Tue, Jul 29, 2014 - Page 8 News List

DPP has to decide on its place in the spectrum

By Lee Yung-ming 李永明

Last year in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper), I published an article about Taiwanese singer Deserts Chang (張懸) and 71 percent of Taiwanese supporting the nation’s independence. I said that Taiwanese independence had become a brand and its followers had become increasingly loyal.

According to a survey at that time conducted by the TVBS poll center, 71 percent of Taiwanese supported independence, clearly representing a strong overall desire for freedom.

Last year, during a symposium, National Tsing Hua University sociology professor Yao Jen-to (姚人多) proposed the idea that there was no longer a market for independence or nation building and that this is something the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) could do nothing about. These ideas were basically an extension of the opinions he expressed in a lecture at the university on Oct. 22, 2010, regarding the DPP’s future.

Last month, I attended another of his lectures and found that his opinions are unchanged.

After the Sunflower movement in March and April, independence has received increased attention, especially as the student leaders of the movement said they support the idea.

As a result, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and pro-unification media criticized the movement fearing its growing popularity.

Many people within the DPP believe that the Taiwan independence clause in the party’s charter needs to be frozen to facilitate interaction with China and to help ensure a DPP victory in the 2016 presidential election.

Some party representatives have also proposed that the DPP’s Central Standing Committee should add a clause to the charter stating that a concrete timetable is necessary to see the nation declare itself independent. In addition, media reports have said that DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) is planning to propose that the DPP implement another of its resolutions — the 2007 resolution on making Taiwan a “normal country.”

There are all sorts of independence ideas in circulation and it is hard to say which one represents Taiwanese.

I have drawn up an independence spectrum, placing true independence on the very left and the freezing of the Taiwan independence clause on the far right. The DPP’s Resolution on Taiwan’s Future is right of the center, while its Normal Country Resolution is left of the center. A longitudinal axis represents the number of people who support each proposal and this was represented as a waveform, or more precisely, as a quantum probability wave that can be represented by a Fourier series that changes with time.

The spectrum is for independence, regardless of the wording in individual proposals, and I refer to the chart as “all inclusive” Taiwanese independence. Independence is a function of time, place and number of people, and it is not something that can be controlled by the DPP alone. All the DPP can do is tell people via its Central Standing Committee where the party currently stands on that spectrum.

During a recent visit to China, Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) of the DPP expressed his own opinions about independence. He said independence is not an idea that the DPP holds alone, but rather it represents a trend in the way a majority of Taiwanese think. This idea is similar to my description of “all inclusive” independence. Careful analysis and research are necessary for the DPP to decide which position it should take on the spectrum if it is to succeed in the 2016 presidential election.

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