Legislators from across the political spectrum yesterday rebutted a US magazine’s criticism of the legislature’s performance, claiming that conflicts are just part of the democratic progress.
The retort came after an article in a recent edition of Foreign Policy named Taiwan, along with the US and various other countries, as nations whose legislatures do not work for the people.
The article — “Parliamentary Funk,” published on July 20 — also named Belgium, Iraq, Japan and Afghanistan as having sub-par legislatures.
The stalemate between the nation’s two primary political parties could be compared with the situation in the US Congress, which has recently put the global economy at risk because of its refusal to compromise over its debt crisis, Cameron Abadi wrote in the piece.
Abadi said the pan-blue and pan-green camps “have a greater tradition of engaging in fistfights in the halls of government than cooperating on policy.”
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) dismissed the article, saying that it had been more than three years since the last physical brawl in the legislature and that Abadi’s views were out of date.
The physical conflicts took place during the reviews of some highly controversial political issues, Wang said, adding that the reconciliation of differences is part of the democratic process.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said the article was hurtful and humiliating for the legislature, dragging up information that belongs in the past.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲) and DPP Legislator Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠) also dismissed the criticism.
The past legislative session passed more than 100 bills and if that makes the legislature incapable, then the US Congress is even worse, Chao said.