that keeps China blocked in. It is China’s