The political superstars of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) have one thing in common: They are very good at shouting slogans. The KMT’s newest chairman, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), is no exception. He wants to stand on the past and reform for the future, and has said that he wants to restore the party spirit of the founding fathers. This is Chu’s attempt to differentiate himself from former KMT chairman President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) as a party leader.
The KMT was founded to bring about a revolution in China. It had a gang spirit and violent nature. It possessed a sacred democratic mission centered on human rights, but it seems that it is not a modern democratic party after all, and has shown ugly aspects to its ideas and actions. Its attempts to restore a set of dead or outdated views from a different time and impose it on modern Taiwan are an example of irony at its worst.
Chu’s statements, both past and present, show that he thinks Ma’s approach has failed because Ma’s policies are out of touch with the public and have failed to gain popular support.
Voters think that the KMT’s policies benefit only a few, leaving most unhappy and widening the wealth gap. Ma has been accused of working to benefit only big business and allowing firms to unfairly amass fortunes.
Chu speaks forcefully when he says he wants to restore the principle of the people’s livelihood — Republic of China (ROC) founding father Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) political invention to cater to public welfare.
However, Chu’s actions during his time as then-Taoyuan County commissioner also seem to have catered to big business.
The cleanest element of the KMT’s founding spirit was that it had zero party assets and relied exclusively on donations. The greatest revolutionary contribution of Sun — who the party sometimes refers to as the “Eternal Party Leader” — was his determination to raise funds.
However, even he was accused of unclear spending.
Since Chu said that he wants to stand on the past and reform for the future, “zero party assets” should be his first priority.
The KMT was created to bring about revolution, but it had to collaborate with organized crime and gangs, such as the Hatchet Gang (哥老會) and the triads, and Sun himself was possibly a member of the Hatchet Gang.
If Chu wants to stand on the past and reform for the future by confusing injustice with justice and treating corrupt gang members as comrades, he will only make the KMT more infamous than it already is.
Sun did a good job founding the party — he was good at shouting slogans and was elected provisional president of the Republic of China (ROC).
However, as he was preparing to hand over the presidency to former ROC president Yuan Shikai (袁世凱), the KMT was unwilling to give up power. It came up with a provisional ROC Constitution, which allowed the party to implement a parliamentary system and maintain a hold on power.
Chu is in no hurry to reform the KMT, but wastes no time pushing for a parliamentary system. The phrase deja vu springs to mind.
James Wang is a media commentator.
Translated by Ethan Zhan
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