As the furor over whether President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is eligible to run for re-election as chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) continues, one has to wonder if it is a storm in a teacup or a national disaster.
Judging from the current political situation, it is clear that Taiwan exists in a precarious world. Governments around the world are racking their brains in an attempt to safeguard the future of their countries, actively protecting their core economic, fiscal and national security interests.
Far-reaching reforms aim to strengthen the country so that it does not collapse as a result of global competition, becoming marginalized and ignored by other countries.
National leaders should always think first and foremost about whether their country’s future looks bright rather than about whether they have enough power. If the goal of attaining power is not to serve the people, the person holding that power becomes a symbol of injustice and unfairness, which is the ultimate depravation of power.
A look at the fiscal black hole that Taiwan is falling deeper into shows that the pension and health insurance systems are leaking like buckets full of holes.
The economy has stagnated; salaries are continuing to fall each year and the wealth gap is widening; democracy and basic freedoms are being increasingly circumscribed; constitutional politics and the state are crippled; and civil society is being dominated by big corporations — these and innumerable other examples of the country’s ongoing deterioration are evident to all.
After Ma and his government took power, they have proceeded to devastate the country and continued to push it toward a bottomless pit.
The Formosa of old — flowing with milk and honey — is gone, never to return. It has been replaced by declining living standards, industrial depression and a bleak future for the younger generation. It is an unbearable situation.
When Taiwan, a country that was once outstanding, changes beyond recognition, one cannot help but wonder if the full responsibility for this lies with Ma, who is in complete command of both the government and the legislature.
However, the master “bumbler” is seemingly completely unaware that the political situation has deteriorated to such an extent. The only thing he cares about is continuing to hold on to what he has managed to get his hands on.
That is why he is insisting so vigorously that his rights and interests must remain unchanged and why he presses on, regardless of what anyone else says. He places his own position above all else and does all he can to find ways to justify his re-election bid.
The main policies required to run a country must not be half-baked, but despite that the government is using tricks that belong with minor political issues and infighting. Ma is using the script of a traditional Chinese court farce to run the country. It is sickening, and Taiwan is in trouble.
Steve Wang is deputy secretary-general of the Taiwan Society.
Translated by Perry Svensson