The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday said they would cosponsor a conference next month on consolidating public opinion on national affairs.
The two parties yesterday held a preparatory meeting for the 2009 Taiwan Civil National Affairs Conference to be held on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22.
DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told a press conference that since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in May, his government had carried out many policies that were eroding the nation’s sovereignty, economy, democracy and human rights.
Taiwan faces its most serious challenges in decades, Tsai said, but the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) with its authoritarian past refuses to listen to public opinion.
Tsai said the two parties would use the conference to give the public a chance to voice their opinions.
The conference could help monitor the government by highlighting public concerns, she said. Central government officials will also be invited.
TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said the KMT government had done only two things since returning to power — seeking a return to the authoritarian system of the 1970s and yielding to China on cross-strait issues.
Academia Sinica research fellow Chiu Hei-yuan (瞿海源), one of the program committee members for the conference, said he expected to attend the conference with a heavy heart.
The KMT’s “new party-state system” had jeopardized society, the economy and democracy, Chiu said, adding that democratic politics was party politics and that the conference aims to use the power of opposition parties to impose checks and balances on the ruling party.
Yesterday’s meeting reached an agreement that the conference would seek to propose a basic direction for Taiwan’s society and offer a blueprint for the next five to 10 years in the nation’s development.
The conference would put pressure on the government by airing the public’s wishes — in particular by prioritizing policies that would help disadvantaged groups, the parties said.
The DPP and TSU will invite researchers and academics from think tanks and universities, lawmakers and representatives of political parties, as well as experts in various fields.
The program committee members include Chiu, Soochow University political science professor Hawang Shiow-duan (黃秀端), former national policy adviser Huang Tien-lin (黃天麟), Friends of Lee Teng-hui Association president Hwang Kun-hu (黃崑虎), former Taiwan Stock Exchange chairman Wu Rong-i (吳榮義), Taiwan Society chairman Wu Shuh-min (吳樹民), Taiwan Thinktank chairman Chen Po-chih (陳博志), Taiwan New Century Foundation chairman Chen Lung-chu (陳隆志) and others.