Saturday, December 31, 2005

Lin Cho-shui in the Taipei Times

The Taipei Times hosted a commentary by DPP insider Lin Cho-shui. The article is uneven but offers a glimpse of the thinking on the DPP and Chen that DPP insiders are going through.

For the past six years, Chen has favored a leadership style that emphasized closed-door decision-making and repeated policy changes. He has been short-sighted and willful and lacks an overall strategy. No wonder the administration has been frequently embarrassed.

Today, his authority has declined significantly, but his methods remain the same. As a result, more embarrassments are to be expected. But neither Chai nor Wong have focused on this weakness, as their campaigns have emphasized either ideological coloring or personal integrity. Although former Presidential Office secretary-general Yu Shyi-kun has addressed the issue, he cannot do so from a position of strength because of his close relationship with Chen.

Sometime I'd like to see how Chen's leadership style led to the Kaohsiung MRT problems, or drove his aide to visit a casino in Korea. The failure of the DPP is collective. No one seems willing to face that yet.

The analysis of the three candidates for DPP chairman is interesting, but Lin falls short on his analysis of the DPP's woes. The party is blaming Chen, but no one is focusing on its real problems: the lack of party unity; the inability to develop a message and stay on it; the failure to educate the public on important policy areas such as water, the environment, and the arms purchase; the failure to fix the blame the Blues for the legislative deadlock and exploit that; and so on. What the DPP needs is professional management by someone dedicated to winning elections. What it is going to get is more division and acrimony. Lin's analysis suggests, as I have pointed out before, that the next Chairman is going to spend a lot of time in conflict with Chen Shui-bian. And this bodes ill for the 2006 legislative elections.

UPDATE: (01/01) David at jujuflop has a similar analysis that goes one more step:

This complete unwillingness by many senior DPP members to take a hard look at their party and go beyond a simplistic laying of blame on one of their members is important because it comes during the campaigning for the next DPP Chairman. Of course, some of it is down to which candidate they support: since Yu Shyi-kun is widely seen as Chen's choice, supporters of the other two candidates are likely to lay into Chen as a way to promote their own candidate. However, it's also in danger of turning the election into a Catch-22 situation: If Yu wins, then there's no real powershift in the DPP, and so nothing will change, while if Yu loses, then all the DPPs problems will be blamed on Chen, meaning that nothing will change (apart from the leader).

Read the whole thing.


Tim Maddog said...

The first paragraph you quoted was the same one that caught my eye when I read that in the Taipei Times earlier today.

When Lin says, "No wonder the administration has been frequently embarrassed," one can only wonder if he had offered any constructive criticism in private before setting out to embarrass the administration publicly.

What a backstabber, eh? He sure is ingratiating himself to the pan-blues with this kind of crap.

Michael Turton said...

Yeah, I was afraid of that too. I wouldn't be surprised to see people jumping ship to the KMT.


rmdazwdv said...

The DPP needs Frank Luntz and Karl Rove to keep the DPP on message about KMT cannibalism and bestiality...

Tim Maddog said...

rmdazwdv, as far as analogies go, wouldn't that be a bit like asking Count Dracula to keep Mina on message about someone else's bloodsucking? (By that, I mean that Luntz, Rove, and the KMT are all Republicans and/or bloodsuckers, and the DPP are the anemic victims.)

Michael, to hell with those who would jump ship. The sooner they're rooted out, the better. Keep showing them for what they are. The DPP doesn't need 'em -- and that's an understatement.

BTW, Happy New Year ("Year of the Maddog"!) to all on "this" side of Taiwan and democracy!