More recently, the government has systematically used the state mechanism in tackling public opinion, in the mistaken belief that merely by rolling out a few pro-nuclear spokespersons it will be able to dispel the massive wave of anti-nuclear sentiment among the public.
Ma has said that the issue of the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), can be resolved through a referendum. While this may appear to be a democratic solution, it is nothing of the sort, as the government holds a monopoly over relevant information.
Also, the government’s policy of gradually phasing out nuclear power is simply a delaying tactic designed to pull the wool over our eyes. One can imagine that next the government will attempt to use the advantage of access to resources to try to brainwash people and make them believe that we need nuclear power. The government is already resolved to promote nuclear power, and is not willing to hear what the public has to say on the matter.
Tsui Shu-hsin is secretary-general of the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance, Taiwan.
Translated by Paul Cooper