Monday, February 09, 2015

Chu's Revolutionary Reforms of the KMT?

Dammit, why did I ever leave Lanyu?

Whoa! Is this ever big news. New KMT Chairman Eric Chu is reforming the KMT by reassigning local party chapter directors. The KMT news organ reports:
KMT Chairman Eric Chu launched the second stage of party reforms after taking control of the KMT think tank. Chu reportedly plans to reassign the directors of KMT local party chapters in all counties and cities. Chu plans to reassign KMT local party chapters directors according to three principles, i.e., internally-created, younger, and those who are, or have been, public office holders. The first wave of reassignments would be announced during the regular Central Standing Committee meeting next Wednesday at the earliest.
Like many structures in local society, the KMT looks like what is it supposed to be (a political party), but it actually isn't. It is actually better thought of as the political organization of a colonial ruling class. Chu's challenge, as I have enumerated several times on this blog and elsewhere, is to turn this strange political structure into an actual party. Here is an expressed plan to do just that.

This reform calls for the KMT to promote people from within the party -- not bring in faction politicians and call them KMTers in lipstick-on-pig style -- and go for younger people and for public office holders. You know -- politicians.

The potential here, if this is diligently carried out, has serious implications. At random:
  1. The local KMT are largely Taiwanese. Chu will create a KMT whose ranking/up-and-coming politicians will be all Taiwanese within a decade or two, should the reforms stick. Obviously Chu has looked at the demographics...
  2. The local faction leaders loyal to the old system may be pushed out. So much for the influence of Wang Jin-pyng, often identified as the leader of the "Southern KMT" of Taiwanese legislators. Indeed reported he had seen a TV header asking "Is this the end of the Ma-Wang System?" The new people will all be loyal to the man who got them their jobs -- Eric Chu. This is also a power play...
  3. The KMT has managed Taiwan by managing local faction relationships. Chu's policy, if far-reaching, is going to threaten delicate, long-standing relationships between local factions and the Party center. Very risky, especially in the South where the DPP is in increasingly firm control.
  4. The KMT may actually become a political party. So... what will its core values be when the Return to Zion core of mainlander exiles is no longer in control? Will it retain its position as the party of big business? Interesting days ahead!
  5. Chu can't propose this and then quit if they lose the Presidential/Legislative elections in 2016. Nor can he propose this and run for election while overseeing changes to the party structure. And a wrenching demoralizing reform carried out in a presidential/legislative election year may do a lot of damage to local level KMT party support, spawning opposition, resentment, and politicians running as independent candidates out of spite while Blue voters stay home. Not that I'm complaining...
  6. Because of (5) above... this may become much less wrenching than it looks. Chu will still have to pick politicians acceptable to local faction leaders, I would suspect. Note that the recent UDN poll says 65% of Blue voters want to see Chu as the Presidential candidate in 2016 -- and also that nearly 60% of Blue voters expect DPP to win presidency in 2016. 
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les said...

I have to say that for the most part the KMT behaves like they have forgotten why they lost their homeland to the CCP. The CCP OTOH have been showing signs lately of remembering.

Michael Turton said...

Yes. But they can still turn it around....

Anonymous said...

Is that Turtle Island in the background of your photo?

Michael Turton said...

Anon, I'm on Lanyu, looking at Little Lanyu.