Tue, Aug 13, 2019 - Page 8 News List

New parties are lacking talent and supporters

By James Wang 王景弘

As next year’s presidential and legislative elections approach, at least three forces have established political parties. However, looking at the background, experience and behavior of their leaders, all one can do is sigh.

The parties have one thing in common: They all lack talent and a support base. They were formed simply because their leaders needed a political platform, so they gathered together a few disparate politicians to make up the numbers needed to fight for their political turf.

It would be more correct to say that they are opening a political gambling den or a political employment agency than a political party.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is taking advantage of the public’s shallow understanding of democracy and immature critical thinking, accusing the pan-blue and pan-green camps of conducting a vicious power struggle and calling both sides “trash,” while referring to himself as the clean “white camp” and saying he detests the temptation of power.

Still, Ko, who rose to political prominence as an independent in 2016, has decided to reach for the stars using the title of a party founded by Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水) in 1927, the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), and launching it in such a hurry that he has not even prepared a party constitution or political platform.

Chiang’s TPP united the Taiwanese elite against Japanese colonial rule from a solid foundation and had ample legitimacy. There is no comparison between Chiang’s TPP and the party founded by Ko, who is neglecting his mayoral duties.

As Taiwan’s survival is threatened by China, he does not resist, instead obediently saying that the two sides are “as close as family.”

He truly is adept at playing tricks to build his name.

The other two parties originated from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and have been formed to support Taiwanese independence:

The Formosa Alliance had announced that it would nominate a presidential candidate and dominate the DPP, but it is now sinking in embarrassment, as people who were expected to join the party have not done so.

Finally, the One Side, One Country Action Party is set to launch on Sunday. Its leadership is centered around the members of former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) medical team.

Chen, who has been released on medical parole, is controversial and does not dare serve as the party’s “spiritual leader.”

After the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government lifted the ban on political parties in 1987, many politicians established their own parties, which have remained insignificant due to a lack of talent and money.

The pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) is the most pitiful. As Taiwanese members of the KMT are used to campaigning for the party’s mainland members, most of them would rather be second-class party members than follow in the footsteps of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and leave the KMT.

As a result, the TSU, sadly, has lost its chance to become the largest pro-localization party.

James Wang is a media commentator.

Translated by Eddy Chang

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