Sun, Feb 09, 2014 - Page 8 News List

Ma upending constitutional process

By Christian Fan Jiang 范姜提昂

However, they also know that the central theme of the system of three separate arms of government — that of checks and balances — is very clearly laid out.

As US political scientist and constitutional expert Richard Pious said: “The Constitution is less a blueprint of government, neatly dividing powers, than it is... ‘an invitation to struggle’ over the privilege of directing American policymaking.”

To put it plainly, the spirit of checks and balances under the division of powers is an invitation to slug it out. Whoever is in government welcomes the legislature to fight for the right to direct policymaking.

The purpose of designing the system in such a way was to put into practice the original intention of constitutional government, namely, to pursue happiness for the people.

The key is what kind of attitude those in government choose to adopt.

Ma is a very poor kind of legal hack whose intentions are shady to say the least.

As far as he is concerned, the Constitution means whatever he wants it to mean and nothing more.

Come off it, Ma — it has all been heard before.

Do not forget that your approval rating has dropped to about 9 percent. Never mind that the legislature is duty-bound to take back the power to direct policymaking on behalf of the public. You should be grateful that Taiwanese have not taken to the streets in open revolt. Not yet, anyway.

Christian Fan Jiang is deputy convener of the Northern Taiwan Society’s law and policy group.

Translated by Julian Clegg

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