Various ‘one China’ views unite
By Paul Lin 林保華
Taipei Times  2015.12.25

On Dec. 9, the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Central Standing Committee identified 11 “difficult” electoral districts where no DPP candidates would run. Instead, the party would support non-DPP candidates and the creation of a progressive alliance in these areas. Still, there have been complaints from the party’s grassroots.

In addition to the first three seats the party gave up — to the New Power Party’s Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), Freddy Lim (林昶佐) and Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸) — more controversial names on the latest list include former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City councilors Yang Shih-chiu (楊實秋) and Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元) as well as People First Party (PFP) Taipei City Councilor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊).

The main principle behind the DPP’s list is that unless the KMT is removed from government, the nation would not do well.

This means that if the DPP does not nominate a candidate in a district and a KMT candidate, or a candidate from the pro-China New Party (NP), does better in the opinion polls than the non-DPP candidates, the DPP would in effect be supporting the KMT or the NP.

Yang and Lee used to be KMT members, but when attending political talk shows after last year’s Sunflower movement, they criticized the KMT for being unfair and were expelled from the party. As long as their statements and activities do not harm the nation, such different opinions are only to be encouraged.

Although they promote “ROC independence,” they should be welcomed, because there is a great difference between their views, and those of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and KMT presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫), who believe the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to “one China.”

Yao Li-ming (姚立明) used to be an NP legislator, but he later helped Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) defeat KMT candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) in the Taipei mayoral election last year. Other such changes should be welcomed and even if they are not sincere, they only have to keep it up for a couple of years.

Huang Shan-shan is different. She is a PFP member and has the best chance of defeating the KMT’s candidate in her district. Among PFP members, she is the most moderate and level-headed. She rarely criticizes the pan-green camp and she does not exaggerate her importance. Such a “pale blue” candidate should be quite acceptable for pan-green supporters.

The DPP’s support for Huang is an expression of goodwill toward the PFP, as there might be opportunity for cooperation. There would certainly be ideological differences, but there is room for cooperation on such issues as the pursuit of the KMT’s party assets. By supporting Huang, the DPP is, by necessity, sacrificing the Taiwan Solidarity Union’s (TSU) Hsiao Ya-tan (蕭亞譚).

However, the party also supports the TSU’s Liu Kuo-lung (劉國隆) in Taichung, which shows that it still sees the TSU as an ally.

If the DPP fails to gain a legislative majority, it would have to cooperate with these parties.

Still, that is setting the sights too low: The party needs to make more friends and aim for a qualified, three-quarter majority to be able to amend the Referendum Act (公民投票法) and other laws so that the nation’s Constitutional democracy can move to the next level.

The pan-green camp’s thinking is clear enough, but the process of implementing their ideals means facing up to reality and following a fixed strategy.

If the party fails to unite a majority of Taiwanese, it would be difficult to implement those ideals. The most important thing is to form a powerful team to bring down the KMT government and greet the birth of a new Taiwan.

Paul Lin is a political commentator.

Translated by Perry Svensson


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