This loss of talented diplomats meant that the new government had to settle on Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊) as minister of foreign affairs, a person who has not had an outstanding career.
Ou is well known for his loyalty to the KMT. However, his loyalty to Taiwan has been questioned and he caused a scandal over “de-Taiwanization” soon after coming into office.
Merely focusing on the loyalty of Taiwan’s representative to Washington — Taiwan’s most important unofficial ambassador — whilst paying no attention to his reputation and talent may be ludicrous, but it is not the most ludicrous thing.
Nationalization of a military is the most important benchmark of a country’s level of democracy, but the first thing Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) did on taking up his post was to order that troops praise the KMT flag in their military songs and that soldiers should study old KMT military teachings.
These are attempts by the KMT to dominate the military once again. Such privatization of the armed forces is a great step backwards for a democracy.
In terms of the people Ma has appointed to the Examination Yuan and Control Yuan, the separation of party and government has in effect put both the legislature and his own political party on the sidelines. In doing so, Ma has offended and upset the legislature as well as key members of his own party and has unsurprisingly been attacked by both.
Ma completely ignored the legislature in his nomination list for members of the Control Yuan. He gave the list of nominees to the president of the Control Yuan, which he had appointed himself, allowing him to choose who he wanted on his team. This is absolutely ridiculous.
Ma’s intention is clear; he is basically telling Wang Chien-shien that he as president of the Control Yuan can choose who he wants to employ.
By saying that Yuan members must obtain the trust of the Yuan president, Ma is in effect turning the Control Yuan, a quasi-judicial body, into an administrative organization.
By far the most important aspect of a judge’s job is the independent exercise of his authority as well as the ability to make correct, unbiased decisions on his own that are not influenced by the orders or policies of his superiors.
To be able to maintain this independence, heads of judicial institutions do not have any say in who is employed as a judge or who is promoted.
This is the biggest difference between judges and members of an administrative institution.
For example, members of the US Supreme Court are recommended for their positions and pass through review systems before taking on their posts.
There is no way they can be chosen by the Supreme Court chief justice.
Therefore, with Ma allowing Wang to choose his own team of Control Yuan members and judging from what Wang has said since, it appears that members of the Control Yuan will be following the policies of the president of the Control Yuan and will not be able to make independent decisions on cases in the future.
The behavior of Ma and Wang in this regard is absurd and it is extremely hard to believe that their constitutional knowledge is so lacking.
If Ma does not carefully re-think his strategies for appointing officials and the separation of party and government and fails to update his knowledge about our Constitution, he will not only run into problems appointing officials.