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Taiwan's future rests with you

Taiwan's future rests with you

Tomorrow about 12 million citizens will cast ballots in what may be the most important legislative election so far in the history of Taiwan's democratic transition.
Besides a reduction in the Legislative Yuan from 225 to 113 seats and the extension of the term of new lawmakers from three to four years, the new dual vote system featuring one vote for 73 single-seat constituencies or six indigenous peoples representatives and a second ballot that will select 34 seats based on political party proportional representation.
Voters will also be able to cast ballots on two referendums, including an initiative sponsored by the governing Democratic Progressive Party calling for the recovery of billions of New Taiwan dollars in "party assets" illicitly acquired by the former authoritarian Kuomintang and a bill to set up a powerful Legislative commission to investigation "corruption" previously sponsored and now abandoned by the right wing New Party and the KMT.
Go forward, not backward
After observing the history of the past eight years and the course of this campaign, our advice to citizens is to cast their ballots for candidates in constituencies and party representation for the DPP and to vote "yes" for the referendum to recover the KMT's illicit party assets and "no" on the abandoned pan-KMT camp bogus "anti-corruption" initiative which would actually create an all-powerful and unconstitutional tribunal in the Legislative Yuan.
We do not intend to give a blanket endorsement of the DPP or imply satisfaction with the performance of President Chen Shui-bian's administration.
Nevertheless, we do believe the DPP government has made significant, if grossly under-reported, achievements in promoting political reforms to consolidate and deepen Taiwan's democracy.
The DPP government's efforts to purge corruption have been disappointing, especially in the light of the conviction of the president's son-in-law on insider trading and of several other high level officials.
Still, in stark contrast to the KMT era and numerous ex-KMT figures who are now fugitives in China or other nations, the president's son-in-law and DPP officials indicted for corruption have gone on trial and, if convicted, to jail.
Moreover, the main stumbling block to the DPP government's drive to purge corruption remains the KMT itself, which has consistently boycotted the numerous anti-corruption "sunshine" laws sent by the DPP-led Cabinet to the KMT-controlled Legislature.
While the DPP administration has at least tried to learn to act as a responsible governing party, the KMT has stubbornly refused to engage in any re-examination of its authoritarian historical legacy and mentality and has spitefully used its Legislative majority to boycott the DPP government's attempts to upgrade our society and economy and thereby punish all Taiwan citizens for having the nerve to end the KMT's nearly 55-year reign.
The KMT's refusal to accept the verdicts of the people in March 2000 and March 2004 and its demonstration of contempt for the democratic rule of law, as shown in its willful and illegal effort to create "one country, two systems" by imposing a "two-stage" voting system in tomorrow's polls.
We therefore believe that voters should take very seriously the warning issued by President Chen earlier this week that the KMT would use a two-thirds majority to veto the people's choice in the March 22 presidential election if DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh defeats KMT standard-bearer Ma Ying-jeou.
The credibility of Chen's warning is bolstered by the fact that the pan-KMT camp actually attempted to carry out this scenario by recalling the newly-elected DPP president after only five months in office in November 2000 and was only deterred by opinion polls showing nearly 70 percent public opposition.
We believe that the problems of Taiwan's democratic transition can only be solved by more democracy, including a vibrant direct democracy, and cannot be resolved by restoring unrepentant former authoritarians to power or encouraging voters to abandon their own right of referendum or by allowing "KMT Inc" to again take control over the lifeblood of our economy and financial system.
By voting for the DPP and the party assets referendum, voters can send the message that they will no longer reward boycotts with votes and are resolved that "the nation wants progress and must not go in reverse" and that they cherish all of their democratic rights, including the right of referendum.


Updated : 2021-10-21 14:24 GMT+08:00