Wed, Dec 21, 2011 - Page 8 News List

Taiwanese democracy, Stalin-style

By Joseph Wu 吳釗燮

Just a few days ago, international supporters of Taiwanese democracy joined hands to establish the International Committee for Fair Elections in Taiwan. The purpose of the organization is to ensure a fair and free presidential election next month. I am very certain that the international observers would be shocked to learn that the KMT has been entertaining the idea of implicating and entangling its main competitor in the presidential race by judicial means through a badly-weaved fabrication.

About two weeks ago, the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairperson Ileana Ros-Lehtinen declared that she would ensure no backsliding of Taiwan’s democracy, so that it could continue to be a beacon shining its bright light across the Taiwan Strait onto the imprisoned people under communist rule. What is utterly unfortunate is that the KMT government snubbed her declaration by its Red Guard-style smear campaign and judicial actions against the key opposition presidential candidate.

Taiwan has gone through two rounds of peaceful transfer of power after 1996. According to Samuel Huntington, Taiwan should have consolidated its democracy. However, if the incumbent president chooses to do things like what have been done in the past few days as an option to salvage his re-election, it is doubtful whether the country could remain democratic.

Taiwanese should feel ashamed if democracy watchers from around the world expect an admirable liberal democracy in Taiwan, only to find a Stalinist USSR when they arrive here after the elections.

Joseph Wu is former chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council and a former representative to the US.

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