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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times My regret in voting for Ko Wen-je

My regret in voting for Ko Wen-je

Middle-class people do not want Taiwan to remain stuck in a conflict between the “blue” and “green” political camps, or for every election to become a battle of ideologies. They want Taiwan to become a normal democratic country where, no matter which party is in power, there will always be a loyal opposition to strictly supervise the governing party, and where alternation of ruling parties is the norm.

However, just as the idea of a “blue-white” electoral alliance between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) seemed to be on the verge of collapse, on Friday last week former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT suddenly announced via one of his advisers that he supported the suggestion made by TPP Chairman and presidential nominee Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) that a “national opinion poll” should be the basis for deciding which party’s nominee in a possible “blue-white” joint ticket should be the presidential candidate and which should stand for vice president.

Former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) immediately expressed his support for Ma’s statement, which was then eagerly taken up by the news media. This unexpected turn of events looked like a stab in the back for KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the party’s presidential candidate.

Ma and Ko have not had much to do with one another, and although Han has had friendly relations with Ko, he has recently been giving considerable support to Hou’s election bid. Why, then, have Ma and Han joined forces overnight?

Furthermore, former KMT legislators Alex Tsai (蔡正元) and Chiu Yi (邱毅) expressed their support for Ko early on, while Ko wants the controversial Xu Chunying (徐春鶯), who was born in China, to be on the TPP’s list of legislator-at-large nominees.

These signs make one suspect that forces associated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are interfering behind the scenes. I do not want to engage in suspicion and speculation or to paint anyone “red,” but the changing situation is quite disconcerting.

In 2014, I, like many of my friends, supported the then-independent Ko in the Taipei mayoral election in opposition to the KMT candidate Sean Lien (連勝文), with the aim of creating a new political climate in Taiwan and in the hope that some new changes and opportunities would emerge by breaking free of the longstanding confrontation between the “blue” KMT and the “green” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Who would have expected that nine years later Taiwan would be facing not only the same old “blue-green” confrontation, but also the ubiquitous infiltration of pro-Chinese forces.

China’s influence is no longer just a matter of Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) shouting about “one country, two systems,” but also a matter of the CCP using all available ways to gather together parties and individuals who are opposed to Taiwan’s independence and force them into an unholy alliance with the aim of using elections to eliminate Taiwanese independence and hasten cross-strait unification.

Surely the majority of people in Taiwan, no matter which party they prefer, are determined not to be unified with China. Surely they do not want to go on suffering from China’s military threats.

We all want Taiwan to remain peaceful, democratic and prosperous. In the forthcoming presidential and legislative elections, regardless of whether the KMT and TPP manage to form a “blue-white alliance,” or how much China interferes, we should all join forces to make sure that the DPP’s presidential candidate, Vice President William Lai (賴清德), is elected with more than half of the votes.

Lin Jin-jia is a psychiatrist.

Translated by Julian Clegg

Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2023/11/17

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A protester from Changhua County smears his face with mud yesterday during a demonstration outside the Executive Yuan against the fourth phase of the Central Taiwan Science Park development project.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

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