Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that the biggest difference between her call for “maintaining the status quo” and President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) is “democracy.”
Asked about Ma’s remarks that he has established the cross-strait “status quo,” Tsai said that many Taiwanese would probably not agree.
Tsai said the status quo she has promised to maintain is “the status quo of Taiwan’s liberal democracy and cross-strait peace,” which are the most significant elements.
“The ‘status quo’ we have now is the outcome achieved together by Taiwanese, who have made great efforts in the past 20 or so years. It is not something that any person could interpret as he likes or according to his will,” Tsai said.
“The most conspicuous difference between the ‘status quo’ I would strive to maintain and the one upheld by President Ma is democracy, which is the right of the 23 million Taiwanese to decide their own future. This ‘status quo’ cannot be altered,” the DPP chairperson said.
Regarding the president’s comment that he is building a bridge for his successor, Tsai said that Taiwanese society is not against cross-strait exchanges or those between the leaders of the two sides, “but the bridge must have a well-founded base, which is Taiwan’s public opinion and democracy.”
“The bridge must be built upon a solid foundation that consists of democratic procedure, transparency and effective legislative supervision. However, what we have witnessed this time is that the president has failed to realize that what the people of a democracy expect is not simply a result, but that this outcome has to emerge from a democratic procedure that is supervised by the legislature with relevant information available to the public,” Tsai said, referring to Ma’s meeting today with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).
In related news, the DPP yesterday said that a poll found that 65.9 percent of the public have little trust in Ma’s ability to handle cross-strait affairs.
According to the poll it conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, 74 percent of respondents agree that Ma should have undertaken communication with the legislature and the opposition parties beforehand, while 17.3 percent disagreed.
The poll found 59.5 percent agree that the president’s public announcement about the Ma-Xi meeting only days before the event is a “black-box” operation that had sidestepped due supervision, while 29.9 percent disagreed.
The poll found 66.8 percent agreed that Ma should not make major cross-strait policy proclamations during the meeting when he has only half a year left in office.
The poll collected 926 valid samples from citizens aged 20 or above across the nation. It has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus-3.2 percentage points.