After coming up with the idea of staging a bogus referendum, the government stepped its manipulative efforts up a notch with a keyword advertising tactic, a move that recently came to light in scandalous fashion.
The tactic involved the government purchasing keyword advertising on popular search engines that linked 92 words — including the names of 29 anti-nuclear activists — to pro-nuclear Web sites that it had set up.
The links used the names of prominent anti-nuclear figures such as writer Liu Li-erh (劉黎兒), Green Consumers Foundation chairman Jay Fang (方儉) and Nuclear-Free Homeland Alliance executive director Lee Cho-han (李卓翰), to promote the government’s pro-nuclear stance.
These activists posses great credibility among the public because they have been working hard for a long time to make public information on nuclear safety that the government tries to keep hidden, so that Taiwanese can truly understand the realities of nuclear energy.
Since the government is incapable of dealing with the safety issues of nuclear power, it should stop the Gongliao plant project as per public opinion.
However, it is instead spending large amounts of taxpayers’ money and abusing the names of anti-nuclear activists to continue disseminating pro-nuclear information aimed at brainwashing the public.
How much money does the government think it needs to spend to alter people’s opinion when more than 70 percent of Taiwanese have already said that they are in favor of immediately halting the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant?
These manipulations show that Taiwan is being ruled by deception by a government that has overstepped the moral boundaries of politics. Once this unique set of political moral boundaries are crossed, the legitimacy of a political system is doomed.
Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) has an academic background in law and political science, but he has tried to use a referendum based on deception to silence those who oppose the government’s ideas and pull the wool over the public’s eyes.
Now, he is allowing administrative bodies to use people involved in the anti-nuclear movement to carry out a propaganda war.
With political morality at such a low point, the worst thing Taiwanese can do is continue putting up with the way the government is using deception to rule the country.
Cheng Li-chiun is a Democratic Progressive Party legislator.
Translated by Drew Cameron