Taiwan's faltering democracy


Meanwhile, factionalism and lack of commitment to public service have greatly weakened Mr. Chen’s administration. The high turnover of cabinet ministers has made continuity in office only a happy memory of the Nationalists’ dictatorship…

He further concluded that the erosion of democratic legitimacy has large implications for China itself, where liberal intellectuals and senior leaders closely follow Taiwan’s affairs. If Taiwan’s democracy founders, it would discourage reformers in China who look to Taiwan to demonstrate the advantages of an open and competitive political system.[/quote]
Basically we suck. Thank you all for watching.

and whose fault is it? I think that Taiwan needed to remove the foundation of the system (read local corrupt politicians) in order to be able to establish a better democracy.

The biggest problem is that, no matter where you go in Taiwan, people simply disrespect law. If that is the case, the government either puts an effective police working (which counters the laisser faire that they all so like) or it will never simply work. Taiwan has a lot of laws that are simply ignored, even when it comes to the local “leaders” in the government offices, which are more interested in pocketing money than in doing public service. Thank you, KMT, to input the 5 millennia of their “law abiding civilization” into Taiwan…

Mr Boogie -
While I completely agree with your basic premise - “Taiwanese simply have no respect for the law and this is a hindrance to their democratic and economic success” - I think its much too simple an excuse to lay this all on the years of KMT control. Its used as an excuse to justify the lack of personal and societal responsibility and accountability as well as their for lack of corrective action.
I have this discussion very frequently with my wife (shes Taiwanese). Taiwan has all the laws it needs - What it doesn’t have is applied consistent enforcement of those laws. Until it does, this place is not going to change. And I see that as a downhill direction.
It is long past time that the Taiwanese general populace and the elected and appointed officials address this situation.
The immaturity shown in societal as well as legal matter here on the island has had 10 years to be overcome. I constantly hear the refrain - “We now have too much freedom, we never had that before” used as an excuse.

As I said before, it is part of the culture the KMT introduced (called sinonization). You don’t see this kind of attitude towards law in Japan, so I guess most of it was introduced.

Respect for law is the base for any democracy, and all the democracies are based in this respect. Yesterday I was riding my bike and I saw a kid in a scooter crossing a double yellow line to park, in front of a Mercedes and made it hit the brakes all force. The guy honked but the kid just went on talking with a friend that was parked next to him. This is the kind of attitude that makes Taiwan like it is. A democratic republic of the bananas. No matter how much the government wants the people to respect law, parents and policeman are the first in line to break it.

It will be hard to enforce it, because it might look like a return to the martial law days, but what we have today is not good whatsoever.

One law for the poor and many laws for the rich, and so on.