Su’s response, to establish a China Affairs Committee, then failed, throwing the party into a crisis — a “China crisis.” The level of this crisis is very high and it is not a simple, isolated policy problem, like questions over whether Chinese students should be allowed to study in Taiwan or whether the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement is a good idea.
Hsieh’s proposal of “a constitutional one China” conflicts with the DPP’s three resolutions on Taiwan’s sovereignty and this needs explaining, because it refocuses the issue from a simple matter of individual policies to bigger questions about the DPP’s basic values, future vision, and mid and long-term policies. Hsieh’s actions revealed that not only does the DPP lack an overall consensus, but this lack of consensus is also creating sharp conflicts over the party’s direction.
Now the DPP faces the same problem that Taiwan as a whole faces over the pension issue: It needs a meeting outside of the regular system to build a consensus, with the participation of people from every direction within the party, just like Taiwan as a country needs the participation of every political party to solve its problems.
Both a great debate and a national affairs conference focus on allowing people of different opinions to fully express their ideas. This means that the problem can no longer be avoided and this is how problems are solved. Unfortunately, Su has made himself convener of the China Affairs Committee and Ma is trying to solve the pension issue with the help of the premier, the legislative speaker and the president of the Examination Yuan.
These approaches are the same in that they both stop people from fully expressing their opinions at a consensus conference.
The problem with this approach is that opportunities to solve problems are lost.
My advice to the chairmen of the KMT and the DPP is to face a consensus conference head-on.
Lin Cho-shui is a former Democratic Progressive Party legislator.
Translated by Drew Cameron