Letters: A responsible opposition

Fri, May 04, 2007 - Page 8

The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee's decision to reject the passage of the Olympic torch through Taiwan should be lauded for its contribution to protecting Taiwan's sovereignty.? However, one of the most underplayed and serious threats to this country's sovereignty comes not from China but from within.?

It comes from former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan's (連戰) visit to China to sign what must be essentially illegal and?unconstitutional agreements and through Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin's (郝龍斌) determination to have the torch pass through Taipei regardless of national policy.

Renegade figures like these choose to ignore one of the key principles of democracy; namely, that the elected ruling party makes policy while it is in power and it is the responsibility of the opposition to abide by those decisions until such a time as they themselves are elected into governance and can amend them accordingly.

If the opposition chooses to ignore, bypass and override national policy decisions, what is to stop other politicians when in opposition from doing the same?

That the pan-blue camp seems determined to play fast and loose with democratic institutions and conventions in a vain attempt to pretend it is still in power merely illustrates its contempt for democracy and the will of the people as expressed through the ballot box.

Through their attempts to retain relevancy by upholding the creaking and increasingly outdated Republic of China model, the KMT and the People First Party undermine the very institutions that they themselves are engaged with in an attempt to regain power. In the event of this happening in the December legislative elections and next May's presidential elections, how can they then expect the pan-green camp to respect their policies and follow the rule of law and faithful application of the Constitution?

By setting the precedent of acting ultra vires, they will ultimately be faced with the same kind of actions should they gain power, thereby continuing the political deadlock that has seen almost all major bills and the national budget blocked.

If ever there was a case of politically cutting off your nose to spite your face, then surely this is the best example.

These opportunist politicians should either stand by the nation and its democratic institutions and processes or leave politics.

Their continuing engagement of a policy of deliberately sabotaging the country's security, sovereignty and social-economic stability from within could leave them open to charges of sedition and treason.

Ben Goren

Jhongli