Judicial Nominees


The DPP’s nominees passed the LY. While one may agree or disagree with nominees positions, from a democratic perspective the DPP as the majority in the legislature has the votes to approve what it wants (in connection with its NPP allies). The KMT may be principled and truthful in its opposition but it doesn’t have the votes. That is democracy and I can understand it.

What I’ve never been able to understand is why under the same democratic principles was the KMT never able to approve the trade deal that spurred the Sunflowers? Was the DPP just so good at using procedural tactics that the KMT was unable to ever bring the issue to an up/down vote (if so, the DPP may have been acting legally, but the result feels undemocratic). Or was there a lot of passive opposition in the KMT such that WJP wasn’t really ever that enthused about presenting the matter for a direct vote? Just trying to understand why the KMT was unable to use their majority in a similar fashion on that issue.


You didn’t see that’s why Ma tried to get Wang Jin-ping convicted and pulled from the legislature?


I guess I didn’t understand what MYJ’s motivations were. My Chinese isn’t good enough to follow it that closely and the English language articles I read didn’t tie the connection. So was it that simple then? WJP was against the trade deal and thus he did everything he could to prevent it from ever going for a full vote (which the KMT theoretically should have been able to win with a LY majority)?


I think it is more like this.

The STA was special because there is no official proceedings for passing a foreign trade in the legislature. Since there is no official proceedings, both sides used what ever means possible to block it from going to the floor or passing it without having it go to the floor.

You really can’t tell what WJP’s position was on the subject. However, since the legislature didn’t move to come up with a proceeding first before reviewing the STA, WJP just let the shenanigans from both sides go on, as long as it didn’t deviate from regular legislature proceedings.

Ma wanted him to do something, and not just follow regular procedure. Ma wanted WJP to call the police into the legislature and remove DPP legislators. Ma wanted WJP to come up with a new procedure himself and enforce it using his power as the speaker. WJP didn’t want to do any of that.

That was when we get to KMT legislature announcing the STA is passed in the men’s room, and students occupied the legislature.


Thx, Hansioux. WJP is certainly a cipher here. I guess we will never be certain but I would conjecture that he at least didn’t feel terribly strongly about the trade deal if he wasn’t willing to push harder for its passage. I might further imagine that some other KMT LY members were equally indifferent or negatively inclined too (they didn’t care enough to push WJP). Not sure if this is the right conclusion, but to interpret the outcome “democratically” one might say that while the KMT centrally supported the trade deal as a party platform, because they had to go for a big tent approach to win a majority they wound up with elected members (and thus constituents) that were indifferent or opposed to the deal. So while the KMT had a LY majority, the only way they could achieve such a majority was by including folks who didn’t believe in a significant part of their policy positions. And thus the failure to pass the trade deal does actually reflect the will of the Taiwanese majority.

In a similar vein, while the Greens also had to enlarge their tent to win their LY majority, the enlarged membership (and their constituencies, indirectly) was sufficiently closely aligned with the JY nomination policy to vote in support of it. I recognize that Taiwan has a very unique history but it does still strike me as a little odd to confirm high judges who question the legitimacy of fundamental portions of the constitution (although admittedly, at a constitutional Appellate level, it is the job of the justices to interpret the meaning of the constitution and the debate between a purely literalist and a more interpretive approach is not unusual).


Ma couldn’t get it passed because the deal was really about swapping populations with China and not services nor goods. Importing population is otherwise commonly known as “immigration”. It sounds more liberal and harmless if you sell it as “trade.”

The scheme was detected and Ma found himself in a possible revolution more realistic than the redshirt occupation. He withdrew based on his own calculation because his plan was exposed and couldn’t go anywhere.

I know you probably heard that the issue was procedural. But it was explained as procedural by the opponents only for tactical reason.


It’s odd because the text is indeed odd, not because someone questions its legitimacy.

There is a paradigm shift that will take most people quite some time to accept. It goes like this: In the past people used to see the text of the ROC constitution as legitimate points of argument to suppress Taiwan’s independence. Essentially, when you do that, you are fantasizing yourself as a self-appointed high priest who gets to apply the “sharia law” in the Chinese holy text to the entire Chinese faith.

The paradigm shift happens when the people of Taiwan holds supreme power to "indirectly "interpret what the text of the Roc constitution means, including what’s applicable and what’s not applicable to Taiwan, without having have to remove a single word from the text.

Or one could say that the non-applicable parts are deemed illegitimate, and only the legitimate parts are applicable.

Hence the text of the ROC becomes a relic. And no more addendum is to be added to the last page. Nothing is to be removed either. A constitutional order emerges where subsequent changes exist in the form of court rulings, precedents, interpretations, and most importantly, other documents. (for example adoption of proclamations, internal treaties, external treaties, bill of rights etc.)

It is up to the Chinese to clone (or to fork) another version of the ROC text and apply it in say, Hong Kong, Shanghai, or New York Chinatown. But in Taiwan where the the people of Taiwan has ultimate say on everything in Taiwan, the paradigm shift was already created.


Thanks, Sofun. I agree that the procedural reasons were likely camouflage for more material concerns about the substance of the agreement. My question though, is who/which party had the substantive concern about the agreement? Just the Greens? Or maybe WJP and the Blues too?


Agreed, the text is odd. For any officer, including a judge, swearing that you are loyal to the ROC constitution is an odd situation requiring one to suspend reality (believing that the ROC is the legitimate government of both China and Taiwan) or to be disingenuous (believing that the ROC is something other than the legitimate government of both).


Right. Those who were against the substance of the agreement would be:

The DPP, TSU, and what later became the New Power Party, the Social Democrats, the People First, labours, and other independent political forces such as
pundits on traditional and new media,
celebrity personalities,
SMBs in the service industries, and most significantly food& hospitality industries,
the publishing industry,
artists in performing arts,
overseas students,
and the majority of Taiwanese adults under the age of 35.


Understood and that seems to comport with my conceptual understanding. Am still curious though as to how such groups, with a minority of LY seats, were able to stop the trade agreements passage for so long (even before the Sunflowers)? Were the Greens so skilled at procedural tactics that they managed to tie up any straight vote? Or were a significant portion of the Blue legislators also reserved about it such that they were grateful/complicit that they didn’t actually have to cast a substantive vote which might have been unpopular with large portions of their constituents?

Am just trying to understand why the Blues in opposition have been less able to stall Green measures in the LY as compared to when the Greens were the minority opposition. Or to phrase it differently, why have the majority Greens been more effective in passing their contested legislation as compared to how the Blues fared when they were the majority?


Probably the KMT legislators at the time each had one’s own agenda, competing interests, and bargaining to do. That the idea of population engineering as the ultimate unification weapon was probably not really their concern.

As can be seen now, the current KMT is new-party-ized, and having a hard time convincing their constituents to switch allegiance from Blue to Red. It just shows how detrimental it is for the KMT to abandon LTH’s blueprint in 2000. It’s like a person starts drinking and smoking heavily after loosing his job, and 15 years later he is diagnosed with cancer.