Alexa

United Daily News: Inability to defend

United Daily News: Inability to defend

The lack of ability to defend or clarify its policies has been a Gordian knot for President Ma Ying-jeou's administration. The administration's inability had been demonstrated on too many issues, including the Kuokuang petrochemical industrial complex project, the fourth nuclear power plant, U.S. beef imports and Taipei MRT route changes -- all have resulted in public rows, while the government failed to come to its own defense. Further, despite each painful experience, the Ma government seems not to have learned any lessons, at least in how to become wiser in its skills to argue or clarify its stances. Taking the controversy surrounding the fourth nuclear power plant as an example, building it was a policy upheld by former President Chen Shui-bian and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), but the Ma government was caught short in defending its continuing the building when the DPP politicized the issue after it stepped down. As to the ongoing row over Taiwan's ban of U.S. beef containing residue of the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine, or a possible opening of U.S. beef containing tiny, regulated amounts of the leanness enhancers, the government has chosen to stress that "it has no timetable nor preconditions" regarding the issue. The last thing a government should do is turn itself into an outsider in the face of a major row pertaining to the interest of the entire population. The government will find it difficult to resume its role as a decision maker or arbiter after Taiwan society has disintegrated over the thorny beef issue. Politics is the art of possibility. While maintaining "the best" policy is an unrealistic dream in a democratic society, seeking the "second best" is realistic and recommended. Since maintaining "second best" policies is a norm in Taiwan, a democratic society, it is the government's responsibility to defend such policies and convince the people. (Editorial abstract -- March 3, 2012) (By Deborah Kuo)


Updated : 2021-01-24 18:08 GMT+08:00