Mon, Apr 22, 2019 - Page 6 News List

DPP must do its job or risk being voted out

By Tzou Jiing-wen 鄒景雯

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has entered the presidential primary stage. Unlike the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the DPP is the ruling party and is responsible for administering the central government and must fulfill its contract with voters until May 19 next year.

At the moment, significant responsibility falls on Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who should demand that the entire administrative team stop acting like bystanders.

Starting from today, they should change their mindset and treat the coming year as their last year in power. The administration should make every effort to do what it wants to and should do, and concentrate on policy implementation.

If it does not seize this opportunity, things will not be the same next time around.

So where should the party begin? Perhaps with its attitude.

In the past, it had a high-spirited and vigorous attitude and could handle pressing affairs slowly and calmly. Given the limited time available now, it would have to work hard day and night to review its policies, and complete all urgent tasks within a year.

Why is that? Since the beginning of its primary process, the party has faced the battle between President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former premier William Lai (賴清德).

Some top officials privately complain that they do not know what they are fighting over and it seems as if they have become victims of the logic of power.

They do not seem to understand that in this democratic era, top officials in modern countries should devote themselves to the nation. They are paid by taxpayers, and are not anyone’s personal counselors who have nothing to do with the outcome of the primary.

It is the premier’s responsibility to change this atmosphere, and Su should take an iron-fist approach by telling his Cabinet members to do their best for the public until May 20 next year.

Officials are not men or women of leisure and they should keep busy doing things that matter. If they remain idle, they are a waste of money and should be sent packing.

Saying that would help Su score a few points with voters.

As the main force of stability, Su’s Cabinet has a lot to do in the coming year. One task is to ease the public anger that has been accumulating over the past three years.

How could Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) lose the Kaohsiung mayoral election in last year’s local elections?

One could easily come up with a long list of policies that ran against the public’s wishes. Surely this is something the experienced Su knows well.

Another task relates to Taiwan’s future, including issues that must be handled promptly and without political interference, regardless of whether the DPP remains in power.

These issues include pushing for legislation such as the establishment of a monitoring mechanism for cross-strait political negotiations, constant reform and streamlining of policies to offer greater convenience to the public and improving national competitiveness.

One of many examples is the creation of a single window for foreign investment in Taiwan.

It is only by realizing that time is running out and working harder that the government will be able to reshape expectations. If it does not, what does it matter who wins the DPP’s primary?

Besides, judging from the rapid political shifts nowadays, voters will have to be prepared for one-term presidencies becoming the norm. Anyone hoping to serve two four-year terms will have their work cut out for them.

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