Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) pathetic non-apology for last year’s remark that the “two sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family” has given the public solid evidence that he is politically inexperienced, inept and shameless. Why would the public trust another term in office to a bankrupt political clown, riddled with flaws and contradictions? Ko will be an easy target during the election campaign.
Despite this, he seems more concerned with the so-called “6 percent of the electorate” who, he says, are holding the nation hostage with their “extremist” politics.
Through his “apology,” Ko has managed to enrage those of the red, blue and green political persuasions. Pro-China media have already launched a campaign to get him re-elected and boost his low media profile. Hence, Ko tried to grab the headlines on Saturday last week with his “6 percent” remark.
Some deep-green friends have questioned Ko’s “6 percent” figure. This statistic first appeared in an article titled Colorless awakening, released by pro-China CTi News’ political program Political Gossip. The article called for the destruction of conventional “blue/green binary political thought,” which it argued should be replaced with “colorless politics.”
How was the 6 percent figure arrived at?
Referring to an opinion poll, CTi News said that in the past 30 years, total political party membership has fallen to only 6 percent of the population and that the remaining 94 percent is “achromatic” — unaffiliated to any political party — yet manipulated by the 6 percent belonging to the blue and green camps.
This is a bizarre argument, not least of all as CTi News is owned by the notoriously pro-China Want Want Group.
The article also makes the assumption that a party member must be either deep-blue or deep-green and that anyone who is not a card-carrying party member must be “colorless.” This is self-evidently not true.
The so-called “colorless awakening” argument is not just confined to CTi News: China Times, also owned by Want Want Group, invited former politicians, including members of the pan-green camp, to contribute to a series of articles on “colorless politics.”
Is Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強), a Presidential Office deputy secretary-general during former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) era, truly a “colorless” politician? I do not think so.
Even the rest of the pro-unification media do not buy it. The whole campaign was based on the 6 versus 94 percent claim.
Just like former US president Richard Nixon and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the pro-unification camp is claiming to speak for the so-called silent majority. They are deluded.
Moreover, before Ko’s disastrous apology, the original idea was probably for him to use the 6 percent figure so that pro-China and pro-KMT media could support a “centrist” candidate without fear of embarrassment and to pull the wool over voters’ eyes.
Irrespective of whether the pro-China media would rally behind Ko, he undoubtedly has Beijing’s support, with China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) showing him every consideration.
This is crucial for Ko as he cannot rely on support from the blue or green camps for a future presidential bid. Moreover, despite having been mayor for more than three years, Ko is still a political outsider, so what will he do without the support of the red camp?
For this reason, if the Democratic Progressive Party had given way to Ko, the inevitable explosive backlash would have called President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) sincerity and political resolve into question.
Christian Fan Jiang is a media commentator.
Translated by Edward Jones
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