Thu, Sep 30, 2010 - Page 8 News List

Pan-greens must think beyond the elections

BY CHANG SHIH-HSIEN 張世賢

Just as the campaigning for the special municipality elections was getting into full swing, Taiwan was hit by Typhoon Fanapi, causing severe flooding in the south. This should not have come as much of a surprise, given the wake-up call we had only last year with the devastation wrought by Typhoon Morakot.

In 2005, the pan-green camp asked for a review of a national land restoration act. The pan-blue camp, concerned that the act might stifle business, blocked it, despite the increasing vulnerability of excessively developed areas to natural disasters. On one level, the flooding was not entirely unwelcome for the pan-blue camp, since they could use it to direct disaster victims’ anger toward the pan-green camp.

The pan-blue groups collude to serve their own interests and are unlikely to care about protecting the land or looking out for the public good. If they had their say, it is unlikely that flood control projects, such as the Yuan Shan Tzu diversion of the Keelung River, would have gone ahead.

With the pan-blue camp, it is an endless soap opera of corruption and vote-rigging. Examples are rife: Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) sending in the bulldozers in the dead of night to destroy crops and dig up land belonging to local farmers, and the alleged bribing of High Court judges by former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator and Miaoli County commissioner Ho Chih-hui (何智輝), to name but a few.

After the latest typhoon, the pan-green camp should make it known that the KMT has obstructed land restoration and sat idly by as the nation continues to slide.

It is high time the rot was rooted out. At the same time, the pan-green camp should give some serious thought to what it is going to do to redress the damage done should the public give the pan-blue camp another chance in government.

The pan-greens need to provide answers as to what they are going to do about the corrupt civil service; how they are going to help Taiwanese get back the natural greenery and cultivated land wrested from the public by fat cats and bureaucrats; and how they are to deal with the overdeveloped, heavily polluted environment.

According to the dissident Chinese writer Yuan Hongbing (袁紅冰), writing in his Taiwan Grand State Strategies, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sees this country as a stepping stone to the rest of the world, which explains why it wants to gain control of Taiwan.

The CCP has used a cocktail of contrivances — part of “unrestricted warfare” — to manipulate the situation in Taiwan to ensure the KMT wins the next presidential election, which the CCP hopes will smooth the process of unification.

That said, even if the KMT loses, that would not necessarily mean it would forgo all political control. It would still be possible for the CCP and KMT to stir up trouble. They might even orchestrate a situation legitimizing China’s use of its “Anti--Secession” Law and launch a military attack on Taiwan.

Whoever wins the 2012 presidential election is going to be put to the test, and a severe one at that.

The 2012 presidential election is going to be a telling time for Taiwan, and even if the pan-green camp wins, it cannot rest on its laurels. Now that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is in effect, things will only get worse, and Taiwanese will have to deal with increasingly severe natural disasters exacerbated by global climate change.

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