Fri, Dec 23, 2011 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Judiciary as KMT toy

It is very upsetting that the Taiwanese judiciary has once again become a political plaything for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

As anyone with any common sense can tell, the separation of the executive and judicial branches of government is the cornerstone of any democracy (we won’t worry about the Control Yuan or Examination Yuan for now). If judicial neutrality is undermined, all claims to democracy are unconvincing.

Does anybody remember when a jail sentence of seven years was passed for anyone suspected of subverting the government? It wasn’t that long ago and in any case, anyone with selective (or unselective) amnesia has only to look to our “ancestral motherland” across the Taiwan Strait for examples.

If there is one reason why the KMT should be barred from office for 20 years or so, it is this: To cement the independence of our judicial system so it can cease to be the lapdog of any political party and also to implement judicial reforms, such as implementing a trial-by-jury system, which, while costly, can empower the people and consolidate democratic consciousness.

To be honest, back in 2008, I sympathized with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and predicted his victory (which was not hard to do), despite my Hoklo background and liberal tendencies. Like so many, I wanted to see another “Taiwan Miracle” and an ideologically moderate leader who respected the law and principle of fair play.

However, from observing how the judicial system has been manipulated for political gains, I now firmly believe that the KMT needs to be sent to purgatory again for at least two decades before it is ready to govern a pluralistic and democratic state.

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division’s insistence of political neutrality fools no one; launching a probe just one month before an election is as convincing as the Control Yuan’s “reminder” of the illegality of accepting piggy bank donations from minors. Such a probe should have been conducted after the Jan. 14 elections to avoid the appearance of interference. Otherwise, no amount of disclaimers will do.

Luke Hsieh

Riverside, California

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