Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Recalls are a risky non-policy

Protesters express their anger at the president on Jan. 13
The DPP is perfectly justified in mobilizing against the Ma administration, but channeling that discontent is itself insufficient 

Concluding the large “Fury” (火大) protest in Taipei on Jan. 13, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced plans to seek the recall of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators who have “failed to listen to the voice of the people” and possibly President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). 

Such an effort, though deriving from justifiable anger at the Ma administration’s less-than-stellar performance on a variety of fronts, cannot serve as a stand-in for actual policy alternatives on the opposition’s part. In fact, the recall of officials, which the smaller Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) has since said it would support, is a non-policy that, if mishandled, could undermine the democratic foundations of this country and end up hurting the opposition’s image.

My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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