On Wednesday last week, the KMT Central Standing Committee decided, through a show of hands, that Ma could go ahead and stand for re-election as party chairman, as is the convention in Leninist-style parties.
However, the reason the KMT feels it is imperative that the president also hold the party chairmanship is that in this role he also has control over the party’s ill-gotten assets, the largest assets of any political party in the world.
Not only does he control the organization, he controls the party members, so regardless of how far his policies divert from the wishes of the mainstream public he can still push them through the legislature — in which the KMT enjoys a majority — and have party members in government at all levels.
Consequently, democracy in Taiwan is gradually being eaten up by the malignant tumor of dictatorial leadership.
Nowhere in the Republic of China Constitution in its current form does it say that the internal organization of political parties must comply with democratic principles. This is why the KMT can speak of democracy while being non-democratic itself.
Any future amendments or redrafting of the Constitution ought to stipulate the inclusion of the democratic principles laid out in the German constitution.
In the past, this Leninist model was legitimized by the Civil Associations Act (人民團體法), legislation that the KMT itself devised and implemented.
At present, there is a draft political party act stalled in the legislature. This should clearly stipulate that parties’ internal organization should comply with democratic principles and should also provide a comprehensive solution to the issue of the KMT’s assets.
If this is not addressed, the development of democracy in Taiwan will forever be on shaky ground, and our democracy will be in a state of crisis as long as the KMT is in power.
At the end of last year, the Cabinet did come up with a blueprint for a draft political parties act which stipulated that all political parties were to transfer ownership or sell shares in profit-making enterprises within a certain period of time. Failing this, they were to place them in a trust.
This clause was basically tailor-made for the KMT, because it gave it a way out on a previous pledge to divest itself of all party assets.
However, it also goes to show how much of an issue the problem with the democratization of the party’s internal organization is. The KMT would not have made this amendment to the law by its own volition, if it had not had pressure from outside the party.
Ma’s recent attempt to secure a third term as chairman, and his supporters’ attempt to characterize this as an internal matter, highlight the Leninist nature of the party and that these people still have no idea what democracy is.
This Leninist party has the audacity to openly oppose the will of the public, to ruin the democratic order of the country and conspire with another Leninist party to have Taiwan swallowed up by China.
Mindful of the unease surrounding this issue, Ma met with his closest aides over the past few days to discuss tactics, and came out fighting, reportedly citing US constitutional amendments and the DPP’s own charter to back up his eligibility to stand, saying that his bid for a third term was completely legitimate.