EDITORIAL: Enough mud, we want policy details

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 - Page 8

Now that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has pressed charges against Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) and several Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for their accusations that DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was guilty of wrongdoing in the government’s 2007 investment in a biotechnology startup, the presidential campaigns need to shift their focus back to the issues that are actually close to voters’ hearts.

During the past few days, the public has been subject to yet another mudslinging campaign initiated by KMT lawmakers, with high-ranking Executive Yuan officials bickering about the procedural steps surrounding the startup of Yu Chang Biologics Co (now known as TaiMed Biologic Co) and Tsai’s involvement in her capacity as vice premier at the time. This has left many people asking: “What is this Yu Chang case and why are the details surrounding it important to me?”

While it was necessary for Tsai and the DPP to respond to the initial allegation — which put Tsai’s reputation on the line — and defend her integrity, it is time for the DPP as well as the KMT to put this issue aside and avoid any more mudslinging over the Yu Chang case.

After all, the truth is that the case does not affect voters’ daily lives. There are far more important and urgent issues that the public is concerned with. People throughout the nation are waiting for the presidential candidates to provide solid details about their policy platforms so that they can make an informed decision about who is most deserving of their vote on Jan. 14 and who will lead the nation toward a more promising future.

For example, many people are concerned about the rise in already high real-estate prices. Many voters, especially young adults and newlyweds, are feeling the financial pressure and find themselves unable to afford housing because of the continued appreciation in property values. What solutions are the candidates proposing for this major problem?

Unemployment and underemployment also remain real issues for many Taiwanese, not to mention workers’ fears about the increasing practice of companies asking their employees to take unpaid leave. How do the candidates propose to fix these problems?

As politicians engage in silly-season fights over non-issues and take turns jabbing at each other in the media, many Taiwanese remain victims of the nation’s high unemployment rate, unequal distribution of wealth and government resources, as well as the problematic judicial system that fails to adequately protect human rights.

And what are the presidential candidates’ long-term agricultural policies? After all, there is more to the nation’s agricultural problems than plummeting persimmon prices. Supply and demand imbalances have existed for a long time and now other products, such as ginger, have also begun to experience such problems — and then there are the issues of food security and self-sufficiency.

Most important, however, is that voters are still waiting for the presidential candidates to outline their visions of how to develop the nation and equip the people in Taiwan with more national pride so that they would have the guts and determination to stand up for their nation’s sovereignty and dignity in an effort to create more international space for Taiwan in the face of China’s constant pressure.

The public is still waiting for the candidates to present their visions and solutions to all of these problems, and at the end of the day, these are the issues that will truly matter to the voters come Jan. 14 when they cast their ballots.