Editorial: No-confidence a no-win

Sat, Jan 20, 2001 - Page 8

To those Taiwanese politicians completely absorbed in their political bickering, the ruling of the Council of Grand of Justices is nothing but a legal formality. The ruling is incapable of resolving the controversy over the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant or ending the duel between the opposition and the ruling party. Even the motion for a presidential recall and a vote of no-confidence are on a comeback.

DPP Secretary-General Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) indicated yesterday that the ruling party will "stand by [its position] on the power plant and fight until the end." The opposition alliance, on the other hand, are proposing a temporary legislative session for Jan.30 to accept Premier Chang Chung-hsiung's (張俊雄) report. They do not rule out the possibility of taking a vote or even passing the power industry law on the very same day. Supposedly, some 60 lawmakers have endorsed the motion for a vote of no-confidence. It is absurd that 40 of them are DPP members.

Although independent lawmakers are leading the motion, however, it is crazy that DPP lawmakers are supporting a vote of no-confidence against a DPP premier. The move has completely disrupted the order of party politics, and confused political accountability.

The DPP is supporting the vote of no-confidence as part of a strategy to "end war with war." If the opposition alliance supports the motion, and Chang is forced to step down, the president could then dissolve the parliament and call for a legislative re-election. The opposition alliance will then divide as a result of different interests. The ruling party could then profit from the election, possibly facilitating a victory over the power plant in the newly elected legislature. If the opposition alliance opposes the vote of no-confidence, they would in fact be supporting the Executive Yuan on the power plant.

The motion for a vote of no-confidence is a clever yet terrible strategy. It highlights political trickeries, and a lack of character for the politicians. People don't seem to care about what's right and what's wrong. The ruling party or the opposition may be able to win on the motion, but they will lose people's trust.

Among the various methods of resolving the power plant controversy, recalling the president is the worst option. Political, ideological, and ethnic polarizations worse then those in the last presidential election will take place in Taiwan. It will take a long time before Taiwan recuperates from the injuries incurred in the election. The re-election resulting from the vote of no-confidence will trigger a nationwide division on the issue. Not only will it consume social resources, but it will also delay the revival of Taiwan's economy. In the end, Taiwan will be the loser. The most peaceful manner of resolving the standoff is through negotiation. However, if negotiations could resolve the power plant controversy, things never would have gotten this far. Even if the legislature votes to oppose the Executive Yuan's power plant policy, the Executive Yuan has already questioned the legitimacy of the vote. Having the legislature determine the fate of the power plant through legislation is the most practical option.

The motion for a vote of no-confidence is the product of those without political principles and integrity, dwelling on political interests, and lacking real political wisdom. They will turn Taiwan politics into an international laughing stock, and turn Taiwan's legislature into a mental asylum. Other Taiwanese politicians are still trying their best to squeeze through the narrow gate of the legislature. What a big joke.