Clear Non-Party Group for a Better Taiwan

Early morning greetings! It being the dawn of a new political era in the country, I thought I’d finally get around to ‘officially’ posting (see below) something I wrote a couple of years back, during the three-ring, multi-hued circus of the big “Red Movement” against government corruption. As President-to-be Ma Ying-Jeou gets set to assume office and the major political players prepare for new rounds of partisan battle, let’s keep in mind Dwight D. Eisenhower’s wisdom: When the people lead, the leaders will follow. Anyone care to join me as founding members of the Clear Non-Party Group for a Better Taiwan?


The Clear Non-Party Group for a Better Taiwan (CNPGBT) hereby establishes itself as an organization whose members are united in our dedication to bringing about continuous, substantial, and lasting improvement of all aspects of life in Taiwan.

To achieve our high and necessary aim, each of us takes full responsibility for developing a detailed personal vision of a better future for Taiwan, for identifying, supporting, and working with those individuals and organizations which are contributing positively to moving Taiwan in the direction of our personal vision, and for identifying and working to effect positive change in individuals and organizations which are moving Taiwan away from the realization of that vision. We also take personal initiative to help create a better Taiwan in areas where we don’t see others already active, even if that just means bringing issues to other people’s attention.

Membership in CNPGBT is open to all people, including citizens of Taiwan, other countries’ citizens, and those with no national citizenship.

We have no official leaders with power over the general membership of the group. Each of us who joins CNPGBT takes responsibility for leading ourselves and assisting in achievement of the group’s goals by contributing whatever talents and resources we can in the ways we best see fit.

CNPGBT is not a political party. We field no candidates for government office. We hope our work will engender greater mutual understanding and effective collaboration between all participants in the political process.

CNPGBT has no official positions on any issues. No one speaks for the organization. Each of us brings our own perspectives and experiences to our work in CNPGT, and each of us is willing to actively listen to the many different views of fellow members. When we communicate publicly as members of the group, we make sure to state that the views we are expressing are our personal opinions.

We have no official color to represent us. Our banners are clear, signifying the clear vision and clear thinking that is essential to make significant, lasting progress and our refusal to lose that clarity by stubbornly adhering to any one group or particular set of beliefs.

We each encourage our fellow members to push us in the direction of improvement, and we regularly critically examine ourselves to better harmonize our ideals and our personal thoughts and behaviors.

We commit ourselves to using only nonviolent, noncoercive means to accomplish our goals. We strive to treat all people, including ourselves, with the utmost respect and compassion. We discuss issues with others without expectation that they will come to agree with us, and we enter every conversation with a willingness to listen carefully, with an open mind, and modify our own views in response to new information or ideas.

We make effort to maximize and optimize communication among our membership, and we seek to promote widely the many good works of CNPGBT members. We gather together to meet whenever we think that can help us achieve our aims. We publicize our perspectives and projects whenever we feel that will assist us to reach our goals.

Members of CNPGBT join in individuals’ and organizations’ efforts which they believe are somehow moving Taiwan in the right direction as they see it, but such participation in no way implies that they or other CNPGT members are strongly allied with those individuals and organizations.

Because there is so much that needs improving here, and because we know that change takes time, we members of CNPGBT commit ourselves to lifelong involvement in the process of making Taiwan a better place and a better citizen of the global community.

Date: May 20, 2008

Signed: Matt Nicodemus (Taipei)[/b]

Name is too long. Lacks zing. Pizazz. Ya need that in a party name. Something catchy.

It’s not a party. Let’s hope the CNPGBT’s membership and their activities are the catchy aspects of the group.

I will note that the acronym can be broken into two parts and incorporated into all sorts of rhythmic chants, e.g. “CNP! GBT! Working hard for better tea!” (if, for example, you were doing a campaign for more environmentally friendly oolong production)

Trying to eat better and exercise,


If you like the CNPGBT founding statement and would like to help me disseminate it to the Chinese-speaking population, I’d much appreciate getting your suggestions for websites and/or blogs on which I could post a translation.

Muchas gracias!


Chants, slogans. So you’re planning on street protests, I take it. How are you going to get the required permission for such activities if you have no leaders or office-holders?

I would like to nominate Lao Fu Zi (Old Master Q) as Honorary Chairman of the party.
I would like to nominate Charlie Brown for Chairman of the party.
I would like to nominate Crayon Shin Chan as the Vice Chairman of the party.

I would like to ban Hello Kitty application to the party.

Why Taiwan and not the R.O.C? Shouldn’t we include Jinmen, Mazu, Green Island, Orchid Island, Penghu and the Spratly Islands?

I think we are promoting “Taiwan” to be the official name for the nation? I regret not applying for a “Taiwanese” passport which had “Taiwan” on the cover instead of “Republic of China” when it was available. I really hate it when people ask me which part of China I’m from. But I can’t blame them, because that’s what it says on my passport!! Ugh!

No political positions, huh?

When was this?

Can we encourage PRC citizens to join this party? I hear they got a lot of money these days.

(double post)

No political positions, huh?[/quote]

That is true. I guess I was expressing MY personal view :smiley:

When was this?[/quote]

That’s a good question. I searched a bit on the net and found that it was around 2001, and the “Republic of Taiwan” passport was NOT officially recognised…what a double blow…

Replies to recent queries & comments:

  1. (to Sandman) If someone or a group who consider themselves part of CNPGBT decide they want to organize some street action as a CNPGBT activity, then it’s up to them to decide whether they want to apply for official permission and how. If it were me, and if the permission were absolutely necessary, I’d list myself simply as “member”.

  2. (to ac_dropout) As the name indicates, it’s not a party. Any Chinese citizen who agrees with the founding statement could certainly consider themself a member. I encourage you to post the statement on any sites where such folks might visit!

  3. (to Maoman) As the founding statement says, people who live anywhere, no matter what label they choose for themselves, are welcome to join.

  4. (to Poagao) While individual members have all sorts of political positions, we take no political positions as a group. The only things we ‘officially’ agree on are the points presented in the founding statement.

So you are not a party and have no clear official position on anything?
I like the general idea you are working from here. There’s a lot of things that can be improved if only people ask questions of their legislators and bring in personal effort to improving it. The question is why should it be foreigners to do this instead of Taiwanese themselves who have all the rights that we foreigners do not enjoy? I’m myself have lived here almost 8 years yet still enjoy only temporary residence rights and no clear right for political public standing. I feel I could contribute a lot to improving this country but am discouraged by the apathy of the native Taiwanese.

The other thing is people need support , direction and organisation to leverage their efforts for effective change. I’m not sure how such a loose group as you are proposing to setup could leverage it’s power to achieve it’s aims and even what are the aims of the group.

Indeed. So mattnico8, you know what to do. Get writing to your legislator. Oops! Of course! You don’t have one. That’s the nub of your thing right there – you have no leverage. None. Nada. Zip-po. Zero. Nobody who can actually help you gives so much as a fiddler’s fart about what you think. You have no vote. Without the power to sway voters, you essentially have NO power whatsoever.
So what exactly is the point of this “grouping” that you propose. And please, give us something a bit more concrete than “seeking a better golden tomorrow” or whatever it was you mentioned in your earlier post. Something concrete and real, please, upon which we can base our decision to join or jeer.
What do you plan to actually DO? Name three things to start with. Practical things that you actually have some hope of achieving, please.

I do love a good jeer, and it’s so much more satisfying to get together with like-minded people to share it with. Will there be opportunities to jeer in this post-party non-party? If so, sign me up. One question - what colour T-shirts will we wear?

I like the idea of being a member of an organization without program, organization, aims and membership fees. That’s why I joined Wicca.
But I must warn you, I don’t go out anymore after work. Only watch TV at home. What’s your opinion about TV?
Do you want to legalize illegal Bittorrent TV?

Nimen hau! Sorry for the delay in replying to the most recent postings. I was back home visiting family.

This is a reply to the June 3 postings from headhoncho II and sandman:

To begin, a reminder that no one person can speak for the whole of CNPGBT. So, my comments here reflect only my own ideas, not any official positions or programs of the group.

On the question of what we’re trying to achieve, I agree, it’s essential to be working on some “practical things that you actually have some hope of achieving”, so that you’ll be doing more than just talking and so that you can, if need be, find others to join the effort. I’ll list some examples in a moment. First, though, a note that it’s extremely important to also have a much broader, more general goal or set of goals, i.e. “for a better Taiwan”, into which those practical things fit. Why? Because that can continue to generate practical projects, and can bring together people who share the broader common goal and are seeking others with whom to cooperate in achieving it, whether or not they know yet which specific projects they’d like to work on. Some will come to such an organization with projects they’re already working on and would like help with. CNPGBT is a group where they might find others who’d like to get involved. Other people just know they want to do something to make Taiwan a better place and would like to connect with likeminded folks to explore different possible options for analysis and action.

Second, the range of things we can do to help make Taiwan better includes far, far more than just projects which would require action by legislators. “Politics” derives from the word root polis, which means all the people in society, not just the ones in government. Any improvement we make in life here, small, medium-size, or large, creates a better Taiwan. And when you think about it, most of the positive developments that happen here are not brought about by government officials, though some certainly are and others are made possible or supported by government action. In fact, the day after I saw sandman’s 6/3 posting, I read an inspiring story in the New York Times about a Chinese school principal in Szichuan Province who, facing local government inaction to strengthen his school against earthquakes, coordinated a private fundraising effort that fully funded the construction work which ended up saving the school from collapse in the recent temblor.

Furthermore, if there is a goal which requires action by one or more legislators or other government officials, there’s no reason that we have to be voters in Taiwan, or be able to influence such voters, in order to approach and be heard by them. In 1999, I headed up a neighborhood Y2K preparedness effort which, though based in one small living community, sent important information and urgings to action to both the Taipei City and national government, and we ended up being invited to meet with Mayor Ma Ying-Jeou’s two top staffers coordinating Y2K activities.

OK, so here are a few of the projects I’m personally working on right now as a member of CNPGBT:

  1. Helping build a network of schools on the island which offer graduates the opportunity to pledge at commencement that they’ll try to be socially-environmentally responsible in their future choices of jobs and on-the-job choices.

  2. Planning neighborhood education about climate change and personal-family action to reduce community energy use and carbon footprint.

  3. Writing and performing songs and music addressing current social-environmental-political topics, to educate and hopefully inspire and activate others.

  4. Working with fellow peacemakers here and abroad what can be done to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and prevent a Chinese attack on Taiwan.

  5. Trying to better educate my son regarding the many important issues people face here and abroad and our responsibilities to help make the world better.

sandman – and I’m saying this seriously and with gratitude – one way you’re obviously helping to make Taiwan better is by engaging in so much dialogue with so many people. You’re getting people to think more and more clearly. What other goals do you have for improving things, and what concrete, real steps are you taking to achieve them?

headhoncho II – I’m interested to learn more about the ways you think this country could be improved and discuss how you might contribute to that. And don’t bother focusing on what the native Taiwanese aren’t or are doing. Be assured that there are a goodly number of them who are both concerned and active, and that we non-Taiwanese can make significant positive differences, both by ourselves and by working with likeminded locals.

Everyone – If you’d like to get together to discuss CNPGBT in person, I’d be very into that. Any suggestions for a good time and place to meet?

This is a local government initiative that’s been going on for several months already. Do you mean you’re working with local governments? Which ones? In what capacity?

This also is a local government initiative that has been running for some time. What exactly is your part in the planning of this?

I ask because I haven’t seen any mention in the press releases or news reports about any foreign participation at all.

Fair enough. Your Chinese must be pretty good, then. Hats off to you.

Hey! I went to Peacefest! Who are these “fellow peacemakers?” And what kind of influence do they have, if that isn’t a rude question. And why are they still bogged down in working on what can be done? I’d have thought it was pretty obvious! Get rid of the influence of government, big business, nationalism and religious zealotry. Good luck with that!

That also already has a name – its called “parenting.”

So I don’t really see you doing ANYTHING concrete apart from singing songs and being a parent.