Sunday, October 15, 2006

"the people"

Pro-Blue Hong Kong blogger Roland over at ESWN found this interesting tidbit in Apple Daily, allegedly a question from a text on civic affairs.

阿扁總統在扁嫂的SOGO禮券案、女婿的內線交易案中,飽受民眾要求自動辭職下台的風暴,若是阿扁真的主動辭職下臺,阿扁的表現顯示出民主政治的何種特色?」
(A)民意政治、法治政治
(B)法治政治、政黨政治
(C)責任政治、政黨政治
(D)責任政治、民意政治。

(in translation) The people have been asking President Ah-Bian to voluntarily resign on account of his wife's SOGO gift voucher and his son-in-law's inside trading case. If Ah-Bian really resigned voluntarily, which features of democratic rule will this demonstrate?
(A) Rule by public opinion; rule of law
(B) Rule of law; party politics
(C) Accountable governance; party politics
(D) Accountable governance; rule by public opinion

An interesting textbook, that. The Sogo Coupon case broke this year after April, so they got it out real quick. Roland adds:

Never mind which is the right answer, because the obvious outcome is that parents are complaining about the political implications. This question was not devised by a teacher, but lifted straight off a book. The book publisher said that the subject was chosen because this is what is happening in real life without any particular political stance. What do you think? Should lessons on civics involve discussion about current affairs?

Let's repeat that one:

The book publisher said that the subject was chosen because this is what is happening in real life without any particular political stance.

Asinine. No wonder the parents are complaining. "The people" did not ask Chen to resign; the protests have been carried out primarily by pan-Blues. By using the phrase "the people" rather than "some people," the question thus reveals a very obvious political stance. As Roland says, never mind the answer -- reality is: it's the question that's loaded. There has to be more to the story than this, but I can't access Apple Daily's back issues since I am not a member of that tabloid.

Oh, and of course current events should be discussed in class. None of the answers seem right, though.

4 comments:

STOP Ma said...

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Should lessons on civics involve discussion about current affairs?

I'm not familiar with "Roland's" writing, but his question is way off the mark. This has nothing to do about whether "civics" lessons should be discussed in class. The question is not only loaded or politically misleading -- it is a question that could be asked about any political system.

For instance, I could ask this equally frivolous question:

The people of China have been (asking -- strike that) carefully thinking that Hu Jin-tao (to -- strike that) should resign due to his frequent abuses on human rights towards his people.

If Hu Jin-tao resigned voluntarily, which features of Communist rule will this demonstrate?


You see, the act of "resigning" isn't limited to "democracy" for goodness sakes! In fact, the act of resigning is universal to any political system. In other words, there is nothing "special" at all about THE ACT of resigning one's post in a democracy.

It is simply outrageous that such a question is being used in any credible academic institution.
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Biomed Tim said...

I believe the question was lifted out of a student study guide/test-preparation booklet. Teachers often develop a habit of assigning a whole set of questions out of these books, without scrutinizing each single question. So this one slipped by somehow.

At any rate, it really is a farce when you consider the fact that the correct answer, as stated by the publisher, is D.

The publisher is implying that resigning is the responsible (責任) thing to do. And like Michael said, the protesters don't represent the people (民意)

Karl said...

I'd like to object to the characterization of Roland as "Pro-Blue". It is more accurate to say that he is "Anti-Taiwan". I don't know why, but he just hates this country.

Antonio said...

(C)責任政治、政黨政治

They just think for themself ..

and fucking to be or not to be!

so selfish !! pigs.