Sat, May 13, 2017 - Page 8 News List


Tsai must put her foot down

Last week the Formosa news Web site published the results of an opinion poll in which 40.5 percent of respondents said they had confidence in President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), while 43.8 percent said they did not.

Among those polled, 31.5 percent said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance and 57.1 percent said they were dissatisfied.

Tsai’s approval rating remains low, with no sign of recovery.

When it comes to Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), 32.9 percent of respondents said they had a favorable impression of the party, much lower than the 51.8 percent just after Tsai took office last year, while the proportion of people having an unfavorable impression of the DPP has climbed from 24.7 percent to 47.3 percent.

The satisfaction rating for the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) stands at 23.5 percent against 52.1 percent dissatisfied.

These numbers are not much different from a year ago, showing that the KMT has not gained from the public’s dissatisfaction with the DPP.

This indicates that Tsai and the DPP’s satisfaction rates have suffered their biggest declines among young people and non-aligned voters. This shows that these groups are disappointed with the performance of Tsai and Premier Lin Chuan (林全) one year into their terms, and the DPP has been dragged down with them.

This signal should not be taken lightly, because these are the groups who gave victory to Tsai and the DPP in last year’s elections.

The KMT, still spurned by the majority of the population, has been employing senseless disruptive tactics in various forums. It dares behave like this because of Tsai’s cautiousness and lack of resolve, and the doddering performance of Lin’s Cabinet, whose governance has not lived up to people’s expectations.

Over the past year, many commentators have warned that Tsai needs to change tack.

On May 20, she should launch decisive reforms and give Taiwan a new lead by overhauling the Cabinet.

Nobody denies Lin’s financial and fiscal expertise, but most people probably think he is unsuited for his job.

Taiwan has no time to waste — it is in urgent need of sweeping reform. Lin has close relations with a dubious clique in the finance industry and he has appointed too many old-guard officials with KMT backgrounds.

There is no reason to believe that he can change the bureaucratic culture in which officials aim to get as much as possible out of the system while doing as little work as they can, and anyone who expects Lin to institute effective reforms is likely to be disappointed.

Furthermore, as KMT legislators wage an indiscriminate campaign of blocking and delaying as much as they can, if Tsai does not put her foot down most people will find it hard to accept.

Chang Chih-hsien


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