‘Humble, humble, and humble again,’ deep reflection necessary ahead of Taiwan elections

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Ex-Premier William Lai (left) and President Tsai Ing-wen.

Ex-Premier William Lai (left) and President Tsai Ing-wen.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Many Taiwanese voters are observing the battle between President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former Premier William Lai (賴清德) for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential nomination, including Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation Chairman Yu Ying-lung (游盈隆), whose organization presented an opinion poll on April 27 about the leadership qualities which a president of Taiwan should possess. As the average member of the public could understand, Lai outperformed Tsai in all seven qualities.

The seven ideal leadership qualities for a president of Taiwan mentioned in the poll were:

1/ caring for the needs of the average citizen

2/ boost Taiwan’s economic development

3/ bring necessary changes for Taiwan

4/ possess strong and forceful national leadership qualities

5/ be honest and trustworthy

6/ able to handle the complex cross-strait relations

7/ raise Taiwan’s international profile and respect.

On all the above seven qualities, President Tsai rated lower than ex-Premier Lai. Apart from “raising Taiwan’s international profile and respect,” where she ended 9.4 percent lower than Lai, on all six other qualities, she trailed Lai by more than 10 percent, and for the categories “caring for the needs of the average citizen” and “boosting Taiwan’s economic development,” the president even ranked about 30 percent behind the former premier.

The DPP Central Executive Committee decided to postpone the process of selecting a presidential candidate, leading people to be concerned about Taiwan, no matter whether they are "green" or "blue" supporters, to realize that the delay was designed to help the president improve her position in the hope that having more time would assist her in gaining the upper hand.

Compared to the poll results presented by Professor Yu Ying-lung, it proves even more obvious that President Tsai’s camp is scheming to hold on to power.

We all know that apart from true fans of President Tsai and government office holders, the majority of people in Taiwan will rationally use the above seven ideal qualities as the basis for choosing the next president of Taiwan.

The seven ideal qualities for a president of Taiwan are structural personality traits, the result of long-term life experience, and cannot be produced through short-term compensation or through a fake transformation.

Since ex-Premier William Lai registered for the DPP’s 2020 presidential primaries, President Tsai’s repeated stance has been to call for solidarity, but for solidarity under her aegis.

The DPP Central Executive Committee collectively subscribed to Tsai’s approach, clearly planning a primary selection process favorable to the president, but this has already completely wasted the DPP’s founding spirit, so even if President Tsai comes out the winner at the end, because the process was not fair, it might lead to the destruction of the DPP.

In the November 24, 2018 regional elections, it was already possible to see a split in the DPP, with voters from 2016 abandoning the party, mainly because of dissatisfaction, especially from pro-Taiwanese voters, about Tsai’s policies during the previous two years.

President Tsai’s determination to run for re-election has gradually revealed a style including an “authoritarian lack of democracy” and “if not me, who?” Her supporters even used “unprincipled, irrational intrigues violating the rules” to conduct infighting and achieve their aims.

President Tsai Ing-wen, this time you should think back to the 2016 presidential election, to your words which moved the public, “humble, humble, humble again,” and you should be able to conduct a deep reflection.