Roll on the Elections!

I’ll be so glad when the legislative and presidential elections are held and put behind us at last - not only so we can be rid of CSB and have the chance for Taiwan to recover from the disastrous effects of his presidency, but also so we can be rid of those blasted election trucks, a couple of which are assaulting my ears and rousing my ire to boiling point as I type this.

I vehemently agree. Can’t come quick enough.
I get sick to my stomach just seeing that man on TV these days. And his wife? That situation is even more ridiculous. Taiwan takes it in the ass.

Sadly, the blue trucks blasting political rabble will only get worse before it all wraps up and they go away until whatever is next. Ugh, I’ve got 'em too.

Not so fast, big fella. The next President is going to face the same structural weaknesses that Chen did. The legislature will almost certainly be pro-KMT, and if Hsieh wins… I think you’ll all be posting about what a disappointment Hsieh turned out to be.

The real problem is that there is poor balance between the legislative and executive branches here. The Presidency is weak – Lee and the Chiangs derived their administrative clout from control of the Party, which was the real lever of power, not from control of the Presidency. The ROC presidency is actually not very powerful vis-a-vis the legislature. And our legislature – not Chen – is at the moment useless. To blame Chen without blaming the legislature is to fall into the propaganda trap that the KMT has constructed – screw up governance and blame Chen. It’s Chen’s fault we don’t pass needed legislation!

What we need is a total constitutional overhaul that creates a better balance between the two sides, as well as the removal of all the gang-connected, incompetent, lazy legislators. But given the political economy of the island the KMT created, I don’t look forward to that. Instead, the grand strategy of the KMT to paralyze governance on Taiwan whilst blaming the DPP and Chen seems to have been very successful.

Michael

Not so fast, big fella. The next President is going to face the same structural weaknesses that Chen did. The legislature will almost certainly be pro-KMT, and if Hsieh wins…[/quote]

And if Ma wins, at least we’ll be rid of Tongyong Pinyin and the “renaming” campaign (i.e. Chen’s rewriting of history) will be put out of its misery.

Not so fast, big fella. The next President is going to face the same structural weaknesses that Chen did. The legislature will almost certainly be pro-KMT, and if Hsieh wins…[/quote]

And if Ma wins, at least we’ll be rid of Tongyong Pinyin and the “renaming” campaign (i.e. Chen’s rewriting of history) will be put out of its misery.[/quote]

While I sympathize with your position on the absolutely Tongyong pinyin – started, to be sure, before the current government took power – to regard the renaming of a memorial to one of history’s great mass murders as ‘rewriting history’ is absurd – no modern democracy has a major memorial to a fascist mass murderer in its capital. In virtually all other cases Chen is simply returning the original name to the organization in question – “Taiwan Post”, for example, held that name all the way throughout the Japanese era and into the KMT colonial period. I have no idea why naming things “China” is expressing history, but returning them to their own names is rewriting it. But perhaps you can explain?

Michael

Really?

Really?[/quote]

How is Jackson a fascist, a term that hails from the political crisis in the west after WWI?

In addition, there is a world of difference between a statue in honor of a 19th century leader and a modern dictator like Chiang whose victims and/or families are still around and have living memories, scars, nightmares, of his brutality.

The victims of CKS are just a small vocal minority in Taiwan. The vast majority of people in Taiwan and the Chinese in general owe quite a bit to CKS.

There were fascists long before that term was coined. Chiang is not a modern dictator. The ramifications of Jackson’s genocidal policies still affect modern America, especially native americans, today in vital ways. Yet memorials, images and textbook references to him are still around.

Poagao, the tone of your posts suggests you oppose statues to those who engage in homocidal acts. So what is your point here?

Though Jackson committed many atrocities, he was in fact an important historical figure, like Chiang Kai-shek. My reference was to counter Michael’s assertion in the previous post, that no democratic nations have memorials to such figures in their capitals.

Not so fast, big fella. The next President is going to face the same structural weaknesses that Chen did. The legislature will almost certainly be pro-KMT, and if Hsieh wins…[/quote]

And if Ma wins, at least we’ll be rid of Tongyong Pinyin and the “renaming” campaign (i.e. Chen’s rewriting of history) will be put out of its misery.[/quote]

While I sympathize with your position on the absolutely Tongyong Pinyin – started, to be sure, before the current government took power – to regard the renaming of a memorial to one of history’s great mass murders as ‘rewriting history’ is absurd – no modern democracy has a major memorial to a fascist mass murderer in its capital. In virtually all other cases Chen is simply returning the original name to the organization in question – “Taiwan Post”, for example, held that name all the way throughout the Japanese era and into the KMT colonial period. I have no idea why naming things “China” is expressing history, but returning them to their own names is rewriting it. But perhaps you can explain?

Michael[/quote]

The CKS Memorial was built as a memorial to CKS, and renaming it is only an attempt to whitewash that fact, essentially like saying that he never existed.

It’s unfair to compare CKS to the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao - he comes nowhere close to their brutality. Sure, he wasn’t exactly a nice guy, but for better or for worse, he is the most significant figure ever in Taiwan’s history (more so even than Koxinga). And he remains revered and respected by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in Taiwan.

Plus, people come from around the world to see the CKS Memorial - it’s a major tourist attraction.

There is a monument to Jefferson Davis on the capitol of Montgomery, Alabama. Should that be taken down?

Think also of all the Napoleonic monuments in France and other places in Europe.

Let’s think of it this way, would a massive memorial to CKS have a chance in hell of being built now, in a free democratic Taiwan, where people are allowed to protest their complaints in public?

We all know the answer. It wouldn’t be a few hundred or thousand who would take to the streets as AC suggests. This would polarize the nation.

The memorial was built during an authoritarian era to perpeptuate the cult of CKS. It was not built in honor of his contribution to society.

On the contrary, would anyone care if a new Napoleon memorial was built?

Well, no. But that’s part of what makes the CKS Memorial such an oddity. I like oddities. Changing it takes away some of the quirkiness of Taiwan, which is one of the things that makes Taiwan appealing to me. It’s a quirky place.

[quote=“Muzha Man”]Let’s think of it this way, would a massive memorial to CKS have a chance in hell of being built now, in a free democratic Taiwan, where people are allowed to protest their complaints in public?

We all know the answer. It wouldn’t be a few hundred or thousand who would take to the streets as AC suggests. This would polarize the nation.[/quote]

Hypothetical. It’s not being built now. If we gauge whether or not to tear everything down based on whether it would be built now, nothing would be left standing. Even Taipei 101 likely wouldn’t be built now as the economy is different than it was when the decision to build it was made. You may think you know the answer, but I doubt people care that much about CKS any more these days, at least until they’re whipped into a frenzy about it. The whole “CKS worship” propaganda is being promoted by the DPP for election purposes, which is why the MOE official got so pissed off at the mayor and Ma for telling the handful of protesters to avoid conflict or violence because it would play into the DPP’s hands.

[quote=“Poagao”]Though Jackson committed many atrocities, he was in fact an important historical figure, like Chiang Kai-shek. My reference was to counter Michael’s assertion in the previous post, that no democratic nations have memorials to such figures in their capitals.[/quote]\

Great, so we agree, then, that such memorials are wrong things. So let’s get rid of it.

No problem then, renaming the memorial ought to be a non-issue, since “nobody cares.”

“…modern…” democratic nations, I said. All of the modern post-authoritarian democracies – Spain, Italy, Germany, and the post-Soviet states – removed markers of the mass murderers who once ran them. Taiwan is still going through that process.

Why is it unfair? Chiang’s score is generally put at 10 million or so. Of course, he didn’t get to the level of Mao or Stalin or Hitler, but then he was pretty much a failure at running his nation, unlike those three, who all had significant periods of power at the head of a large, powerful, and recognizably functional state to commit their killings. Most of Chiang’s rulership was spent running an illegitimate rump state…

Chris, the issue is not whether Chiang is “signficant” in Taiwan’s history – a total red herring if there ever was one – but how that significance should be remembered. Should it be remembered with a large, saccharine, and essentially false memorial in the center of the capital that makes no mention of his numerous victims, his lifelong suppression of human freedom, and all the other aspects of the repressive regime he ran?

Michael

The personality cult fostered around Chiang is a well-known aspect of the KMT regime; see Jeremy Taylor’s piece in a China Quarterly a few years ago for a good discussion of it.

Michael

The personality cult fostered around Chiang was a well-known aspect of the KMT regime; see Jeremy Taylor’s piece in a China Quarterly a few years ago for a good discussion of it.

Michael[/quote]

FTFY

The personality cult fostered around Chiang was a well-known aspect of the KMT regime; see Jeremy Taylor’s piece in a China Quarterly a few years ago for a good discussion of it.

Michael[/quote]

FTFY[/quote]

LOL. Quit living in a fantasy universe and I’ll quit puncturing holes in it. The KMT’s Chiang-centered personality cult, alas, is alive and well and still festering at the center of the KMT.

Two important works by Taylor on the personality cult are

“Recycling personality cults: observations of the reactions to Madame Chiang Kai-Shek’s death in Taiwan”, Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 7 (3), September 2006, 347-363.

“The production of the Chiang Kai-shek personality cult, 1929-1975”, The China Quarterly, 185, March 2006, 96-110.

Here’s the abstract from the second:

“This article explores government, party and media reactions in Taiwan to the death of Madame Chiang Kai-shek in October 2003. In doing so, it sheds light on the ways in which the rituals, iconography and language of personality cults - a major part of political culture in Taiwan during the years of martial law - have become the main points of reference for many groups when responding to contemporary political events. I suggest that such reactions reveal the longevity of disparate elements of authoritarian personality cults in modern Taiwan, in addition to raising questions about the role of political religions in post-authoritarian societies more generally.”

Michael