The difference Hsieh would make

In the wake of the landslide victory of the former ruling Kuomintang in the January 12 Legislative Yuan election, it is evident that the KMT will be in the driver's seat of government for at least the next four years.
A number of citizens may believe that since the KMT will exercise control over the Legislature and, at least indirectly, over the Executive branch, it would be preferable to allow the KMT to win the presidency as well so that the KMT will bear "complete responsibility" for the performance of its "complete governance."
Not surprisingly, KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou, his running mate former premier Vincent Siew and other KMT leaders have harped on this theme and maintained that only "full rulership" can bring "complete" political responsibility.
On the contrary, we believe that allowing the KMT to regain unchallenged power to decide and implement policy over Taiwan's national security, defense, external affairs (including relations with the People's Republic of China), economics, finance, fiscal affairs and everything else would be totally irresponsible and a recipe for disaster.
It cannot be denied that with effective three-fourths control over the Legislative Yuan, the KMT and its pan-blue allies will control the driver's seat in law and budgets and will have a dominant voice in government personnel and domestic policy decisions.
We would feel less worried about the consequences of the KMT returning to power if there was any convincing evidence that the former authoritarian party and its core leaders had spent the past eight years re-examining their past actions and engaging in substantial reform.
Unfortunately, there is precious little evidence besides empty rhetoric to support such an optimistic scenario and mountains of tangible evidence in the actions of its legislators and leaders to show that the KMT's fundamental character has not changed.
In the past eight years, the KMT has used its control over the Legislature to boycott virtually all DPP-proposed "sunshine" anti-corruption or other progressive structural administrative and judicial reforms and many long-over due social reforms and punish our citizens by block infrastructure spending and undermining economic progress.
Moreover, having abandoned its past rigid "anti-communist" stance, the KMT has engaged in a backdoor and black-box "dialogue" with the People's Republic of China's ruling Chinese Communist Party which may well have already compromised Taiwan's national interests and security and international status.
The refusal of the KMT leadership to make any serious re-examination or apology for its crimes of state and violations of human rights during its nearly 55 years of authoritarian or one-party monopoly and its refusal to relinquish the fruits of its own institutional corruption in the form of its hoard of "ill-gotten" party assets and growing reports of intimidations by KMT local officials and lawmakers has also sparked grave concern over the fate of Taiwan's human rights protections under restored "comprehensive" KMT rule.
Protecting democracy
If elected, Democratic Progressive Party candidate Frank Hsieh would not be able to prevent the KMT from dominating Taiwan's direction for the next four years, but would have powers that can be employed to employ to ensure that the KMT will not be able to restore a China-centric quasi-authoritarian regime.
Moreover, a Hsieh presidency would be able to maintain the existence of a pluralist political system and to defend at least a minimum level of human rights and the final right of the Taiwan people to make the final decision on their national destiny.
First, as president, Hsieh would have the power to appoint and dismiss the premier.
Although he will have no choice but to "respect" the views of the majority party, Hsieh would have considerable leverage in the selection of an impartial chief administrator and also ensure that major government decisions are not made in a "black box" for the benefit of "KMT Incorporated."
Moreover, Hsieh will have the power to nominate the presidents and the members of the Judicial Yuan, the watchdog Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan and thus help to ensure that Taiwan's judicial system retains some independence and safeguards against a resumption of past KMT arbitrary rule.
As president, Hsieh will have primary responsibility under the Constitution for national security, external affairs (including China policy) and national defense and will thus be able to ensure that the voices of all Taiwan people, not simply the KMT elite, are heard and that no "blue box" agreements are made between the KMT and CCP without the assent of the Taiwan people through democratic processes.
No less critical is the fact that having a DPP president as commander-in-chief of the armed forces will ensure that the Taiwan military and intelligence and security services do not revert to being the instruments of control by a "one-party dominant" KMT.
Last but not least, Hsieh offers a clearly superior Taiwan-centric vision of a "wellness Taiwan" and greater capability and far broader experience in crisis management than Ma and Siew, both of whom are self-confessed "bureaucrats" whose longest range "vision" for Taiwan is participation in a vaguely defined "greater China" common market.