Letter in the Taipei Times

letter I wrote titled “Ma has lost his mandate” was published in the Taipei Times today.

The Taipei Times also has an article (pdf) in their Community Compass section about the opinions of foreign residents of Taiwan on the events last week. It includes a quote from me. It is better to download the pdf file as it includes some additional quotes.

7 thoughts on “Letter in the Taipei Times

  1. Interesting you wrote that. I can’t remember you publicly sharing your political thoughts before in such a manner.

    The one thing I’m curious and a bit ignorant about is – is there a procedure in Taiwan that calls for presidential re-elections? Israel has an election every 2-3 years instead of 4 years because prime minister lose their mandate pretty quickly and s/he can’t continue to function passing laws without it (not that good either). What’s in Taiwan? will the president continue his term for 4 years no matter what?

  2. Fili, as I understand it to recall the President a motion supported by two-thirds of the Legislature must be passed and this must confirmed by a referendum. The President would then be succeeded by the Vice-President and next in line is the Premier. It is really unknown territory as to exactly what would happen in this event and whether a new election could be called. [I hope this is correct. Any readers are welcome to correct me if necessary.]

    Given the KMT has a large majority in the legislature and doesn’t like referendums this would be unlikely to happen anyway.

  3. I’m pretty sure that’s correct. That was the main reason why CSB was able to serve his full second term – the KMT were unable to get the 2/3 vote numbers during the recall motions. If they had have had a legislature like they do now, he wouldn’t have survived the recall and there’d have been a referendum during summer 2006.

  4. “[Ma’s] actions are creating further divisions. He is setting back the cause of reconciliation.”

    Ironic that you should fire this letter off right before prosecutors – I should say the KMT – bag Chen, with handcuffs and all. Talk about bringing us together. It’ll be interesting to see if Ma pardons Chen. If so, will it be that Ma wants to heal rifts in this society brought on by his stumbling indecisive “leadership” or that he’s just looking out for his own skin in 2012 or 2016 (should voters get amnesia for all of the B.S. that has been going on since he came to office)?

  5. Patrick, I don’t think a pardon is very likely. The KMT’s hatred of Chen is pathological. They have been desperate to lock him up for the last eight years. The KMT has also successfully brainwashed a significant percentage of the public to share their hatred for Chen. They probably think they can gain more support by locking him up than they lose. Forget reconcilation, the KMT is intent on the path of divide and conquer (and then be conquered by China!).

  6. I don’t know David. It could drag on for a couple of years, with CSB being found guilty sometime in late 2011, then Ma can step in with a pardon right as campaigning for the 2012 election starts up. In the age of the short attention span, it’d probably win him some extra support.

  7. I agree with cfimages. Ma gets a lot of support largely because he seems less extreme than Lian Zhan; pardoning Chen “for the sake of national unity” would help confirm that image. Sure it would upset the obsessive anti-Chen people, but they don’t really have another viable party to vote for anymore.

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