A DPP legislator lashed out at the Government Information Office (GIO) yesterday for having allowed an article written by a US academic that portrayed the ruling party in a negative light to appear in a government-sponsored journal.
An article written by American academic Shelley Rigger that appeared in the February issue of the government-sponsored Taipei Review sparked an uproar in the foreign and overseas Chinese affairs committee at the legislature yesterday.
DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-Khim (
Hsiao said a government-sponsored publication should not be predicting that it will be difficult for the ruling party to continue to hold onto power after next year's presidential election.
She said such an analysis should not have appeared in a government-sponsored publication in the first place, adding the article might damage the government's image.
Hsiao's attack on the GIO triggered applause and laughter from opposition lawmakers at the legislative subcommittee meeting.
Deputy GIO chief Lee Cher-jean (李雪津) said the GIO would endeavor to improve in the future, although in private Lee didn't consider the publication of such an article a mistake.
"The view presented by the political observer was fine with me," Lee said. "I think she has offered some rather objective analysis."
Rigger, the Brown associate professor of political science at Davidson College and author of two books on Taiwanese politics, in her article entitled The Ruling Party: Finding Effective Governance, examined how different forces and factions have shaped the DPP during its two years in power.
Rigger wrote, "In the wake of the farmers' and fishermen's association fiasco, the chances that the DPP will consolidate its position as Taiwan's governing party seem remote. Still, the DPP has overcome tougher challenges before, and it has learned lessons more difficult even than this one."
Rigger went on to argue that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) still has a chance at a second term if his administration can "repair the damage from this incident and restore confidence in the government."
Rigger said that while a government must balance two key tasks -- representing the people and governing effectively -- the DPP must improve its record on effective governance if it aspires to win a second term.
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