United Daily News: Why has party politics sunk to such a low level?

2017/07/23 17:06:13
United Daily News: Why has party politics sunk to such a low level?

The ruling and opposition parties have been busy engaging in mud fights in the Legislature, while President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is also chairwoman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has been losing her temper at DPP Central Standing Committee meetings over her low public approval ratings and the frequent public protests against government policies.

At the same time, Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), chairman-elect of the major opposition Kuomintang (KMT), has not been trying to unify his crumbling party as expected, but rather has been spending his time trying to quell dissent since his election as chairman in May.

Party politics was designed to promote development of a country through positive competition among political parties for the right to govern. However, Taiwan's two main parties -- the DPP and KMT -- have not been adhering to that spirit. Instead, they have been eagerly adopting other's undesirable behavior.

For example, when the KMT was in power and had a legislative majority, its negotiations with opposition parties in the Legislature often ended in a stalemate and then Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of the KMT was criticized as being unable to avert boycotts by the opposition parties.

Now that the KMT in opposition and no longer has majority in the Legislature, it has resorted to the same strategy of staging boycotts. The DPP, meanwhile, which is the majority party in the Legislature, is refusing to make any concessions.

This kind of deadlock between the two major political parties is hindering the development of society and the country's economy. The party leaders' failure to carry out an efficient and forward-looking leadership has led the country to lose its direction. (Editorial abstract July 23, 2017)

(By Elizabeth Hsu)
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