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Feb 27, 2008

Legislative agenda

Newly elected legislative speaker, Wang Jin-pyng, and his deputy, Tseng Yung-chuan, vowed to enhance the image of the seventh Legislature by promoting the professionalism and work ethic of the new lawmakers.

In this Legislature, where the KMT enjoys a 54-seat majority over the DPP, Wang declared he will respect the minority party and preside over the lawmaking body with no bias. He urged legislators to make greater efforts to benefit citizens and fulfill their duties with rationality. "Citizens expect us to bring fresh changes," Wang said.

Don't hold out any hopes. Yesterday, the KMT-run procedural committee, as usual, killed the bills the Executive Yuan brought up, which included: A bill for taking care of ill-gotten KMT party assets, amendments to the Financial Holding Company Law, amendments to the Agricultural Financial Law, amendments to the Military and Teachers Tax Law, and getting rid of the Provisions Governing the Organization of the CKS Memorial Hall Administration Office.

After striking down the Executive Yuan's bills and amendments, the KMT put the following items at the top of the agenda, where they will be reviewed on Friday: several amendments to Chinese investment laws, and an amendment to the referendum law which would require a two-step voting system when a referendum is being held at the same time as another election.

This should improve the KMT's image!

The supposed reasons the KMT says it supports two-step voting include: (1) two-step will have a lower chance of producing "questionable" outcomes where fraud might be alleged, since in a one-step procedure more ballots will have been cast into the wrong box, and therefore more ballots will be counted late, which may create the appearance of people making up votes; and (2) one-step voting procedures are an attempt by the DPP to "hijack" the general election, increasing DPP supporter turn out.

The rreason the CEC has decided on a one-step procedure, and the DPP supports it, are (1) as we saw in the legislative election, there were no accusations of fraud or making up votes (2) a one-step method is cheaper and (3) it will increase referendum turnout if you hold all the elections at once and hand out all the ballots at once.

The reality is the DPP does expect referendums to help it increase turn out, but that's just wishful thinking, as the legislative election proved. And the KMT's real motive is that it opposes referendum in principle, but can't say that anymore, so they've switched the rhetoric to the "sacred" referendum being used to "hijack" the election. They hope to minimize turnout and, if you recall, have boycotted all referendum so far.

What an auspicious start to the legislative session ...


Tim Maddog said...

You mocked the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) 1984-like logic:
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... more ballots will be counted late, which may create the appearance of people making up votes...
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Following their self-serving logic, why even wait for the election, when pan-blue media "surveys" usually "predict" that they will win long before ballots are ever cast, and elections that they lose inevitably create chaos? ;-)

Tim Maddog

Tim Maddog said...

To be clear (just in case the first line of my previous comment sounds strange), I agree with your take on the KMT's real motives.

Tim Maddog