Su Jia-chyuan said he will recommend that the party's Central Advisory Committee kick out those named by the respective council caucuses as having failed to vote according to caucus resolutions in the elections for speakers and deputy speakers in the five special municipalities.The KMT is mulling similar action against its own party members. Many people appear to think that discipline was the antithesis of democracy. But actually it is democracy in action.
One of these apparent wayward councilors was Lee Wan-yu of Xinbei City, who cast her ballot for herself rather than for the party's nominee for speaker. DPP Xinbei City branch chief Wu Ping-jui said Lee violated the caucus resolution and that the caucus has therefore decided to kick her out. An official request to that effect will be sent to the party headquarters the following day, Wu added.
This is just a variation of the old principal-agent problem. If you hired a lawyer to represent you, and he entered a guilty plea when you instructed him to plead you not guilty, you'd can him. Similarly, if you played guitar professionally, you'd fire a manager who got you juggling gigs. If you owned a store and told the salesman to sell the cameras at $500 and he sold them for $1, you wouldn't let the salesman plead that "it's democracy." He'd be gone.
There's no difference here.
The vote for city council members is a procedural move to determine a party's clout in that deliberative body. By voting against your own party, you vote against your party's clout in that body, thereby reducing your future effectiveness and that of your fellow party members. Further, you give voters -- not just your voters but all your party's voters -- the middle finger, since you reduce your party's clout.
Representatives who take the resources of Party A to get elected and then vote for Party B are immoral and untrustworthy. They should be disciplined, like any contract breaker. That will send a signal to future voters that the party is worth doing business with.
You might argue that representatives should be able to vote their consciences. Sure, as a voter I might forgive a representative for voting her conscience on an issue of conscience, but there is no issue of conscience here. This is a procedural vote.
Further, the wrong votes are all about either corruption or faction fighting or personal politics, the triple curse of politics here in Taiwan. No one is voting against their own party's recommendation as an act of conscience.
One powerful way to end the corruption, factionalization and personalization of politics in Taiwan is to enforce party discipline and punish individuals who engage in those practices. That way we get more democracy. That way we get functioning parties that can carry out policy programs, which is why we put them in office in the first place.
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