Academia Sinica researcher Hsu Cho-yun (許倬雲) yesterday urged the candidates in January’s presidential election to present concrete proposals rather than vie for better rates in opinion polls as a way to prove they are qualified national leaders.
Hsu, an 80-year-old historian, challenged the candidates at a teleconference press event in Taipei hosted by the Formosa Heart Coalition, which has a Chinese name that means “my heart is still alive (我心未死).”
In an article titled “Advice for the 2012 elections,” Hsu expressed disappointment over the failure of both presidential candidates — President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) — to present ideals and policies, instead focusing their attention on public opinion polls, making the election a mere “beauty contest.”
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Over the past two decades, Taiwan has failed to implement the separation of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, the historian said.
A cross-party platform or mechanism should be established to achieve a shared position on Taiwan’s external relations, including those with China, he said.
The Formosa Heart, a self--proclaimed neutral campaign led by former DPP chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德), who has since severed ties with the party, is a coalition of intellectuals, artists and former politicians who said they support neither Ma nor Tsai and say that there should be a “third way” in the direction Taiwan is heading.
The coalition said it has collected more than 100,000 signatures and added that it did not rule out nominating a third presidential candidate for next year’s election.
Shih, who participated in an anti-KMT movement during the White Terror era in the 1980s and in 2006 led a mass protest in an attempt to oust then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), said Taiwan would not be able to enjoy “normal development as a country” until a president decides to be “a president for all people.”
In the past, “all we have had is a president for the KMT or a president for the DPP, rather than a president for Taiwan or a president for the Republic of China,” he said.
Other public figures attending the press conference included novelists Chen Jo-hsi (陳若曦), Chang Show-foong (張曉風) former Army Commander Hu Chen-pu (胡鎮埔) and political commentator Yao Li-ming (姚立明).
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