Sun, Sep 09, 2012 - Page 8 News List


Democratic dictatorship

Taiwan is becoming a paradoxical country under a democratic dictatorship — the president is elected by popular vote, but his administration seldom listens to or cares for the people. Democracy is merely camouflage.

If the National Communications Commission does not reject a media merger deal, media in Taiwan will be monopolized and Taiwanese will lose their freedom of the press again, like in the White Terror era. People have protested against media monopolies — but in vain. A few months ago, Cheng Hung-yi’s (鄭弘儀) TV talk show, a popular political mouthpiece for Taiwanese, was canceled, showing the first sign of deterioration in the freedom of speech.

In the presidential election in January, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) smear campaign and vast illegal partisan assets were weapons to suppress the opposition parties in an attempt to re-establish one-party dictatorship. Since the court has found that former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) did nothing wrong in the so-called Yu-chang case, is it not the case that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election campaign is guilty of causing Tsai’s loss in the presidential election?

However, the court also found nothing wrong with Ma’s re-election campaign. Such “logic” does not make sense to normal people.

Now the Control Yuan is investigating Tsai again in connection with the Yu Chang case and impeaching Tsai’s running mate for building a farmhouse he donated during the campaigning.

The Control Yuan is more interested in investigating former government officials than current ones. Taiwanese are being brainwashed to think that pan-green officials are always wrong and pan-blue officials are always right.

President Ma is experienced in dictating domestic politics but inexperienced in handling international situations because of his policy of diplomatic ceasefire. For example, in a recent interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK, Ma indicated that Taiwanese fished near the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) 100 years ago. He has been engaged in the Diaoyutais protection movement since his Harvard years, but he forgot that Taiwan was ruled by Japan for 50 years. At that time, of course, Taiwanese could fish near the Diaoyutais. If Ma has any evidence to show that the Diaoyutais were part of Taiwan rather than Okinawa during the Japanese era, then Ma has a strong claim. Claiming sovereignty over the Diaoyutais on an island 140km away is like “scratching an itchy foot with the shoe on.”

Charles Hong

Columbus, Ohio

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