Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (
According to the KMT, the PFP has been threatening to side with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to help enact a law regulating political-party assets if the KMT backs away from supporting the PFP on the arms bill.
Notorious for its tradition of literally "buying" votes in close elections, the KMT considers its improperly acquired assets paramount to its survival.
On the other hand, blocking the arms purchase so that it can eventually disarm Taiwan is the KMT's ticket to gaining eternal trust from Beijing. This in turn, the party leadership hopes, would guarantee them perpetual power in Taiwan.
The KMT believes it's entitled to both. And that wishful thinking persists even after the change of party leadership from Lien Chan (連戰) to Ma.
But compared to Lien, Ma is more of a polished politician. His dexterity at shifting the blame and maintaining a clean image has earned him the title of the "non-stick" politician.
For instance, before meeting with PFP Chairman James Soong (
However, upon meeting with Soong, Ma immediately withdrew his support for lifting the blockade of the arms bill, citing the PFP's aforementioned threat.
The point is that Ma knew beforehand that Soong vehemently opposed the arms bill and that the meeting would end up giving him the excuse to transfer the responsibility.
Therefore the KMT's explanation, and the version bought by most people -- that it is being "blackmailed" by the PFP -- is not only self-serving but also consistent with Ma's "non-stick" image.
What's equally amazing is that the PFP is expanding the scope of its political cover for Ma and company. It is now taking the initiative to introduce some very controversial and divisive bills in the Legislative Yuan.
Among them, what would certainly incur the wrath of the Taiwanese people would be the draft "cross-strait peace advancement bill." Using this, pan-blue leaders are conspiring to wrest the power to negotiate cross-strait issues from President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) government, outlaw formal sovereignty aspirations and embark formally on the path toward eventual "unification," even though many of the notions proposed appear to be unconstitutional.
Nonetheless, the process of establishing the law established would allow the KMT to press ahead with creating chaos in the Legislative Yuan that, in this particular case, might even ominously portend tumult among the general public -- as well as paralysis in Chen's government. If anything, Ma is speeding up the KMT's assault on Taiwan's democracy while letting the PFP assume the lion's share of the blame.
What's equally troublesome is his expressed design -- or lack of it except for a brief and vague reference to a "zones" concept -- on the cross-strait issue.
For example, other than professing his dislike of communism, Ma hasn't staked out much of a position regarding China. Given that communism is, on the whole, no longer being practiced in China, Ma appears to be something of an enigma as far as his true feelings toward the Beijing regime are concerned.
To be sure, his official position on Taiwan is that it is part of the Republic of China that includes both the current day People's Republic of China and Taiwan. It's apparent that he is intentionally taking this most backward and unrealistic view to mask his lack of conviction toward Taiwan.
This could then set up the day when, after handing over Taiwan to China, he would declare to the Taiwanese people: "I wouldn't have done this if you people hadn't voted for me."
And, that would be the ultimate excuse of a "non-stick politician."
Meanwhile, the pan-blue camp's dangerous maneuvers could still backfire and provide the sparks the pan-green camp needs to jumpstart an otherwise lethargic campaign for the upcoming county and municipal elections.
Moreover, should the pan-green camp succeed in solidifying its now fragmented forces to oppose the draft law and should the struggle spread and drag on to the 2008 presidential election, Ma's fortunes could nosedive from promising to desperate.
Then Ma and the KMT would truly regret the habit of relying on alibis provided by Soong and his PFP.
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