Wed, Dec 15, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Politicians among the most hated

DISTASTE At 51 percent, the majority of people do not like politicians and the way they behave, a survey conducted by a Buddhist group indicated

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese people are tired of the circus-like atmosphere that characterizes the nation's politics, a survey conducted by Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society released yesterday indicated.

This survey aimed to assess the overall spiritual and psychological well-being of people before the legislative elections last weekend. Some 1,061 participants across the country took part in the survey between Nov. 26 and Dec. 3.

One survey questions asked participants what group of individuals in society they disliked the most. Fifty-one percent of respondents said politicians; 23 percent said criminals and 16 percent named media figures.

"Wars of words among politicians under the media spotlight set terrible examples for the public. Their verbal attacks symbolize the lack of ethics as well as cultural refinement and such behavior may become the cause of social disintegration," said Lin An-wu (林安梧), a Chinese literature professor at National Taiwan Normal University.

Yu Chien-kui (游乾桂), an author and a former psychologist, said he was not surprised to see that politicians were not well-received by the public.

"There are just many more politicians than political issues out there," Yu said.

Yu also said that in light of Taiwan's sensationalist politics, the public needed to establish its own judgment and become less susceptible to propaganda.

As for the media, Yu speculated that many well-known TV personalities really rubbed the general public the wrong way.

According to Yu, TV personalities, despite having the privilege to express themselves freely, should be cautious when making public statements. He also urged society to reset its value system.

"From my experience as a psychologist, people nowadays are under such great pressure. That pressure stems primarily from the obsession with money. People ought to re-evaluate their goals in life," Yu said.

From his standpoint, Yu viewed money as a medium to achieve better things in life.

"Money is simply paper if you can't make use of it to improve your quality of life. Money sitting in the bank is simply a figure if it does not benefit you in any tangible way," Yu said.

Another survey question, which inquired about the most unpleasant event a respondent had experienced in the past two years also illustrated an aversion to politics.

Some 24 percent of respondents said political instability was the most unpleasant event; 20 percent said social upheaval and 7 percent said natural disasters.

"Politicians ought to re-examine their conduct, which often leads to ethnic division in our society" said Tsai Mei-ying (蔡美瑛), an associate media professor at Shih Hsin University.

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