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Apr 13, 2010

ECFA Referendum

The TSU has announced that volunteers collected 120,000 signatures in support of a referendum on the ECFA. As you may recall, the signatures and petition will soon go before the Executive Yuan's Referendum Evaluation Committe -- probably by the end of the month, according to the TSU. As the Taipei Times notes, only 86,000 valid sigs are needed to get past "stage one," so the list should be safe.

Yet that committee, made up entirely of Ma appointees, roundly rejected a similar petition last August. The previously rejected topic was:

「你是 否同意台灣與中國簽訂之經濟合作架構協議(ECFA),政府應交付台灣人民公民投票決定?」

Do you agree that the government ought to put an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) signed between Taiwan and China to a referendum before the Taiwanese people?
This time, the question asks:
你是否同意政府與中國簽訂「兩岸經濟合作架構協議」 (簡稱「兩岸經濟協議」或ECFA)?

Do you agree that the government should sign a cross-Strait economic framework agreement with China (often called a cross-Strait economic agreement or an ECFA)?
The new wording gets around most of the Referendum Evaluation Committee's previous objections, but the committee could still have one excuse it used last time:
Instead, it asks the public to vote on something that has not yet happened — since the ECFA is not a concrete policy yet. Hence, we decided that the petition did not meet the criteria for a referendum as stipulated in the Referendum Act (公民投票法),” committee chairman Chao Yung-mau (趙永茂) said....
We'll see what happens around early May...but don't expect the Committee to rule differently, even if the public is less likely to buy the sole excuse "the ECFA is not concrete policy" this time around.


Tommy said...

I think that, in this case, it is a win-win case for the greens. If the referendum is approved, they score a victory. If the referendum is rejected, the greens get to paint Ma as anti-democratic.

Of course, it would be better to have the referendum, but Ma won't get much mileage if it is rejected. And I have the impression that, whatever the result of a referenudm, the Ma govt would push to pass the ECFA anyways.

Dezhong said...

"And I have the impression that, whatever the result of a referenudm, the Ma govt would push to pass the ECFA anyways."

Hm, so what exactly are the legal ramifications of a national referendum that passes in Taiwan? If it is not binding at all, then is it just for the government's 參考?

Anonymous said...

If it is not binding at all, then is it just for the government's 參考?

To my knowledge, there's no law binding the ref. result to what the government should do.

But ... does it matter?

In previous cases of signing agreements with China, where the law requires those agreements be passed by the Leg. Yuan, Ma Ying-jeou managed to sign agreements saying that they "automatically pass if L.Y. doesn't review it in 30 days."

That is, even there are laws binding, Ma Ying-jeou ignores them completely by signing agreements that say they don't need to be passed. There's just no way that he's gonna follow the ref. result.

If we look at the EFCA from another angle: it is, in fact, Ma's most critical step in his life to fulfill his life-long dream of merging Taiwan into his mother China. There's no way that he will give it up when it is so so close. If I were he, I will ignore the referendum, too, 'cos I know that there won't be a second chance if it fails this time.

So, yes, I believe he and his gov will say "it's just for 參考."

It will definitely make him look bad, as blames of "ignoring public opinions" will increase. But, when has he ever cared about the public opinions?

Not to mention, his approval rate is already so low, he really has nothing more to lose.

Come to think of it -- what amazes me is, he doesn't seem to care if KMT win or lose, either. Insisting something Taiwanese don't want will only keep his approval rate even lower, and bring down that of KMT with him.

But he doesn't seem to care. Is it true that what China Communist wants is his only concern? This is something worths watching.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, the author of this passage, but I can clearly sense that you're a DDP supporter, not saying it's a bad thing. And you've definitely did your brainwashing well, writing a one-sided, biased article. First of all, why should this issue even see the light of democracy? Has there EVER been a case where foreign treaties were democratic? Of course the DDP is actively pushing for a referendum. They'd probably get the public to reject ECFA, unfortunately, but that only goes to show how politics is run in Taiwan, and absolutely does not touch on the content, the core issues that ECFA represents and conveys to me, us, as citizens of Taiwan.