Why Taiwan Needs a Green Legislative Yuan: Problem One Justice

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Wednesday January 02, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

When Taiwan was a one-party state dictatorship under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the power of the country was in its president. The Legislative Yuan was a rubber stamp body in which each legislator who had been elected ages previous in 1947 was guaranteed his position for life. All each legislator had to do was approve what President Chiang Kai-shek and then later what his son President Chiang Ching-kuo directed. This all began to change under President Lee Teng-hui when the "iron rice bowl" legislators who had not yet died off, had to step down. After 1992 legislators had to run for office and compete with members of other newly allowed parties.

In 1996, another major change happened in Taiwan. The president, like members of the Legislative Yuan, had to be elected by the public, at this point the balance of power in Taiwan began to shift from the Presidency to the Legislative Yuan. The Legislative Yuan became the real power in the country. This is the way it is today; the Legislative Yuan creates the laws of the land, it controls the budgets, it confirms emergency orders, it can tell the Executive Yuan to change its policies, it can amend the Constitution and it can settle disputes in matters of self-governance of special municipalities, counties/cities, and/or other administrative units. What the Taiwanese people have not realized is that now, if there are problems in the country, the fault lies not so much with the Presidency as with the Legislative Yuan.

The KMT and its pan-blue alliance have always controlled the Legislative Yuan from the rubber stamp days of the Chiangs to the changes of the present day. They use it to promote their personal ends and not those of the country. Thus whatever smoke and mirrors that pan-blue media fabricates to make it seem like the current problems of the country are the result of the Presidency, the reality is that Legislative Yuan is the real cause. What follows will be a series of illustrations of how many of those problems lay at the doorstep of the pan-blue legislature.

The first problem is that of the injustice of not having a level playing field for all political parties in democratic Taiwan. The residue of the one-party state rule is that one party, the KMT, still has the majority of the state assets left over from the Japanese period. By its own declaration, the KMT admits to resources in excess of US$ 750 million dollars. This declaration does not include those state assets that have already been siphoned off to the private families of the KMT leadership. All other parties in Taiwan blue or green do not even have a combined total of US$ 1 million dollars in assets.

The KMT uses these assets for its own self-aggrandizement and ends; it can out-advertise, out-spend, and out-promote all other parties. It can even bribe whomever it wishes if necessary. This injustice can never be righted as long as the KMT controls the majority in the Legislative Yuan. The KMT has repeatedly blocked the people of Taiwan from regaining what belongs to them. Currently the KMT is telling its members to boycott a referendum on its ill-gotten assets. The pan-blue dominated legislature must go before Taiwan can be truly democratic.