Sun, Aug 07, 2011 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: Tsai seeks ‘greatest common denominator’

In an interview with staff reporters Tzou Jiing-wen and Lee Hsin-fang of the Chinese-language ‘Liberty Times’ (the sister paper of the ‘Taipei Times’) on Tuesday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen said if she wins January’s presidential election, her government team would comprise members across parties and create a modernized government team. This is the second part of the interview

Liberty Times: If one day you become president, how would you treat the different political parties?

Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文): We all feel that this nation is the prize [to be contested for] between political parties, but then forget that the important goal for the competition between political parties is to build up the country with achievements. If we take out the goal of [bringing forth achievement for] a nation, it leaves us only with political wrangles among the parties, which is then a drain on the nation.

[It is preferable] if the person in power, however, proposes a common national goal, and the political parties can construct a mutual platform under this goal toward which they can work, while leaving room for mutual competition between the political parties, for a democratic country has to reserve space for party competition.

Our development in the past 20 years concerning a common national goal has not been determined, because first there was the issue of pro-independence or pro-unification, then there was the pan-green, pan-blue division, causing some difficulties in having a common national goal.

However, a leader has to find the greatest common denominator, and set a common national goal on that common denominator. Under that prerequisite, everyone can work together, while also leaving a space for political parties to compete.

It is not that there has not been anyone who wanted to find that greatest common denominator, but in the process of finding it, there was also the possibility of attempting to eliminate the competition among political parties, making it unable to be sustained due to the self--preservation of the political party, or some circumstances in which the benefits for a particular political party are too great and causes it not to participate in the finding of the common denominator

It is a delicate balance, and we need to find that greatest common denominator, and yet maintain space for competition.

LT: In your mind, what currently constitutes the greatest common denominator for Taiwan?

Tsai: I think it is the challenge globalization poses to Taiwan. It has nothing to do with pro-independence or pro-unification, or with pan-green or pan-blue. The current societal and economic problems facing Taiwan are its greatest challenge.

The increasing pauperization of society, the slowly surfacing class division issue in the wake of globalization, and anger at one’s inability to improve one’s social status is actually growing deeper and deeper, so being poor in a stratified society makes people feel very insecure.

In terms of industry and economic structure, it is because [the leader] does not have enough guts to break the current structure. After all, the current structure was left over from the economic and industrial thought of the 1960s to 1980s. So long as we do not break it and create a new way of thinking, it will continue on in a bad cycle.

We must break the cycle and construct a new industrial and economic structure that meets with the trend of globalization.

Then there is the issue of social [resource] distribution. If resources cannot be fairly distributed through taxation, national subsidies and national resources, then the feeling of inequality would become the greatest destroyer of social unity and concord. These problems have nothing to do with pro-independence or pro-unification, or with pan-green or pan-blue; they are problems that have to be faced by everyone.

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