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Apr 7, 2008

Declawing time ...

With the presidency and legislature in the bag, the KMT is busy passing bills to significantly increase the agricultural budget, making RMB exchanges easier, paying off low-level officials and talking about sunshine laws.

The KMT could have done some or all of this months or years ago. But then more farmers or concerned tax payers might have voted for the DPP, and we couldn't have that. (Note the timing on the worst bills such as the low-level official bribe -- by doing this right after the election, the legislature is both giving a nod to the low-level officials' contribution to the KMT victory and making this an issue that will fade from everyone's memory by the next legislative election in four years).

The KMT legislative caucus also wants to declaw the DPP by taking a key weapon used to freeze legislation: blocking the path to the platform.

The KMT proposal would give the speaker (Wang Jin-pyng) power to use force to remove legislators. But that's not all! The amendment would shorten the current inter-party negotiation time limit from 4 months to 1 month -- meaning the DPP will not be able to not even be able to slow down any legislation, either.

Let's face it: a bunch of legislators yelling and blocking the speaker's microphone is not classy. But with a procedural committee and process that depend almost entirely on majority rule, and with the negotiation window getting smaller, blocking the session from starting is almost the only thing the DPP could do.

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