Friday, March 31, 2006

Another Self-Centered Leavetaking of the DPP

This sad story came out yesterday...

A Democratic Progressive Party legislator yesterday announced his decision to quit the party, a move that not only leaves the DPP with fewer seats in the Legislature than the opposition Kuomintang but also exposes a crisis within the party just as its popularity has plunged to a record low.

But in a six-page statement, DPP Legislator Lin Wei-jo emphasized he was leaving not just the DPP but party politics per se and intended to launch a movement to urge Taiwan's citizens to abandon political parties.

"I did not just quit the DPP, instead I left every single political party," Lin pointed out.

His statement also touted his achievements in office over the past few years and pointed out that he cared only about the welfare of the people and had grown weary of partisan rivalry during his time as legislator.

The 35-year-old legislator, who listed his concerns as education, culture and the protection of the environment, said Taiwan's competitiveness has suffered due to partisan struggles and that such partisan differences have stirred up conflict and rivalry in Taiwanese society.

Lin said Taiwan's parties had abandoned their idealism and now chose to focus on elections and on how to manipulate the public by holding massive rallies.


One of the goals of the KMT and its allies in Beijing is to destroy the idea of democracy on Taiwan, to discredit it, and make people imagine that things were better under the corrupt, inefficient, and murderous former authoritarian regime. That is its long-term purpose in paralyzing governance on Taiwan -- if the government doesn't function, governance itself falls into disrepute. Essentially all it takes for the triumph of evil is for the KMT and its allies to make sure nothing is done...

It is a shame that a single legislator's quitting of politics is cast in this "it is not me, but politics, that is wrong." Politics in Taiwan is a cutthroat business, authority-centered, ethnically-framed, and driven largely by the desire for money and power. That, however, is no excuse for leaving it by condeming the entire idea of democratic politics and inviting the public to stop participating in making their own future-- that is merely service to the KMT and its allies. If Lin is really the good person he imagines himself to be, he would stay in politics and fight for positive change. All it takes for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing....

8 comments:

James said...

Michael, he's remaining a legislator but just leaving the party no? He is remaining in politics.

STOP_George said...

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Here! Here! Michael!

I had a discussion with my wife yesterday about this very same topic. She (along with her mom and sister) are also fed up with the politics in Taiwan. She even went on to say that they probably will spoil their ballots in the next election. (I tend to lecture her and her family if they talk about not voting at all -- and I can't believe I have to lecture them about that!).

While I understand this sentiment, what with the recent scandals plaguing the government -- I tried to frame everything in a bigger picture for her.

First of all, I believe Taiwan is at a critical cross-roads right now. No matter how disgusting and partisan the politics may be, it is absolutely essential that political apathy is shunned at this time in Taiwan's history. With the likelihood of pandaMa and the KMT selling this country out if they regain power -- how can you possibly disenfranchise yourself from the political system like Lin Wei-jo?! He should be ashamed of himself!!!

This is not a country like Canada, for chrissakes!!! Taiwan has only been democratic for less than a dozen years. Political maturity takes DECADES to achieve. And with a beligerent elephant banging at your doors, it ain't easy.

Just because you may have to choose between two evils doesn't mean you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Scandals exist in EVERY political system with EVERY party -- that's just the nature of power. And when tough decision have to be made, your damn tootin' that politics gets polarized. Look at what happened in the U.S. in 2003.

And your bang-on Michael when you rhetorically ask who benefits from this untimely child-like dissent. It is the opposition, obviously. And what impeccable timing it is!! He couldn't wait a couple of months to avoid having the inevitable pan-blue media comparison of pandaMa and his party's unified "success" in America contrasted with the fractured DPP? This is an "apolitical" decision?!! Bullshit!! Lin Wei-jo has brought Taiwan one step closer to annexation.

The only saving grace is that it's 2 years from the most important election in Taiwan's history.

Don't disenfranchise yourself from politics, people! Pleeeease grin and bear it. Democracies sometimes aren't pretty -- especially young ones. ALWAYS think of the nasty alternative which Taiwan has known for more than 40 years. This alternative will NOT disappear because you choose to stick your heads in the sand. In fact, the more you choose not to participate in democracy -- the more likely it will be replaced by this familiar alternative.

Fight for your future! Goddammit! FIGHT!!!
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Taiwan's Other Side said...

stop_george, for once I partially agree with you about the need to stick it out, though I don't think it will be that hard now that people actually have some hope for the future.

Being associated with a leader that walks into reform meetings claiming absolute obedience isn't selfish - it's having some dignity. I applaud him - he's the first of many.

Anonymous said...

He is fed up with the undemocratic practice inside DPP, and polarized politics.

He is not blaming politics, nor party politics. He is only blaming blind following without thinking. he is also trying to save face for DPP by blaming all sides, don't you see?

Michael Turton said...

He is not blaming politics, nor party politics. He is only blaming blind following without thinking. he is also trying to save face for DPP by blaming all sides, don't you see?

Read it more closely -- he is organizing a group to stop citizens from participating in politics. And if he wanted to save face, all he had to do was cite personal reasons, health, etc. He's clearly behaving in a self-centered way, using the resignation to validate his own superiority to others who have to get their hands dirty with the hard work of reform.

Michael

Anonymous said...

You need to read it more carefully, or read something other than Taipei Times' distorted version.

He is quiting party, he is not quiting politics. Party does not equal politics. If you insist they are the same, then there is nothing to discuss about.

He is still a legislator. He wanted to cast his vote when he disagree with DPP position. How can calling sick (and lying) achieve that for him?

Michael Turton said...

But in a six-page statement, DPP Legislator Lin Wei-jo emphasized he was leaving not just the DPP but party politics per se and intended to launch a movement to urge Taiwan's citizens to abandon political parties.

Abandoning political parties is tantamount to abandoning politics. What other vehicles exist with enough organization and power to carry out politics? Further, he does not propose anything positive -- a new party or NGO dedicated to reform and rebirth. He operates in the standard mode of criticism here, which says that it is OK to attack others while not providing any alternative of one's own.

Too, as I and others have already pointed out, attacking politics is essentially a move in support of authoritarianism and the KMT. As i noted, one of the long-term goals of the KMT is to bring down democracy in Taiwan. Moves like this are perfect.

If Mr. Lin was really a reformist, he might have started a move to reform the parties, or better yet, stayed in the DPP and fought to change it. But all he is really doing is validating how great he himself is compared to everyone else.

Whenever you do or see something this, you should ask yourself -- what does this build for the future? And if the answer is "nothing", as it is in this case, then this course of action should not be taken, and a more positive choice made.

Michael

Echo said...

If Mr. Lin was really a reformist, he might have started a move to reform the parties, or better yet, stayed in the DPP and fought to change it.

Such an act to twist the direction around is not easy to achieve. At the first you need support of the members of the party elites, which will be your power of making changes. I don't know if Mr. Lin has enough charisma to achieve this. Probably not.

Secondly, if such a reform conflicts with most people's interests (power, money ...), you could get kicked out of the power center quickly even you have some support to start with.

Any newly formed party has the previlige of building a "behavior pattern" that this party is gonna adopt. DPP had this chance, but they gave it up and followed the steps of KMT instead. Once the pattern is built and fixed, it will take (1) wisdom and idealism (2) oppotunity to correct it. Mr. Lin or any other top gun in DPP doesnt seem to up to this task. Look at the fact that how many times they called for "reform" but nothing has been done. They all know they need changes (or, they all know that people want to hear the word "reform" coming out of their mouths) but none of them has any idea what needs to or how to be done.

IMO, seeking a reform by the way of getting hands dirty needs extreme patience and wisdom --- something like ex-president Li Deng-Huei has done while he as in KMT. It's not as easy as what we see from outside.