Wed, Sep 12, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Taiwan needs a ‘third force’ party

By Chen Yi-chi 陳奕齊

It was a social movement mainly supported by people who oppose China’s “united front” strategy. For someone to dismiss it as a “party” is contemptible, but to avoid mentioning the China factor and define it as just opposing closed-door procedures is also wrong.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) often talked about “governing according to the law.” His slogan is echoed by Ko’s motto: “We will do whatever we should.”

When politicians focus purely on procedure, it is often a distraction that they use to avoid clearly stating their standpoints.

If political parties or politicians do not sincerely state their values, it generally means that they only follow “market trends” and bend whichever way the wind blows, or even that they are opportunistic “reapers” for whom values are no more than a means to an end.

In the Sunflower movement, a bunch of people who thought there was no market for Taiwanese independence disregarded what many people wanted and misrepresented the movement as only being about procedural justice.

Now the same people are defending Ko for the short-term goal of getting more votes. They are against stating their position on unification or independence as an issue for people to consider when voting, and they stand shoulder to shoulder with the more-or-less China-friendly People First Party and New Party in supporting the same candidate — Ko — for Taipei mayor.

Comparing what is going on now with what happened four years ago makes this easy to understand.

Among Taiwan-centric parties, Taiwan needs a “third force” that sticks to its principles more than the DPP does, calmly seeks to persuade the public and eventually accepts whatever judgement it receives in the court of public opinion.

Maybe Taiwan Radical Wings is not as “pragmatic” as the NPP when confronted with the electoral market, but when it comes to interpreting and continuing the aims and desires that were brought together by the Sunflower movement, it has always been more conscientious than the NPP.

Chen Yi-chi is chairman of Taiwan Radical Wings.

Translated by Julian Clegg

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