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Aug 20, 2007

Taiwan National Congress wants 2 referendums

The Taipei Times reports it (here's the CNA article on it):

A new pro-independence coalition yesterday vowed to push referendums on changing the name of the country and repeal the Referendum Law (公投法) next year in conjunction with the presidential election.

The Taiwan National Congress (TNC) [台灣國民會議], formed by over 20 local and international pro-independence groups last Wednesday, said it hopes to push for a referendum on changing the country's official name from the Republic of China to Taiwan and another referendum on invalidating the Referendum Law, because "the high thresholds deprive Taiwanese of the ability to exercise their democratic rights." ...

TNC spokesman Ted Lau (劉重義) told a press conference yesterday that the congress would not follow the procedures stipulated in the Referendum Law to mount the two referendums and would declare its referendums successful if more than half of the voters agree.

It also plans to invite international experts to supervise the process and to ensure the referendums are conducted in a fair and transparent manner, Lau said.

Whether such referendums, carried out without reference to the legal mechanisms, would have any meaning if they were passed, Lau could not say but asked "is Taiwan a country governed by the rule of law?"

He said the group's intention was not to make Taiwan a lawless nation as the "Chinese Party [Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT]] have already done that."

While the KMT did write a really terrible referendum law, and I totally agree it needs to be amended, but it just doesn't make sense to unilaterally declare your own standard -- one in conflict with the law -- on whether your referendum was passed or not.

I do like the idea of using a referendum to express dissatisfaction with the way the referendum law is written.

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