A picture of unsustainability
A number of politicians have promoted the idea of a Taiwan consensus. However, a clear consensus already exists in Taiwan.
Taiwanese want to maintain a democracy and they do not want to be part of the People’s Republic of China.
Given this consensus, what exactly is the problem in Taiwan’s politics?
The problem relates to a struggle for power between two parties under the constitutional system of the Republic of China.
The two parties were established in vastly different historical circumstances and their views are very hard to reconcile.
There are many other important issues which have a more direct impact on the daily lives of people in Taiwan, though.
These are the issues on which Taiwanese should seek to build a consensus.
The key issues are ecological integrity and economic inequality.
Taiwan is a relatively small and densely populated island. It regularly suffers from typhoons and earthquakes.
It is entirely dependent on imported energy and resources to sustain its economy.
Climate change is likely to have an increasingly costly impact on Taiwan in the next few decades.
All this adds up to a frightening picture of unsustainability.
Furthermore, Taiwan used to be one of the most egalitarian countries in the world.
However, in recent years the divide between rich and poor has widened. Youth face a future of low-paid and insecure work.
They are increasingly locked out of the possibility of owning their own homes.
The real consensus that Taiwan needs is for everyone to come together and work on the critical issues of ecology and equality.
When the people of Taiwan unite around these key issues, they will truly be safeguarding Taiwan’s future.