LETTERS: Time for TV debates

Tue, Feb 12, 2008 - Page 8

Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Ma Ying-jeou have been nominated as presidential candidates by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) respectively. They have registered as presidential candidates and the election is less than seven weeks away. Voters are eagerly examining their past performance as mayors and their campaign pledges. It's time to hold TV debates so that voters can make a good choice in the election.

Hsieh has invited Ma to have open debates several times. If Ma does not accept Hsieh's invitations, Ma's integrity and leadership will be doubted by voters. His popularity may be sacrificed in the election.

Does he have anything to hide? Is he a Harvard man who cannot debate? If Ma is afraid of Hsieh, how can Ma stand up in front of Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), a man Ma admires for leadership and openness?

TV debates have become a routine process for presidential elections in democratic countries since the Kennedy-Nixon debate in the US in 1960. Taiwan should follow suit.

The topics of the TV debates could include topics such as the economy, Taiwan-China-US relations, China's missiles, party assets, the prevention of corruption, application for entry to the UN as "Taiwan" versus an application for re-entry as the ROC, referendums combined with or separated from the presidential election, independent sovereignty versus ultimate unification, national normalization and so on.

Hsieh and Ma should have two TV debates, and their running mates, Su and Siew, should have one TV debate.

Charles Hong

Columbus, Ohio