Citizen Congress Watch (CCW) staged a demonstration outside the Legislative Yuan yesterday, protesting Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) failure to fulfill a promise to allow public access to the legislature’s video-on-demand (VOD) system.
“Wang promised several times during the past legislative session, and again in August, that he would endeavor to allow public access to live broadcasts of legislative meetings through the legislature’s VOD system as soon as this session starts in September,” CCW chairman Ku Chung-hwa (顧忠華) said.
“But obviously, he has failed to fulfill that promise,” Ku said.
Ku said members of the US Congress were able to bridge the political divide and stand together to vote down the US$700 billion proposal made by the US President George W. Bush administration to rescue Wall Street.
This, he said, could be achieved “because members of the US Congress are directly watched by voters and they stand for the public’s interests, not the government’s.”
“To have a better legislature, we must start by making it transparent,” he said.
Although the legislature recently created a media page with selected video clips showing parts of the legislative meetings, it falls short of what CCW has called for.
“What we’re seeking is complete public access to everything that is recorded or broadcast live during legislative meetings, not just limited selection of videos that only show the ‘good side’ of the legislature,” CCW executive director Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳) said. “This is progress, but it falls short of our expectations.”
Under the selective system, the public can only see video clips that have been carefully selected and uploaded by lawmakers, said Shen Chuen-hua (沈春華), an office aide to Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲).
Kuan is among the 90 lawmakers who signed an agreement to promote legislative transparency and pushed for uploading live broadcasts of legislative meetings on a Web site.
“We’re disappointed and call on Wang to fulfill his promise as quickly as possible,” Ho said.
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