Appalling Scenes in the Legislative Yuan


#1

Once again, a legislative session has opened with appalling scenes of loutishness, buffoonery, and dereliction of duty by the people who were supposedly elected to deliberate on and pass the laws that are vital to keeping the country running smoothly and soundly. Needless to say, the chumpish rabble of pan-blue adherents were far and away the worst villains of the piece.

Are Taiwan's voters so blind or stupid that they cannot see how badly these imbeciles are behaving, how egregiously they are abusing their position, and how much they are harming the country with their mindless antics and neglect of their duties? Why do ordinary Taiwanese cast their votes for such people? Is this really how they want to see their elected representatives acting on their behalf?


#2

How many times do I need to post that Taiwanese wil never learn ... :s


#3

I think we underestimate the Taiwanese view of their legislation. From the very few people who have been honest with me about their country's politics, they all had one thing in common-disgust in their tones of thier voices.

I hate to say, but I do get a kick out of it althought it's a shame that people who are voted to serve the people are way to concerned with their own adgendas to actually realize that they can make a difference. But that's nothing new anyway. I would actually pay to see Delay and other politicians in America have a good old fight on the congressional floor. :wink: It might motivate them to do something other than create more red tape-er um, I mean, bills. :laughing:


#4

I do fairly regular pieces for an academic journal called the American Journal of Chinese Studies. Most of the time I am writing on legal or criminal justice issues but the current edition (June 2005) is a Special Issue regarding the elections so they wanted me to write on the Legislative Yuan elections.

I was happy to tell the academic world what I thought about Taiwans legislators and their elections. Although the bulk of the article is a somewhat dry discussion of the political science of it all, the piece does include such sections as:


#5

I know it's not a popular thing to say around these parts, but you know, some people are just not cut out to enjoy democracy. And that's OK.

Flame away.


#6

Yes, it seems men and women alike are displaying behaviour more suited to :taz:

Has anyone seen that scene in a movie - I THINK it was "The Cat in the Hat" - where the kids are watching TV and it's got a couple of Asian-looking guys going at each other and one of the kids says something like "The Taiwanese Parliament again, huh?"

A classic line and a classic image of Taiwan for all the world to see. It's no wonder they don't want Taiwan in the UN. Imagine what Taiwan's ambassador to the UN might do. :wink:

Tongue in cheek: spare me the "It's not the UN, it's China" bit. I am well aware of that.]


#7

And, most appropriately, I see my 200th post turns me into a "shoe-wielding legislator". Spot on, Forumosa.


#8

Use a cattle-prod on Mr. Annan? :smiling_imp:

Actually that wouldn't be a bad idea :wink:


#9

I wonder why these legislators are not publicly censored for their actions.

Don't they earn something like 450,000 NT per month? Couldn't they be docked for behaving like fools?

Maybe it's like the police in Taiwan. These aren't prestige jobs in the sense that they are in many Western nations. In other words, the jobs are seen chiefly as a means to power rather than a position of (self) respect.


#10

According to Ma Ma Hu Hu, the KMT sees their loutish behaviour as no more than "filibustering" and as such, a time-honoured democratic practice. What a fucking buffoon. :unamused:
Keep saying to yourself: "The people DON'T always get the government they deserve. The people DON'T always get the government they deserve..."
I mean, the Taiwanese people can't REALLY be so past hope as to deserve this. Can they? :s


#11

The good news is that half these idiots will be kicked out at the next legislative elections in 2007, as it halves in size (i've found a whole new respect for CSBs constitutional reforms!).

The bad news is that half of them won't.


#12

As much as I kind of hate to say this, there is a very clear method to the bitch slapping lunch box tossing legislators


#13

Sentor Brian,

I retract my earlier post. YOur posts ROCK!!! :bravo: :bravo: :notworthy: :notworthy:


#14

i had one of my taiwanese (though US educated) profs give me a similar story regarding the fisticuffs here, brian. i guess she's not the only one saying it.


#15

DSN -
Go Get "em!

The floor is yours! :bravo:


#16

Superb post, brianlkennedy! :bravo: :bravo: :bravo: Very enjoyable!


#17

Maybe I'm being too optimistic, but there is a chance that the reform of the legislature will improve this. Consider this fact:

In Taoyuan in the 2004 elections there were 28 candidates campaigning for 11 legislative seats. One of the candidates got elected with just over 4% of the vote.

In that environment, what Brian says above is very true: get your name in the newspapers, and even if 90% of the electorate think you're an idiot, you've still got 10% of the vote which is more than enough to get elected.

In the next election, there will be 2 (maybe 3) serious candidates standing for a smaller constituency. In that environment, not only is there more chance that the electorate will know something about the candidates, but any extreme behaviour could piss off the moderate voters who you need to get elected. If you know one candidate is famous for his biandang throwing in the legislature, but know nothing about the other candidate, who do you vote for?


#18

Well if fighting gets you into office and gets you props(respect), then Chen Shui Bien should getting ready to RUMBLE with Song and Lian :smiley:


#19

If the Sanchong legal eagle is correct, which I believe he is, they'll vote for the dipstick. And they'll do it happily. So I suppose that yes, the Taiwanese DO get the government they deserve.


#20

Brian and David's points are well taken on the source of the LY circus. Only passing references from both, however, to the role of the single vote non-transferable voting (SVNT) system as regards the basic origin of this mess. Getting your head-up via fair means or foul is important in Taiwan as while there are multiple reps per constituency, the voter only gets one tick on the ballot. There are no means to redistribute votes from candidates who have already reached their quota as in a proportional voting system. This means that individual reps not only have to get their head-up above reps from other parties, but those from their own party as well. It's a recipe for a chronic lack of party discipline and media stunts. These days it's the blues that are making all the noise, but the greens were just as rowdy back in the 1990s.

The interesting question here for me is what are the current political incentives given that the voting system is about to be changed... I caught a brief report in the Zhongguo Shibao the other day about the looming fight over constituency boundaries (sorry, can't recall the date of it). While the constitutional changes authorizing the intro of single-rep constituencies has been given the nod (at the NA sitting earlier this year), there is still some LY approval required for the new boundaries. As I understand it, the CEC draws up the distribution formula, comes up with a map, and the LY makes it law. If this is correct, it means the LY battle to get your head-up is now on for young and old...

Think about it: in the current LY session, you are not only competing with other reps for votes, but you also trying to appeal to as wide an audience as possible to avoid a nasty redistribution of your electoral base when the constituency boundaries are set. Only this way can you guareentee a seat back in the newer, smaller LY after the 2007 election. The gloves are off. If you're a new fish in the pond (and last year's LY election gave us quite a few of those), you have between now and the intro of the CEC legislation to get your head on national TV. When is the CEC legislation due? I'm really not sure, and perhaps others are in the same boat: if you are Jo Citizen rep from Chiayi, first time on the block, and completely in the dark about the electoral race you will have to fight in 2007, what the hell are you going to do? No wonder the place is madhouse.