Coincidentally, Su has served as a one-term legislator, and this is very important. To reform the legislature, a seniority system is crucial. Owing to the abnormal legislative system, political heavyweights seldom run for election to the legislature or just remain there temporarily. This means that there is no influential political leader who can launch reform from within, but if someone without any legislative experience launches reform as soon as he takes up his position as legislator, that could seriously damage the establishment of a seniority system. Su’s experience as a legislator a few years back is therefore very valuable. Certainly, if he can help the DPP pursue a legislative majority based on calls for legislative reform, he could greatly benefit the party’s campaign.
Because of the legislature’s bad reputation, the president’s supreme power and the combination of the legislative and presidential elections in January next year, legislative candidates have to rely on the “coattail effect” offered by the presidential election. However, if the DPP’s legislative candidates can act in unity and propose policies that differ from those proposed by the president, and because legislative reform is high among the public’s expectations, the KMT would become the target of a two-pronged attack.
Since Su has promised to make every effort to campaign for Tsai, heading the legislative campaign seems to be the most effective way to do so. It would not only offer Tsai effective support, it would also help reform the legislature. This is an opportunity to complete Taiwan’s democratization. The nation will be awaiting Su’s decision.
Lin Cho-shui is a former Democratic Progressive Party legislator.
TRANSLATED BY EDDY CHANG