Monday, August 17, 2015

Not a Time for Scorched-Earth Politics

Under no circumstances should the DPP and its allies fight in the dirt with the ultraconservatives who have hijacked the KMT

With five months to go before the elections, the presidential campaign is unfortunately starting to resemble the Taipei mayoral race in Nov. 29 elections last year, in which one side engaged in outlandish fabrications against its opponent and turned the entire exercise into a silly back-and-forth of mudslinging and necessary denials. The tactic failed, and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lost the capital to a political neophyte — an independent, of all things. Sadly for Taiwan’s democracy, the ruling party appears to have decided to use a similar strategy for 2016, except this time the stakes are much higher. And it does so at a time when the nation should be striving for unity rather than division. 

It’s the same formula all over again: KMT makes baseless allegation against its opponent; media dutifully report said allegation; opponent issues denial; KMT accuses opponent of smearing its candidate and makes new allegation, ad nauseam…While this goes on, all sides fail to discuss their policies. As a consequence, the public remains in the dark and the election turns into a popularity contest rather than an arena in which the candidate with the best policies is voted into office.

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here (photo by the author).

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