Tue, Jun 11, 2019 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Unfair primary tactics

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is playing the presidential primary of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) unfairly, despite demonstrators demanding a “fair primary” in front of DPP headquarters.

Tsai was surprised that former premier William Lai (賴清德), who has higher poll ratings than she does, would run against her. Tsai, as the incumbent, would not like having political debates with her former premier.

Lai joined the primary after experiencing extreme hardship in helping Kuo Kuo-wen (郭國文) campaign in a legislative by-election in Tainan, where Lai served as mayor with an excellent record.

Lai has to run in next year’s presidential election to save the DPP and Taiwan. In fact, after the DPP’s fatal defeats in last year’s local elections, four Taiwanese independence elders — a Nobel laureate, a professor, a banker and a clergyman — urged Tsai not to seek re-election. This was strongly rejected by Tsai.

Lai prefers that the primary be conducted according to the rules set before either joined the race. These rules include polling by landline, a possible Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) opponent, and TV debates and/or policy presentations.

However, Tsai suggested that polls be 50 percent mobile phone results, with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) also an opponent and only one TV policy presentation.

The DPP central executive committee passed, without voting, Tsai’s suggestions. The primary polling period has been postponed three times for two months to this week in the hope of boosting Tsai’s poll ratings.

It is unknown why the Tsai camp is collecting cellphone numbers. It is odd that, if necessary, Tsai would leave the DPP and have Ko as her running mate. Lai does not like that Tsai’s suggestions are applied this time instead of next time, but he will continue the primary to the end anyway.

Charles Hong

Columbus, Ohio

Child protection

The Taipei Times published an article related to child protection (“US official attends Taipei meeting on child protection,” May 31, page 3). It mentions that Taiwan and the US signed an agreement on International Parental Child Abduction.

According to a report in the journal Criminal Justice Studies, more than 200,000 parental abductions take place each year, with 20 percent of the abducted children going missing for more than a month.

In some cases, the abducted children were never found. Parental abduction occurs frequently in a divorced family and the children are forced to leave their community, schools and friends. Some children even have to change their names, birth date and appearance so that their true identity will not be discovered.

In addition, the pressure of a changing environment harms kids. It is likely that such children will suffer from aggressive behaviors, eating and sleeping disorders, according to information on the US Department of Justice Web site.

Even worse, usually the parent whose children are abducted is often disregarded when they seek help from the police. When that happens, tragedy might happen.

In 1999, Simon Gonzales abducted his three daughters in Colorado. Their mother turned to police seven times by phone and two times in person, and only got comments like: “At least you know the children are with their father.”

After a few hours, Gonzales arrived at the police station and began shooting. Officers returned fire, killing him, but found the bodies of the three girls in his car. He had killed them beforehand.

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