Wed, Oct 05, 2011 - Page 8 News List


Something to be proud of

With the non-event centennial of the exiled state of the Republic of China (ROC) fast approaching, now would be a perfect time for this government and president to seize the opportunity to catch the attention of the world and raise Taiwan’s profile as a truly progressive Asian republic. To this end, may I humbly suggest the following five policies:

First, Taiwan could ban the catch, sale and consumption of all shark meat and fins. Second, it could abolish the death penalty. Third, it could legalize, regulate and tax the production and sale of most currently illegal narcotics. Fourth, Taiwan could scrap the Referendum Review Committee and radically lower the 50 percent threshold for passing a referendum. Finally, Taiwan could abolish the practice of keeping any animal more than 5kg in weight in zoos or aquariums.

These policies would have the world’s journalists immediately rushing here to see what an empathetic and humane country looks and feels like.

Of course, there is no chance any of those ideas can become realities, which I think speaks volumes for the real “achievements” of the ROC thus far in its 100 years of despotic, corrupt, environmentally destructive and inhumane existence.

If the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) wants Taiwanese to identify with and be proud of the ROC, perhaps it might first think about achieving something truly inspiring for Taiwanese to be proud of.

Ben Goren

Greater Taichung

Insult to human intelligence

I am happy to see that Bo Tedards kept fighting his battle with the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) over his demotion (“TFD fined for violating labor laws,” Oct. 1, page 3).

He has done so much through the foundation for democracy all over Asia, including Taiwan and China, but also through his long stint at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Research and Planning Committee, where he worked hard on to help turn two UN covenants on human rights into national law, assisting former deputy minister of foreign affairs Michael Kau (高英茂) in establishing the foundation and doing so many things to set up the World Forum on Democracy in Asia, arguably one of the foundation’s largest flagship projects. And this is not to mention his years working at the Taiwan Association for Human Rights.

I will pass over the rest of what he did and does, such as having articulated for the foundation the recently internationally piloted Asia Human Rights Award.

As Albert Camus once wrote, “life is sometimes nothing but an insult to intelligence” (my translation from French).

The KMT proved Camus right when it chased out a number of top TFD people when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took power, not to mention the thousands of contractual employees more or less associated with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at any level of government in less than two years. So much for Ma’s “Taiwan Cheers, Great” slogan.

Politics in Taiwan is becoming more like in the US, with extreme polarization that leads nowhere. It is high time for the KMT and DPP alike to face the inevitable need for a certain degree of consensus, which workers from all walks of life desperately hope to see for the sake of not only the economy, but life in general in Taiwan.

Good luck Tedards and don’t give up.

Again, the misguided political judgement that led to your secretive demotion during your parental leave is like what Camus said: an insult to human intelligence.

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