Following on from the slew of media stuff expressing a general climate of disappointment with President Ma after his first 100 days, I have been experimenting with a new class activity. (Adults)
The idea is to put them into groups that are tasked with forming a political party. We list some issues to get them started, and then I give them time to decide on what their policies will be. Then each party chooses its candidate, and all the candidates sit at the front and answer questions from the rest of the class. I’ve had mixed results, partly because some of them take it all far too seriously and get bogged down with minutae, but there have also been some good suggestions:
- Cross-strait relations: build a bridge! Budget constraints might mean that for now it may only be wide enough for scooters, but hopefully it can be widened in future.
- Women’s rights: the bikini law. I’ll leave that to your imagination.
- The economy: turn Yang Ming Shan into the world’s largest casino. Income from this will be enough to abolish taxes.
- Traffic problems: scheme to limit the number of cars on the road. Following the success of Beijing’s odd/even license plate policy, it was suggested that Taiwan introduce a colour-coding scheme. No blue cars on Monday, for instance.
- The environment: an innovative scheme to reduce waste, requiring a new role for the police. Specially trained officers will be sent to interview members of the public and ask them “what’s new and interesting in your life?” (This is the opening gambit in my conversation classes.) Anyone who doesn’t have a good answer will be guilty of wasting their life, removing all justification for the environmental harm resulting from their existence. The only solution would be immediate execution. I quite like this one as it offers a quick remedy for several problems. I’m hoping the government will license private operators, ie me.
So if you have nothing else to do why not spend a little time thinking of ways that Taiwan can be improved? It’s all very well sitting around bitching about things, but if you don’t come up with constructive alternatives then nothing will change. It’s up to you!
With luck I’ll get enough ideas from this to put together a manifesto which I can use as the basis for my 2012 presidential campaign.
Thanks in advance, and remember: Taiwan is a democracy now. Your voice counts!