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

The important part is that customers can use it [the Internet] without barriers, at a reasonable price. On the other hand, I think, besides accelerating the Internet, I know what people think is missing from the Taipei City Government’s efforts, which is the content industry. If you have Internet broadband space, but don’t have a content industry, then it is useless. So what’s most important is a content industry. We have to allow it to develop vigorously. Moreover, what Chairman Soong just said is very important, which is that many government agencies’ work needs the support of the Internet to increase the efficiency of the government. Having technology assist in governmental operations will increase efficiency, but in the past four years, we haven’t seen any improvement in this aspect and efficiency has long been in doubt.

Ma: Chairperson Tsai, you advocate land justice and support farmland for farm use, but when your running mate [DPP vice presidential candidate Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) built a luxurious farmhouse, you did not say anything. Your Cabinet, when the DPP was in office, opened the doors to allow the import of 936 agricultural products from China to Taiwan. I think you are contradicting yourself on these things, saying one thing and doing the other. Similarly, you said that the members of your election campaign might not necessarily be the members of your government, but is it that difficult to nominate people who do not have legal problems on your legislators-at-large nomination list? The KMT has done it. Isn’t your DPP the “Democratic Progressive Party”? Your party has to be more progressive than us to live up to this name, but you couldn’t do it. Public perception on this issue is very clear. You have also said the Republic of China is a government-in-exile, so are you now running for the president of a government-in-exile? You advocate a high-level election, but use the case of [bookie] Chen Ying-chu (陳盈助) to smear my reputation. Can I ask you to clearly explain this?

Soong: It seems that this question isn’t for me. However, I must say, this election has attracted the attention of the whole world, and is also important to Taiwanese. However, the two sides [political parties] have been smearing each other or saying things of no importance. This is what we really think: Presidential elections should talk about public developments and policy.

So on the one hand, on the matter of farmhouses, sorry, but the KMT and the DPP have both made many violations. In 1999, the Statute For Agricultural Development (農業發展條例) shouldn’t have loosened the limits on building on farmland. At present, we see the seriousness of having a lot of segmented land. Maybe there will be no uninterrupted cropland in Yilan within the next five years and no unbroken cropland in northern Taiwan within the next 10 years. At a time when the whole world is facing food shortages, the food self-sufficiency rate in Taiwan is only 30 percent, way less than the 40 percent in Japan, 120 percent in the US and 200 percent in France. Under such circumstances, I hope the other two political parties can really demonstrate their interest in learning why farmers want to build farmhouses. And regulations related to agriculture have to be discussed along with agricultural policies. If we keep on talking about those unimportant things in the election, Chairman Ma, Chairperson Tsai and I will all say … In 2000, James Soong was smeared by it and finally is having a debate with [Tsai and Ma] today. I was supposed to sit down there and applaud you both. Smearing is temporary, but the light of true democracy is forever.

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