Sat, Dec 31, 2011 - Page 3 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: CCW denounces legislature’s year of ‘shame’

Staff Writer, with CNA

Members of Citizen’s Congress Watch choose the Chinese character they feel best describes what happened in the legislature this year. The character they are holding up is chi (“shame”).

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

The word that best describes the Legislative Yuan’s performance this year is “shame,” civil rights activists said yesterday, as legislators have given themselves a month of paid leave to campaign for re-election while failing to come up with any quality legislation during their current term.

Chang Hung-lin (張宏林), chief executive of the Citizen’s Congress Watch (CCW), a non-governmental organization, said the word of the year for the legislature was selected through a survey of the watchdog group’s members, participants in CCW-sponsored garden parties and an online vote.

“We feel the word ‘shame’ vividly illustrates how our lawmakers have abused their authority by giving themselves a month of paid leave ahead of the next legislative election, even though they have failed to complete any well-devised legislation to boost the public interest,” Chang said.

The watchdog has selected a word to reflect the legislature’s performance every year since 2008, when the word “darkness” was selected to symbolize the legislature’s failure to fulfill its promise to allow public access to the legislature’s video-on-demand system.

In 2009, the word chosen for the legislature was “selfishness,” while the word “bluff” was selected last year to illustrate the lawmaking body’s inability to honor its promises to enact many important pieces of legislation, including a number of sunshine laws.

Chang said he hoped a new generation of lawmakers would be elected in the Jan. 14 legislative elections to help shrug off the legislature’s negative image so that a positive word for its performance might be selected next year.

The watchdog also picked former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker Diane Lee’s (李慶安) acquittal over dual nationality charges as the top legislative news story of this year. This was followed by the steamrolling through of amendments to the Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例) that led farmers rights activists to unveil a list of lawmakers whose re-election they did not want to see.

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