Wed, Dec 01, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Group lists dubious legislators

EVALUATION Almost 50 percent of the nation's lawmakers made the Taipei Society's list of legislators failing or hovering on the edge of failing in their duties


Both the legislative speaker and his deputy, as well as most caucus whips, are on the edge of failing or have failed in their legislative duties in the past two legislative terms, according to a report released by the Taipei Society yesterday.

The Taipei Society reviewed the performances of all lawmakers in the fourth and fifth terms of the fifth legislature.

According to the report, 43 lawmakers failed in their duties in the past two terms and 59 are on the group's probation list for near failure.

They contain almost 50 percent of all lawmakers. Seven of the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union's 11 lawmakers -- 63.6 percent -- are listed among the 43 lawmakers failing in their duties.

"The criteria for failing are: failing to attend more than half of all committee sessions or appearing in two negative indexes out of the three we set," said Chang Mao-kuei (張茂桂), a social science researcher at the Academia Sinica and Taipei Society executive member, who headed the evaluation project.

The three negative indexes were: having been charged with a crime or sentenced, having conflicting interests and badmouthing other lawmakers or getting involved in physical conflicts. If a lawmaker attended more than half of the committee sessions but was listed in one negative index, their name was put on the probation list, Chang said.

The Taipei Society's list of lawmakers with conflicting interests includes 71 people, or about one-third of all lawmakers.

A conflict of interest was defined as owning or chairing the board of a company that might conflict with legislative duties, or being married to someone who holds such a post.

"Various surveys have shown that the legislature is the root of chaos: Almost half of the lawmakers have failed us, and at least one-third of the lawmakers have not avoided conflicts of interest, but the public could not see through that," said Lyu Hsiu-chu (呂秀菊), convener of the Legislative Reform Alliance.

Both Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Deputy Legislative Speaker Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) were put on the probation list because of conflicts of interest resulting from their wives' involvement in investment companies.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) was judged to have failed, while three People First Party caucus whips in the fourth and fifth terms were put on the probation list for different reasons.

The society also compiled a list of 39 lawmakers (18.1 percent) it considered to be relatively positive.

These include KMT caucus whip Huang Teh-fu (黃德福) and incumbent KMT Legislator Chiang Chi-wen (江綺雯), PFP legislators Diane Lee (李慶安) and Hsu Yuan-Kuo (許淵國), DPP legislators Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄) and Lee Chen-nan (李鎮楠), and TSU Legislator Lo Chih-ming (羅志明).

The criteria for the list of positive lawmakers were signing up for at least two-thirds of the committee sessions and not being listed in a negative index.

The society's lists have been met with criticism from lawmakers, as well as reporters.

Reporters have expressed doubts among themselves about a few names on the relatively positive list because some of those praised by the Taipei Society have histories of controversial performances in previous legislative terms or had conflicts of interest.

A number of lawmakers, especially those who have been named as failures or out on the probation list, have ruthlessly criticized the Taipei Society, some even describing it as "blind."

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