Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Tolerance and forgetfulness are not virtues

By Huang Kuo-chang 黃國昌

Considering the shambles in the legislature, every citizen is entitled to ask who among our lawmakers has truly borne his or her responsibilities. However, voters should at the same time ask themselves whether tolerance and forgetfulness of improper behavior has been the hotbed that has fostered this gang of out-of-control lawmakers. Is the public more concerned about whether legislators have given away presents, organized raffles and proposed Mid-Autumn Festival toasts, or whether their work in the legislature has served to safeguard the nation?

Tolerance and forgetfulness is the catalyst for the rampant delinquency of political hacks. It is what has prevented Taiwan’s democracy from becoming properly established. Only when citizens stop being so tolerant will they be able to force politicians to change their behavior. Only when the public stops being so forgetful will these public servants be held accountable to society’s collective memory.

The Constitution 133 Alliance’s recall campaign offers a chance to cure this chronic political malady. It offers a ray of hope for democracy, which needs deepening. For politicians to place the public above their party, Taiwanese must first identify themselves as citizens, not as pawns of the pan-blue or pan-green political camps.

They must invest time in the future for the generations to come. They should unite to do battle in a political war. They must take action to be able to one day write a history of real democracy and constitutional government in Taiwan.

Huang Kuo-chang is a research professor at Academia Sinica’s Institutum Iurisprudentiae.

Translated by Julian Clegg

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