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May 28, 2007

The referendum boat

The KMT, terrified about the possibility that they will lose all their party assets or go bankrupt repaying the government for everything they stole, are already trying to reorganize the CEC on partisan lines to prevent the referendum from being held at the same time as a major election (not the stated reason, of course, but the only one they could really have besides wanting to certify that Ma can run no matter what.)

So now that the DPP referendum signature process is winding down, the KMT is going on one of their own, asking people to support their "Anti-corruption Referendum." The text of the referendum reads as follows:


The gist of the referendum is that "Do you oppose when a national leader or those around him are corrupt , and support establishing a body under the control of the Legislative Yuan to investigate those cases of corruption?"

Which really means: will you transfer some power that currently belongs to the Judicial branch to the Legislative one, just because the KMT would be able to more effectively assassinate the President's character that way?

The referendum makes no considerations about the structural changes this would mean, and the KMT isn't talking about them (why call it the "Anti-corruption referendum" instead of something like the "establish legislative investigative power referendum?")

The KMT referendum is a joke and I believe it won't get very far off the ground. But it also demonstrates a major contribution the DPP has made during this presidency. The referendum law, however imperfect it may be, and however abused it might be, is here to stay. And selling out Taiwan or crossing China's imaginary independence line will require a referendum. Because people will love the power the referendum gives them, and politicians will hopefully not dare to forget that.

Of course, if Ma's "no war for no independence" promise went through, and he signed something with China, he might manage to side step the referendum. And I believe in that case, he would pay a very serious price indeed.

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