The Citizen’s Congress Watch (CCW) yesterday announced that it chose the character “廢” (fei, “useless”) as the word best representing the performance of the Legislative Yuan this year, saying it believes legislators have failed to meet the public’s expectations.
“The people have selected the character to represent the performance of the Legislative Yuan this year, because they are upset that lawmakers have failed to act the way they should in a democracy,” CCW chairman Shih Hsin-min (施信民) told a news conference outside the Legislative Yuan.
CCW executive director Chang Hung-lin (張宏林) said his group was especially unsatisfied about the inefficiency of the legislature.
“For instance, during the first legislative session of the year, only 11 bills were passed, which is only about 10 percent of the number of bills passed compared with previous years. This is a serious inefficiency issue,” he said.
Chen Ming-li (陳明里), another member of the CCW, called on lawmakers to refrain from engaging in wars of words and instead deliver better performances and results.
“The selection of the character is very appropriate to describe the current situation at the Legislative Yuan — it is filled with useless people doing useless things,” Chen said.
Apart from making public the character of the year for the legislature selected through a vote by netizens, the CCW also announced the top 10 news items concerning the legislature that the group selected in cooperation with more than 100 other civic groups.
The No. 1 news item on the list is the alleged corruption of former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) when he served as a legislator.
The No. 2 item on the news list is the clash between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the opposition parties on whether a ban on imports of certain US beef products should be lifted, during which the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union caucuses paralyzed the legislature for nearly a week by occupying the general assembly hall in the Legislative Yuan.
The No. 3 news item on the list is a heated public debate stemming from the controversy surrounding the “attitude” of National Tsing Hua University student Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) when he addressed Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) during a legislative meeting earlier this month.
Chen provoked a media frenzy by calling Chiang a hypocrite and a liar, and demanding an apology from him for sending an e-mail that asked universities to keep an eye on the participation of students in anti-media monopoly protests.
Commenting on the selection of the “character of the year,” KMT caucus whip Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) — despite the character being chosen to describe the performance of the entire legislature, regardless of legislators’ political affiliation — said yesterday that the CCW “leans toward the pan-green camp” and is therefore “biased.”
For its part, the DPP caucus said it would respect the CCW’s selection of the character.