Sun, Jul 06, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Referendum can be a tactical tool

LAWMAKERS CAUTIOUS Several legislators warn that the issue could become a political plaything rather than improve the democratic representative system


Chen Chi-mai promised that the final copy will exclude wording about a unification or independence referendum.

Another way adopted by the DPP to divert the public's concerns was drumming up support for referendums to expedite Taiwan's parliamentary reforms.

"We ask for an advisory referendum scheme to provide a legal basis for people to express their hopes of pushing for legislative reforms and demanding the legislature to work for it," said DPP Legislator Chen Chin-de (陳金德) when he unveiled DPP contentions about the referendum law.

But for some other people, the DPP was not the only party vague on the unification or independence controversy.

Political commentator Lee Hsiao-feng (李筱峰) expressed his confusion over the pan-blue camp's change in stance.

"KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) always warned that a referendum will bring disaster to Taiwan. That confused me because I don't understand how people in a democracy wanting to express their opinion on the fate of the country would necessitate a security warning," Lee said.

"I was then confused by the sudden change in the pan-blue's stance when I heard that the KMT legislative caucus proposed that a referendum on unification or independence should take place alongside the nuclear referendum in August," he said.

"I am still puzzled by the alliance's latest conclusion that they will refuse to legitimize such a topic in the referendum legislation. The pan-blue's hypothesis that a referendum on the topic will endanger Taiwan's security is contradictory to their conviction that pro-independence members are in the minority in this country, he said.

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