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Ma's KMT is failing Taiwan governance test

Ma's KMT is failing Taiwan governance test

President Ma Ying-jeou's rightist ruling Chinee Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) appears to be preparing itself for a major political setback in the set of five special municipal mayoral elections Nov. 27 by displaying more and more signs of its unfitness to govern Taiwan's democratic society.
Last month, the respected Global Views Survey Research Corp's monthly Taiwan Public Confidence Survey showed that, despite the investment of a massive taxpayer funds in propaganda touting the benefits of the signing of the controversial "Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement" signed with the authoritarian People's Republic of China June 29, the satisfaction ratings for both Ma and KMT Premier Wu Den-yih
Dissatisfaction with Ma rose from 56.2 percent in mid July to 57.0 percent in mid-August as his approval rating slipped from 32.3 percent to 31.0 percent, while Wu's approval rating nosedived from 42.7 percent to 34.6 percent and the ranks of surveyed voters disapproving of his performance leaped from 42.6 percent to 48.5 percent.
In addition, only 26.5 percent of those surveyed were pleased with the performance of the KMT Cabinet as a whole, down from 31.2 percent in the previous month, while dissatisfaction rose from 50.2 percent to 51.8 percent, while dissatisfaction with the KMT legislative causus remained high at 59.9 percent, with only 23.5 percent of the 1,018 Taiwan adults approving.
The prestigious business publication, "Commonwealth," delivered an even more sobering message this week with the release of its annual survey of 13,444 Taiwan adults regarding their satisfaction with the administration of Taiwan's 25 cities and counties.
"Commonwealth" found that the six top-rated cities and counties were all administered by opposition Democratic Progressive Party mayors, namely Kaohsiung County, Yilan County, Kaohsiung City, Pingtung County and Tainan City, while the 12 lowest ranked districts were all run by KMT executives, including the critical Taipei County at the bottom, followed by Keelung City, Taichung County, Hsinchu County and the capital Taipei City.
In terms of candidates for the five municipal mayoral posts, the only DPP incumbent, Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu was ranked third with a 72.12 percent approval rating, while two KMT incumbents were grouped near the caboose with Taipei City Mayor Hau Long-pin ranked fifth from the bottom and Taichung City Mayor Jason Hu eight from the end.
"Commonwealth" commented that the reasons for the substandard performance by KMT mayors was due to the impact of major incidents, poor crisis management and faulty judgments regarding the views of the people, such as the KMT's deep-seated, but demonstratively false, belief that the signing of ECFA would boost confidence in KMT governance and its candidates.
Advertising mindlessness
Ironically, the KMT's Ministry of Economic Affairs Tuesday provided further evidence of the reasons for such poor ratings when it published blank half - page advertisements in four of Taiwan's major daily newspapers with contained only one sentence urging people to support Taiwan's petrochemical industry.
This decision came in the wake of numerous controversies involving the petrochemical industry, notably a series of massive fires and other major industrial accidents at the Formosa Plastics Group's sixth naphtha cracker complex offshore Mailao in Yunlin County and over the government's plans to build an eighth cracker offshore Changhua County despite intense and well founded environmentalist objections.
Perhaps unconsciously, the MOEA's action, aptly reflected the KMT government's belief that it does not need to deign to offer Taiwan's "common people" detailed and rational reasons for its "fixed policies," much less engage in discussion or debate with "street peddlers," as previously stated by former economics minister and current State Minister Yiin Chi-ming.
All that is necessary is for the KMT government to declare, without even having to provide a word of justification, what the "fixed policy" is.
As Premier Wu stated in a news conference yesterday, citizens "should not raise new issues" that could "cause problems for the government."
Despite its many failings, the former DPP government frequently took the initiative to open major policy dilemmas to public discussion and debate, such as whether to cancel construction of the controversial fourth nuclear power plant and what kind of policy Taiwan should adopt toward the PRC, and even publicly televised such deliberations.
In contrast, the KMT government has reverted to the habits of its authoritarian era, has shut doors previously open for civic participation in policy formation and now simply engages in top-down "policy guidance" or propaganda after its leaders have "fixed" its policies.
This method of operation was adopted with regard to the ECFA, the unequal and unsafe secret beef import protocol signed with the U.S., the flap over environmental impact assessments for the third and fourth phases of the Central Taiwan Technology Industrial Park, the restoration of the temple to the late dictator Chiang Kai-shek and has reached its pinnacle of elitism and arrogance with the publication of a blank page as "policy guidance," naturally at taxpayer expense.
Do Taiwan citizens need any more reasons to give the senior officials of this government permanent "vacations without compensation"?


Updated : 2021-06-12 22:20 GMT+08:00