The Formosa Alliance is to hold a public rally in Taipei tomorrow. It is not intended to be a demonstration or parade, but it seems to have sent the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) leadership into a tizzy.
The party has forbidden its officials from participating and has prohibited its candidates from taking photographs with the alliance’s campaign car. Any violator is to be disciplined.
This is the first time the DPP has ever imposed such restrictions. It has never banned its members from contacting, socializing, having their pictures taken with or eating with groups affiliated with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) or even Chinese Communist Party personnel.
It seems that the alliance is the sole exception. People might wonder what taboo the alliance has violated to incur such treatment.
The rally was organized to show opposition to Chinese annexation and promote referendums on independence and the nation’s participation in the UN.
These proposals were already set out in the Declaration of Formosan Self-Salvation published in 1964, and are the ultimate objective for which the DPP was established in the first place.
The largest difference in opinion is likely coming from DPP decisionmakers’ preoccupation with maintaining the Republic of China’s form of government and its adherence to the cross-strait “status quo,” while ruling out referendums on drafting a new constitution, on independence and establishing a new nation.
It is truly astonishing to see the party take foe for friend while regarding an ally as its archenemy.
The DPP holds the presidency and has a legislative majority — why would it not invite the alliance’s leadership to negotiate face-to-face and search for a consensus in pursuit of higher ideals?
Haggling over every ounce for the upcoming elections is shortsighted and childish. If the DPP wants to abandon its tragically heroic spirit, then what are its former fervent supporters — including this author — to do?
A friend of mine, who works in the party’s upper echelons, has told me that I might be being used.
I have been watching the actions of the DPP since it assumed the reins of government; I have looked askance at its fecklessness and sluggishness. If someone chooses to join forces with others who have the same vision, how can you say that they are being “used”?
Who knows how many people originally had no intention to participate in the rally, but have decided to join to protest the DPP?
Rally participants need to bear in mind that lambasting others for “having political ambition” or “just wanting to be president” is not the only way to protest — expressing encouragement and praise is more constructive than verbal assault or throwing mud.
The public wishes to see more people of higher ideals and with more knowledge, competence and ambition take part in politics and run for president.
Having watched the performance of the DPP’s leadership, many people have become deeply worried about the party and the nation’s future.
Peng Ming-min is a former presidential adviser.
Translated by Chang Ho-ming
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