Mon, Jan 28, 2008 - Page 8 News List

Democracy needs a helping hand

By Michelle Wang 王美琇

THIS IS NOT rumor mongering but an imminent and present threat already looming over Taiwan. Using democratic common sense and personal observation, we can see that an urgent crisis is upon us.

The pan-blue camp won three quarters of the legislative seats. If Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) wins the presidency, all five branches of government will be under KMT control and Taiwan will return to single party rule. This is tantamount to declaring that the efforts expended by Taiwanese for democracy in the last 50 years were in vain.

At the same time, the KMT's party assets would be rapidly legalized and continue to generate profit. In the next 30 years, no party will be able to compete against the KMT and democratic balance will be entirely lost.

Besides, left to Ma's cross-strait common market economic policy, Taiwan will rapidly transition from economic amalgamation to political annexation. Taiwan's national sovereignty will quickly be lost in misguided economic notions.

Ma's new "three noes" is merely campaign-speak, which cannot disguise his central ideology of eventual annexation and the concrete goal of unifying China, to be achieved through cooperation between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

If Ma is elected president, in the short term China would take him on a "honeymoon." However, the initiative for pulling the strings does not reside with Ma, but with China. Taiwan will eventually be imprisoned by the view that it is part of China, from which it will not be able to escape. Taiwanese sovereignty will be in a precarious position.

Furthermore, in the last seven years, the level of identification with Taiwan among the public has risen from 36 percent to more than 60 percent. If the KMT returns to power, all pro-localization education will return to focusing on China. In other words, the issue of identifying with Taiwan or China, which has plagued Taiwan for several years, will be inherited by the next generation. Our generation's pain will be passed to the next and the normalization of the country will be even further away.

Confronted with this imminent threat, we must come to realize that KMT legislators won 5 million votes, hence we must invest more than 7 million votes in a display of direct public will in Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to give him greater public backing. Only then will it be possible to keep a check on the monstrous force of the legislature.

If Hsieh is elected, the 7 million votes should be given greater importance, so that he will not be at a disadvantage.

While policy can be discussed and compromises reached in accordance with democratic principles, political power cannot be conceded lest democratic election and votes be rendered meaningless. If necessary, we could consider the president's right to issue orders in an emergency as well as veto power. If the legislature passes legislation that damages the welfare of the majority or national interest, such as passing money-guzzling legislation benefiting minority groups, the president could use his right to issue emergency orders to veto the legislation.

The establishment of such a convention would make up for the shortcomings of the constitutional framework, or force the legislature to amend the political instability caused by the Constitution.

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