Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) and others have been vaunting the idea of forming an “anti-green alliance” in preparation for next year’s presidential and legislative elections, with the aim of bringing down the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
This putative grouping would be nothing more than an “anti-Taiwan alliance.”
Taiwan’s pan-green political camp includes the “big green” DPP and the “little green” Taiwan Statebuilding Party, both of whose main principles and objectives are to oppose communism and safeguard Taiwan while maintaining close and friendly relations with the US, Japan and Europe, and pacifying China.
Most of Taiwan’s other parties can be classified as “red,” “blue” or possibly “white.” Apart from the KMT, these include, among others, the Chinese Unification Promotion Party — also known as the Unionist Party — the New Party, the People First Party (PFP) and the Taiwan People’s Party, whose chairman is former Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).
All of these parties adhere to the idea of “one China.” They oppose Taiwanese sovereignty and independence, and advocate unification with China.
Of course, they are all against the DPP. They create more distance between the US and Taiwan while kneeling down and kissing the hand of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Evidently, the red/blue camp’s so-called “anti-green alliance” is anti-anti-communist, and opposes the DPP government’s position that Taiwan and China are not subordinate to one another.
Can this be called anything other than an “anti-Taiwan alliance?”
In the 2000 presidential election, which was a three-way contest between Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the DPP — who won office and was president for two terms — former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) of the KMT and then-independent candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜), who is now chairman of the PFP, Chen garnered nearly 40 percent of the vote.
In 2004, when Lien and Soong — after founding the PFP — ran on a joint ticket, the red/blue camp thought it could easily win, but it narrowly lost to Chen, who gained 49 percent of the vote.
In 2016 and 2020, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the DPP, paired respectively with former vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) and Vice President William Lai (賴清德) won with 56 and 57 percent of the vote.
Presidential elections are concerned with Taiwan’s sovereignty, and could mean the difference between life and death for Taiwanese. They are different from local elections for mayors and county commissioners.
At such a crucial moment, Taiwanese are likely thinking about the future of their children and grandchildren. Faced with an alliance of anti-Taiwan forces on the one hand, and a menacing and malicious CCP on the other, everyone should strongly support the Taiwan-centric DPP.
According to media in the UK, more than 3,300 workers at 70 British companies have had a three-day weekend for six months as part of a four-day workweek experiment.
The trial was based on the 100:80:100 model — 100 percent of pay for 80 percent of the hours, in exchange for a commitment to maintain 100 percent productivity. When the experiment ended, 86 percent of recruiters reported that they would likely continue the approach.
After the news went viral, many Taiwanese were looking forward to something similar, and for the nation to follow the UK’s example and adopt a three-day weekend.
However, the Ministry of Labor has voiced concerns that the approach would increase workloads, which would cause fatigue and trauma due to extended working hours. Would that really happen?
The concept of a two-day weekend first took shape during the Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s, a practice now established for more than a century. Taiwan has had it for some time.
Nonetheless, some European countries, including Belgium and Spain, have been pushing for a four-day week and a three-day weekend, along with subsidies. Even Iceland, which has trialed the policy for many years, has increased the percentage of workers working under such a policy to 90 percent.
The “work less, play more” revolution is well under way, and each European country has its own approach, which begs the question: Would the policy be applicable to Taiwan?
While there are social and cultural differences, there is no reason that Taiwan could not jump on the bandwagon and introduce the same policy. The crux of the matter is the workload and working hours, which is what the ministry said.
Success would depend on whether people can finish five days of work in four days.
This concern could also depend on the industry. Some blue-collar workers, for example, currently need to work overtime to finish their duties, let alone thinking about extra weekend days.
However, white-collar workers might be able to work more efficiently if the goal is to finish five days of work in four. The policy might prevent procrastination.
If the policy can increase overall efficiency, then a four-day week might be an option.
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