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Jul 19, 2009

Still bad

When you're wrong, you're wrong. And my comment on a recent Arthur Dent post at Letters from Taiwan, in which I imply that Ma was trying to justify martial law, is off the mark.

Forget Ma's implication that only "peace" across the strait (which apparently we didn't have before Ma saved us) can prevent the re-institution of martial law. That claim is ridiculous and borders on infuriating, and it reminds me that the KMT called for martial law during the Oust A-bian campaign. The KMT was hoping for a coup or revolt if they could goad A-bian into declaring it.

I cross-referenced the Central Daily News article about Ma's speech commemorating lifting martial law with both the pan-green champion Liberty Times and that bastion of pan-blue thought, the United Daily News. I think it's fair to say Ma's comment looked something like this excerpt out of the CDN article:

Martial law was declared because of the [Chinese] civil war. War is the reason why restrictions or even deprivation of freedom and human rights are rationalized.

So Ma is not justifying the declaration of martial law.

Still, I am not comfortable with Ma's tendency to conclude that getting closer to China is both the cure-all solution to all our problems and the reason for all good outcomes. For example, today's Taipei Times leads with this story:

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said his opening of the World Games as president of the Republic of China (ROC) was the result of improved cross-strait relations under his administration.
This is simply laughable. The Chinese boycotted the event and Ma came because the Kaohsiung mayor invited him. The games themselves were scheduled long before Ma was president. Ma's reasoning here is so deluded you have to wonder if he really takes us all for fools or if he is, perhaps, off his rocker.


Tommy said...

"Ma's reasoning here is so deluded you have to wonder if he really takes us all for fools or if he is, perhaps, off his rocker."

Doesn't the CCP do this in China? Take any current good event and construct a link to your policy. Take any bad event and construct a link to your adversar(ies). And hundreds of millions of Chinese accept this for no other reason than it sounds appealing. The effect is so much greater if you have a supportive media apparatus.

dennis said...

i think you may have over estimated the average taiwanese intelligence. what Ma wants to say in order to make himself look pretty need not make any sense at all, because he could speak any nonsense and still have a large proportion of the public believing it, and this is why he continues to do it, with ease.
democracy in taiwan is still very young, many people still dont have great understanding of how in democracy us the people are the power, and we are responsible for electing the right government, as such in certain cities/counties (e.g. Taidong - correct me if im mistaken), the KMT can nominate any rubbish and still expect to win, because the voters are accustomed to always vote blue, rather than voting based on the quality of the nominee.
you think it's insane that after what Ma had done in the past year he still has so many supporters, and i say it's totally expected.

阿牛 said...

I don't think Taiwanese intelligence, or even the age of the democracy, has a whole lot to do with the fact that a lot of people will vote for the KMT no matter what. As a friend of mine remarked about the unexciting choice of Kerry in the 2004 election, "a hamster could run for president but as long as he had a D after his name, 40 percent of people would vote for it." And the same goes for the Republicans.

Don't forget the DPP got an absolute majority in 2004, despite the less than fantastic first term, and that was largely due, I think, to lack of voter confidence in the alternative. Lien and Soong are not a dynamic pair.

If there's any particular reason nobody's repulsed by nonsense like the statement I highlighted, it's probably because they're not paying much attention or don't expect any better from politicians.

Taiwanrox said...

What Taiwan needs is a party that will appreciate Taiwan's sovereignty but open up business opportunities from America, China, and the world