Mon, Apr 21, 2014 - Page 8 News List

The road to a better democracy

By Joseph Wu 吳釗燮

One major demand of the movement is for a national conference on the Constitution. As a political scientist by training and one who has worked within the system, I fully understand the problems associated with the Constitution and support reform into a presidential or parliamentary system. It is all about good governance and democratic consolidation, not sovereignty.

Political scientists frequently define democratic consolidation as the political rules of the game, ie, constitutional rules and norms, being accepted with no or very little challenge. Taiwan is a young democracy and many of its international partners support the nation based on the common values and beliefs of democracy. However, it will become a grave problem for Taiwan’s democratic consolidation if the constitutional rules of the political game are seriously challenged from within the system or from outside.

The Sunflower movement has challenged the rules of the game in the name of safeguarding democracy. The movement’s level of public support provides a significant impetus to an overhaul of the Constitution.

Taiwan wishes to stand tall among the community of democratic nations and contribute to needed democratic development in the region. Hopefully, its friends in the international community will voice their support for efforts to reform, for this will be the path to deepen Taiwan’s budding democracy.

Joseph Wu is the Democratic Progressive Party’s policy director and representative to the US.

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