Sun, Dec 04, 2011 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Presidential candidates cross swords

HEAD TO HEAD:The following is a transcription of the third part of yesterday’s televised presidential debate, in which each candidate posed two questions to each opponent

Transcribed by Loa Iok-sin, Lee I-chia and Jake Chung  /  Staff Reporters

In 2008, the people had equally high expectations of you [Ma], but the government team has not worked as effectively as it should have. A government should do more than just present an -attractive list of legislators-at-large that is intended to distract from the fact that it is not taking good care of the disadvantaged. It should do more than just parade a few model candidates from that list, it needs to come up with policies that work to do its job well.

I would like to ask my good friends in the KMT legislative caucus: Have you been consulted or taken part in the decisionmaking process when it comes to major policies? When we hear the word “team” what comes to mind is a central belief, a group of people, and more importantly not forgetting what the people have asked you to do.

Tsai: Thank you. President Ma, since taking office, you have worked to rapidly reduce the distance between the government and China. However, you have moved so fast that you are leaving the opposition party and the people far behind, so much so that the distance between us is even greater than that from Taipei to Beijing.

President Ma, why do you always echo Chinese leaders on major issues such as the [so-called] “1992 consensus,” but reject the DPP’s comments with threats? “Born of the same root, why torment each other so cruelly?” We are all Taiwanese, whenever our ancestors first arrived here, we are all part of one big family, does it not make more sense to first strive to achieve our own Taiwan consensus?

If you are so confident about your policy of “no unification, no independence, no use of force” and “one China, with each having its own interpretation,” why won’t you allow us to first reach a consensus within Taiwan? I would like to ask President Ma and Chairman Soong: do you agree that we should develop a Taiwan consensus through democratic means?

Soong: When I met Chen Shui-bian shortly after he was elected in 2000, at the Taipei Guesthouse, he took some papers out of his pocket and began telling me how good the economy was, but everyone knew the economy was bad, many people were losing their jobs and stores were closing down. At the time, I told him: “Mr President, you are too detached from the people.” The same is now true of Chairman Ma, whose impressive numbers are a world away from the true feelings of the people. You say that per capita personal income has reached US$20,000, but you should visit each of our countrymen and ask them whether they make NT$50,000 (US$1,660) a month?

If so, feel free to vote for a second term for President Ma, if not then please give James Soong a chance to deliver hope for the future of ordinary people and the middle class.

Chairperson Tsai mentioned the Taiwan consensus and it’s actually an easy question to answer, because all Taiwanese have a true consensus, that is, we are all Taiwanese. Which one of you present here today would raise your hand and say “I am not Taiwanese?” So isn’t this the “Taiwan consensus?” Each person in Taiwan has the right to love Taiwan, to love the Republic of China, this is our shared right and our responsibility.

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