Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ma Ying-jeou, Man in Motion

You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?

The announcement on the recall motion should come out today....

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is looking more determined to force President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) off stage, as it plans to announce a recall motion in today's Central Standing Committee meeting amid plans for a signature drive and a rally to demand Chen's resignation.

KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) declined to say yesterday whether the party preferred a recall motion against Chen or a move to dismiss the Cabinet. But he said he thought it likely that the first couple were directly involved in the recent scandals.

"The first lady's relationship with Chen You-hao (陳由豪) and President Chen's involvement in the TDC scandal show that they may be directly involved in the cases," Ma said after presiding over a municipal meeting at the Taipei City Hall.


But Ma has been playing coy, appearing to reluctantly support the motion, angering many members of the PFP and the KMT. There may be some trepidation here: what will things be like when he's the President and the legislature is pro-Green? But there are some other issues, outlined in a Taipei Times editorial:

While the People First Party (PFP) is planning to unseat Chen, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is taking aim at the Cabinet. Since recalling the president requires the approval of two-thirds of legislators, the KMT thinks it doesn't have the numbers. However, the pan-blues do possess enough legislative seats to force the resignation of the Cabinet. If Chen decided to dissolve the legislature in response, this would force an election, which under the Constitution, would be under the new "single-district, two-vote" system. That means half the legislators would be out of a job. While neither KMT nor PFP legislators desire this, the result would be worse for the PFP, which would likely dissolve completely, allowing the KMT to dislodge both of its political rivals in one go. But, unable to put its ideal plan into action, the KMT has settled on launching a petition to recall the president, so that it does not lose support to the PFP.

If Chen dissolves the legislature in response and elections are held -- none of us will be able to take a nap during day, due to the unending cascade of sound trucks playing the same song over and over, each time for a different candidate. But more importantly, the future will suddenly become murky. Very murky. Some points to ponder:

1. The new legislature, if the KMT dominates it, will probably be run by Ma's people.

2. Ma's political rival, Wang Jin-pyng, currently the KMT legislative speaker, might not have a seat. He is one of the at-large appointed KMT legislators. Under the local system, a party gets to appoint a certain number of legislators, the exact proportion representing the extent of their victory in the legislative election -- the more seats they hold, the more at-large people they get to appoint. Recently the rules on determining who will be the KMT's at-large legislators were revised to make the voting for them open to party members, not just party elites. Wang is a party insider who belongs to the faction that is against Ma. He's not likely to win an at-large position in a "democratic" poll of party members backed by Ma --unless Ma wants him to. Which leads to....

......the interesting question is -- if you're Ma, where do you want Wang? In the legislature where he can be encysted with your people? Or a free agent, with no formal title, able to do and say what he wants?

3. The KMT might not do as well as many think. The DPP has been showing a clear rising trend at the local level for the past three elections, and that through all the disgust with Chen. There are risks here for a recall vote, uncertainties, real possibility of loss. I'm curious to see how well the DPP fares in the upcoming local elections this month.

4. As the Taipei Times pointed out, the real loser would be the PFP, the pro-Blue ally of the KMT, on the wane for the last several years. One of Ma's long-term goals has been to bring all the PFP people back into the KMT. Will Ma use the recall motion to risk a dissolution of the legislature in order to destroy the PFP and force the wayward Blues to return to the Church of the Mainlander Identity?

Life sure will be fun if Chen dissolves the legislature.

10 comments:

Sun Bin said...

It sure would be fun :D

More likely is Ma is threatening DPP with the disolving, so that Bian would resign. (btw, i thought Lu has been behaved quite decently in the past year).

anyway, it is only a matter of time that soong's political life will end. byebye soong and the old guards.

Echo said...

If Wang loses legisture seat, he will probably reconsider the invitation to be vice-president of KMT, which he declined many times before (certainly: if the offer is still there).

------

Ma doesn't seem to up to the job of a leader. After holding up his attitude about recall for days, in order to convince pan-blue supporters, he said something like:

"I could be very cruel when time comes."

"If Chen doesn't resign, but instead steps down by recall, he will die a tragic death !!"

What kind of political leader in a democratic country would use that kind of language, especially in a seriously divided society ? It's more like the barbarian communist politicians threatening their opponents.

With him going gradually closer to the center of political conflict, he does slowly reveal his true nature.

馬:不辭 扁會死得很難看
http://news.yam.com/chinatimes/politics/200606/20060608824140.html

Michael Turton said...

Echo also left this comment on another post. The comment moderation system broke today, so I am posting it by hand here:

Echo has left a new comment on your post "6/06/2006 06:01:00 AM":

Here is another typical example [1] of pan-blue's "society-breaking conspiracy". In this case, again, a public guilty sense was induced through media by pan-blue's manipulation with premature judgements based on pure circumstantial guesses and imaginations, way before any legal investigations were conducted.

It was followed by an investigation heavily biased by the outraged public pressure. In the end, the judge sentenced the accused 10 years in jail, 2 more years than what the district attorney asked for. Why 2 more years? The judge said that it is because the accused "deny the crime to the death" (甇颱?隤蔽).

According to the news report [1][2], the official verdict, which is supposed to list the details of the crimes that the district attorneys can come up with, includes statements like these:

-- Crime motive:
"Because the accused knows X and Y pretty well in person, he SHOULD have the motive to commit this crime."

-- How the crime is committed:
"The accused SOMEHOW committed the crime"

-- Evidence:
"A telephone record between the accused and X showed conversation length of 0 second, indicating that a "signal" for committing the crime was sent."

When you call someone but the phone is not picked up, it shows 0 second on record. So to live in Taiwan, you'd better be home 24 hours a day, and make sure that the recipient be home before you make any call. Otherwise you might one day become a criminal because of that.

According to the accused, the judge ignored all or most of his not-guilty evidences, and made the judging based on public opinions but not facts, making the official verdict read more like a novel [2].

It's for certain that this "novel" will serve as an example for the current hot case about the first family --- if the investigation
and the sentencing of Chao, Jian-Ming (頞遣??came out anything less, expect waves of anti-court, anti-government, society-breaking demonstrations launched by pan-blue.

It's a pitty that pan-green never came up with any way to counter this trick, even after so many years of fighting against pan-blue.

Sorry, these are not in English:
[1] http://news.yam.com/chinatimes/politics/200606/20060607816756.html
[2] http://news.yam.com/udn/society/200606/20060607817817.html

Tim Maddog said...

In the first comment, Echo provides yet another item to add to my post about the KMT's fantasies about murdering Chen, and the Taipei Times editorial quoted by Michael reminds readers about one thing I missed in that post on the probable failure of the recall motion:
- - -
...recalling the president requires the approval of two-thirds of legislators...
- - -

The DPP alone holds 89 seats out of 225 in the LY, or 39.5%. All of the pan-blue legislators plus 14 from the DPP would have to vote for the recall in order for it to pass.

Anonymous said...

Rational observers of Taiwanese politics would impart from Ma's statement that he isn't calling for Chen's assassination.

I don't think the pan-blues are going to pull off the recall successfully, and I don't support the idea, but I mean come on, way to twist words around. Secondly, if Taiwanese politicians actually acted on their "death threats", there would be many more dead politicians, to the betterment of society.

Taiwan Echo said...

The point isn't on whether Ma was calling for Chen's assassination or not. In a society, not to mention a heavily divided one, any responsible political learder would always consider the impact of his/her words on easily provoked supporters, and avoid any hint or encouragement that might, on some emotional people, lead to violent actions.

Obviouisly Ma doesn't care about the possible violent consequence of what he said. He doesn't care if his words are taken as a 'go' signal for executing an assassination.

Or, maybe it's not fair to say so --- maybe that's exactly what he wanted. We don't really know, do we? Maybe that 'signal' has already triggered a secret plot under the surface, who knows ?

Don't forget the fact that 3(?) years ago there was a pan-blue guy openly called for a team to assassinate the president. That "call for assassination" news was all over the media.

Anonymous said...

|> Rational observers of Taiwanese politics |> would impart from Ma's statement that
|> he isn't calling for Chen's assassination.

> The point isn't on whether Ma was calling
> for Chen's assassination or not. In a
> society, not to mention a heavily divided
> one, any responsible political learder
> would always consider the impact of his
> /her words on easily provoked
> supporters

Spot on! The original poster has missed the point. It hardly matters whether Ma was speaking metaphorically, speaking allegorically, or speaking in tongues. the point is the sheer irresponsibility of his speech, the viciousness and malevalence demonstrated to the head of state.

Far from the adept and professional image image he cultivates for himself, Ma has revealed himself to be little more than a common thug. I hope this soundbite of his remains for all to hear:

------------------

"I could be very cruel when time comes."

"If Chen doesn't resign, but instead steps down by recall, he will die a tragic death !!"


-------------------

I have seen courage and resolve in adversity and in the line of fire. Despite his claims and pretentsions, these qualitites do not apply to Ma.

Tim Maddog said...

Anonymous said:
- - -
[...] if Taiwanese politicians actually acted on their "death threats", there would be many more dead politicians, to the betterment of society.
- - -

I think Echo interpreted this the same way I did -- that you think making "death threats" is okay. Your reply seems to contradict this, but it's still not clear enough.

"Reasonable observers" have seen pan-blue leaders make such threats time and time again and have seen their followers go into "Manchurian Candidate" mode.

If you're still following the thread, please clarify. Do you think it's okay to publicly say things that sound like threats against someone's life, even if you don't "really" mean them?

Taiwan Echo said...

And don't forget the guy who committed 319 shooting in the election eve of 2004 was a pan-blue supporter. Who can convince us that Ma is not giving a signal for another try ?

Taiwan Echo said...

Ma has been dancing with Chiu Yi(邱毅) on Chiu's shot-gun style society-breaking talks for some time. Then reports came up saying that Chiu's accusation on Chen's wife was a make-up. Ma jumped in the first time and claimed:

"I am not responsible for Chiu Yi's act ... "

Way to go, leader !! Man in Motion !!

http://forum.news.yam.com/disingle.php?tid=212795
禮券案/馬英九:邱毅不對我負責