We went through this a couple of years ago when the Ma Administration terminated that horror that was the naptha cracker down in Changhua, blaming the environmentalists. The project searched for another spot in Taiwan, then finally moved overseas. I suspect the Administration will struggle to breathe life back into it. Indeed, a keen observer of local affairs pointed out that apparently, the administration's inner circle made the decision without informing its own legislative caucus, [update: caucus leader was present] which it is at odds with since trying to force through that horror of a services pact, which probably has less public support than that nuclear time bomb it is building just east of Taipei. Taipower was quick to denounce the decision, saying it would need to somehow be shielded from bankruptcy.
Let's also recall, as an especially keen observer noted, that when Chen Shui-bian called a halt to construction, the KMT was quick to scream that it was unconstitutional. I expect Ma will say his hands are tied and they have to finish. The Constitution, you know.
A couple of other observations were made. First, the announcement was made by a KMT Party spokesman, not a government spokesman. Second, the decision was made without democratic input. When it is all said and done, the KMT believes itself to be in Taiwan but not of it, and in Taiwan's democracy, but not of it. To the mainlander core, it is always Party-State time.
But let's savor this. The Ma Administration has taken a savage and totally unnecessary beating, dating back -- anyone remember it? -- to the surprising 2009 referendum on Penghu, which I and everyone else thought would end in passage of a referendum authorizing casinos on the islands, but instead was defeated. The KMT even tinkered with the referendum law in an attempt to get that passed. Since then the Administration has slid slowly off the cliff. A triplet of wounds: Ma's attempt to get rid of Wang Jin-pyng, the occupation of the legislature, and now the shuttering of construction on the Fourth Nuclear Plant.
Perhaps this was done with the November elections in mind. Perhaps it will be reversed. But it really doesn't matter. Tonight it tastes like victory. And let's not forget two other victories that occurred recently. The High Court invalidated a portion of the Parade and Assembly Law, an authoritarian leftover. That was a victory of the Wild Strawberries and the professors who led them. And just this week the construction-industrial state took a blow as the Council of Grand Justices invalidated several clauses of the urban renewal act, halting up to 90
But: here's a reminder from J Michael that the struggle goes on. This time, over trees....
- Closer and closer, the nationalists on both sides of the strait come to making an outright claim to Okinawa.
- Obama follows longstanding policy and says that the Senkakus will be defended by the US
- Craig Ferguson's pics of the anti-nuke protest
- A writer at Caltech responds to some really bad work on the Sunflower Movement from a student at Brown
- The KMTaiwan twitter feed. Parody.
- SOAS Summer School
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