Election day is tomorrow and the nation’s voters are about to elect the next president and the next legislature. These elections will result in a new political image as members of the younger generation manifest their political views and they will also bring a new situation for Taiwan.
One could say that voters in these elections will pass judgement on President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) eight years in government. After all, in 2008, as he made a big deal of the need for a transfer of power, he said that if the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) does not do a good job, voters could use their ballots to replace the party at the next election. I wonder if he regrets those words now.
We should have gotten rid of Ma in the 2012 election, but he played the threat card and joined hands with China to control Taiwan. By accommodating election methods that caused opposition and condemnation from the public, he managed to extend his time in office, despite his poor performance. When the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) that he had dreamed of and tried to arrange for so long finally materialized, that was not enough to save Ma, and it in fact sounded the death knell for the KMT.
It is about time, too.
The year 2000, which marked the beginning of the new millennium, offered an excellent opportunity for the KMT to renew itself. Still, its colonial mindset and its refusal to reform its evil ways led it to kneel before and beg for help from the Chinese Communist Party, a party that is dead set on exterminating the KMT’s party state.
The KMT did not even stop at hurting the place that it controlled, Taiwan, and cheating the nation of its dignity. When it talks about working hard to improve the economy, it is also begging China for handouts. Ma’s “6-3-3” election pledge — 6 percent economic growth, annual per capita income of US$30,000 and an unemployment rate of less than 3 percent — and his other promises were all just never-ending lies that have come back to haunt him and break the government’s back.
The younger generation of Taiwanese born after the Taiwan-centered democratization movement grew strong ahead of the first direct presidential elections in 1996 have set the stage for political reform. The younger generation, which is part of the democratization process, lives and breeds democracy, and this has created a natural awareness of national independence, and it is this that is leading to the demise of the KMT.
The KMT is moving closer and closer to its own death. The more it leans toward China, the more Taiwanese look down upon it. If China wants to use the KMT to address Taiwan’s democratic development, it will only belittle its own national dignity in the eyes of Taiwanese.
A small and beautiful nation, Taiwan should build its own values of democratization, economic welfare and cultural advancement based on its own vision of society and nation.
Let us use our ballots to show the world and China what a democratic revolution looks like. Let us use the presidential ballot and the legislative elections to kick out the KMT, which has failed to realize Taiwan’s potential. Let us hope for a new government and a new era.
Lee Min-yung is a poet.
Translated by Perry Svensson
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