Sun, May 12, 2002 - Page 3 News List

`In politics, one plus one doesn't always equal two'

The Generation-E Alliance, a pro-localization subgroup of KMT legislators, has recently expressed its support for a KMT-PFP merger but is against KMT-PFP cooperation. Shyu Jong-shyong, leader of the alliance, recently spoke with `Taipei Times' staff reporter Stephanie Low on why he is against a Soong-Lien presidential ticket

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KMT lawmaker Shyu Jong-shyong speaks to the legislature. Shyu is a staunch opponent of a joint James Soong-Lien Chan presidential bid.

PHOTO: LIAO JUI-HSIANG, TAIPEI TIMES

Taipei Times: Why do you support a KMT-PFP merger?

Shyu Jong-shyong (徐中雄): Logic tells us that one plus one equals two, but in politics, one plus one does not necessarily equal two. Instead, it is X plus Y equals two, and the values of "X" and "Y" are what we need to find out.

People think KMT-PFP cooperation is like "one plus one equals two," but I doubt that. I've been trying to find out whether the idea of KMT-PFP cooperation is consistent with mainstream public opinion and if the two parties would still stay at the center on the independence-unification spectrum after cooperating with each other.

Relatively speaking, a KMT-PFP merger would not involve such a problem. Though the PFP always says the two parties share the same ideology, it actually puts its own interests before anything else. They will only share ideology when they share common interests. In the case of a merger, there will be one party sharing common interests.

If there are problems forming a merger at this stage, we should put forth a timetable for the merger. Only in this way can we ensure the two parties are cooperating with each other with sincerity.

TT: What do think about PFP Chairman James Soong's (宋楚瑜) proposal for the KMT and PFP to form a "united team" and field a joint ticket in the 2004 presidential election?

Shyu: The KMT's situation is different from the PFP's. Lien Chan (連戰) has been the KMT's No. 1 hypothetical presidential candidate, but not its only one. But Soong is the PFP's top and only candidate. When Soong expresses support for a "Lien-Soong ticket" and a "Lien-Soong team," he is trying to imply that Lien will be on the ticket just to ensure his own candidacy.

In the second stage, Soong will try to create the illusion that the "Lien-Soong ticket" is the "dream combination" when it comes to KMT-PFP cooperation. Then finally, Soong, as he has said, will respect public opinion, as expressed through opinion polls [on who should be the presidential candidate and who should be the vice-presidential candidate].

Do you think Lien could beat Soong in such a poll? The KMT will end up losing its individuality.

TVBS on Friday released an interesting poll which indicated that 55 percent of the people favor KMT-PFP cooperation. But a Lien-Soong ticket won only 34 percent of public support, while Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) won 39 percent. This proves that a Lien-Soong ticket doesn't ensure a sum of the votes won by the two separate tickets led by Lien and Soong in the 2000 presidential race.

TT: You've insisted the KMT field its own candidates in the next presidential election and named Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) as two possible candidates should Lien decide not to run. Is this move intended to contain Soong?

Shyu: I'm not targeting any individual. As far as democracy is concerned, everything should be handled according to certain mechanisms. In other words, nobody is indispensable in this world. It doesn't matter if there is no Soong, Lien or some other [high-profile] figure you can think of. As long as there are mechanisms in the party, the sun will rise from the east tomorrow as usual.

The move is mainly to push Lien to take a stand soon. As an opposition party, the KMT is lacking in administrative resources, and it needs to position itself properly first before moving forward. It should not start later than the ruling party.

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