Wedge issues between KMT & DPP (other than China)

Aside from TI and how to deal with China in general, what are the major policy differences between KMT and DPP? Are there any? How about KMT is pro big business and DPP stands up for the little guy and takes better care of the environment? Does the DPP actually have a better track record in these things? Just wondering. If how to deal with China continues to be the only difference between the 2 parties, that’s just not a good situation IMO in terms of giving Taiwan voters a real choice. TI itself has become a red herring IMO and I’m not sure saying “vote for us because we’ll make taiwan independent” really works for the DPP (as most people don’t want war with PRC and know de jure independence isn’t realistic anytime soon). But if the DPP moderates its voice on that, the difference between the 2 parties will blur further.

The DPP’s position is basically to oppose anything the KMT is doing. Or to blame the KMT for anything that goes wrong (like typhoons). Is pretty rare that the DPP actually comes up with a useful idea, though they do occasionally (ie recent suggestions about pension reform). Staging street protests is one thing that the DPP is very good at.

Does the DPP really stick up for the “little guy?” In some ways yes, in some ways no. The DPP is very big on wanting to privatize public companies (the Taipei Times, their mouthpiece, has made that clear in numerous editorials). The privatization binge goes back to when Chen Shuibian was in office - one result was to privatize beaches and other scenic spots that had been open to the public (thus leading to the current Miramar Hotel fiasco at Shanyuan Beach in Taitung):

taiwantoday.tw/ct.asp?xitem= … CtNode=416

Is privatization really good for the little guy? I kind of doubt it. It’s fine by me to see the government getting some competition (ie Formosa Oil vs the government-owned CPC, private couriers vs the post office, FarEasTone vs Сhunghwa Telecom), but I’m personally glad that CPC, post office and CT are in public hands because that prevents monopoly pricing.

The DPP also seem to be the pious puritans when it comes to sex, and are not hesitant about throwing people in jail who violate their conservative norms. Last year the KMT actually legalized brothels, though it’s up to local governments if they want to allow it (I don’t think any have yet). Tsai Yingwen’s position during the last election was that male customers should be prosecuted, but not the women (doesn’t sound much to me like helping “the little guy”). Most odious example of the puritanism was when the DPP pushed through a law making it illegal to “solicit sex” online, backed up by aggressive enforcement (spying on Internet chat rooms, with bonuses paid to police for every person they caught). This has resulted in about 20,000 Taiwanese now convicted of basically “talking about sex” online. Mainly for this reason, I was rather glad to see Chen Shuibian go to jail (though I think he should be released by now) - since he thinks it’s OK to throw Taiwanese in jail for talking dirty online, let him join them and share a cell.

The Sex Police:
taipeitimes.com/News/feat/ar … 2003421855

Other issues that distinguish the two parties? Well, the DPP is currently on an anti-nuclear rampage, trying to prevent the 4th nuclear power plant from opening. Ma has agreed to a referendum, but polls indicate that the DPP will probably lose that one, so now their big issue is lowering the standard (currently 50% of voters must participate) to make their referendum pass.

I’ll conclude this by saying that neither the KMT nor DPP gives me much hope for inspiration. I’m not a citizen of Taiwan so I can’t vote, but if I could I would probably vote sometimes for the DPP and sometimes for the KMT on the theory that a little competition might keep them slightly more honest. There actually are some good candidates in both parties (along with a bunch of brain-dead ones as well). But overall, the DPP strikes me as a bunch of incompetent clowns, while the KMT is more interested in the business of stuffing money into their own pockets. The DPP is good at appealing to people’s emotions, while the KMT appeals to their wallets. That’s about it.

3 nuclear plants in the most populated county in earthquake prone Taiwan = :loco:

In very general terms, the difference between the KMT and the DPP is that while the KMT is essentially a huge collection of interests groups that represent the developmentalist state, the DPP would ike to move Taiwan more in the direction of a European welfare state like Finland or Holland. The DPP has consistently opposed nuclear power for the past 20 years and supports expanded labor rights and a better social safety net. The KMT has created a large class of state workers who enjoy significantly higher income and benefits than those left out of the ‘magic circle’. The DPP consistently attempts to expand the range of those who receive these benefits and raise the minimum wage. The DPP is also stands for developing the center and south whereas the KMT has traditionally neglected those area. The DPP supports some form of sovreignty for Taiwan’s indigenous peoples which the KMT opposes. Because the KMT does not have any real policies of its own other than staying in power, protecting the benefits of state workers, and dividing the spoils with big business, the KMT often adopts DPP positions when it is politically expedient to do so.

While the KMT had no real policies of its own, the DPP is also somewhat schizophrenic because in addition to the pro-Taiwan lefts faction of the DPP which really do try to represent the little guy, there is also a significant number of small and medium sized family-run businesses who support the DPP. Their interests are in obvious conflict with the left wing of the DPP.

The DPP’s historical mission is to destroy the KMT. After it succeeds (in 2016), the DPP and the KMT will fragment into a wider range of ‘normal’ political parties with various agendas. The downside is that it will make it even more difficult to govern Taiwan than it already is.

[quote=“Feiren”]While the KMT had no real policies of its own, the DPP is also somewhat schizophrenic because in addition to the pro-Taiwan lefts faction of the DPP which really do try to represent the little guy, there is also a significant number of small and medium sized family-run businesses who support the DPP. Their interests are in obvious conflict with the left wing of the DPP.
[/quote]

Actually, that’s a very good point Feiren. The DPP has a number of factions which have little in common other than that they oppose the KMT. Some factions are more reality-based than others. The unreality-based ones are the most emotional and do a great deal of harm to the party.

I certainly agree with you on this. More than anything else, this is what the DPP represents.

I seldom venture to predict the future, and I think you’re engaging in wishful thinking here. I have no idea what will happen in 2016. British Prime Minister Harold Wilson once said that “a week is a long time in politics.” Three years is even longer. We shall see.

By the way, CPC and CHT are already privatized, to the point that majority of the CHT stock was at one point owned by foreign companies. But frankly, obviously DPP didn’t do enough. Because there’s no real competition against CPC and CHT. Formosa and CPC seens to be price setting and no one cares. For some reason the national backbones built by tax money became CHT property, so all CHT competition needs to pay CHT just to provide services.

I don’t know why people are scared of real and fair competition . I get why the elected officials become half ass about what they set out to do, but I don’t get why people aren’t for it.

A lot of people complain about the chunghwa monopoly as broadband is relatively expensive and slow. Many nations struggle with monopoly network providers.

A lot of public services are subsidized in Taiwan so it reduces complaints, it’s a form of social welfare but corporations also benefit from this welfare.

I think corporations like Taiwan salt and sugar should be completely sold off and the money used for something else.

Interestingly some of the biggest monopolists in Taiwan are private enterprises such as UNI president and Formosa.

I think many both big parties don’t really favour true privatization as they like to load their people into these state corporations as a form of patronage and political and economic control.

Many citizens don’t really seem to care or have a limited concept as to how things may be done overseas, or else may surmise that any change could make things worse not better. Due to cultural influences they sometimes hold rather odd views, such as low cost air travel is inherently unsafe, guess the same happens everywhere to some degree.

The anti nuclear thing is interesting, it’s one of the first real grassroots citizen led protests I have seen in my time here that goes beyond youth groups, the stimulus for this was obviously from the Japanese disaster.

KMT-controlled millitary and secret police massacred and impriosned hundred thousands of Taiwanese. DPP was created out of the long-lasting hopelessness for justice.

mmm yeah. That was quite some time ago, though, and the people involved then are (I would guess) either dead and gone, or doddering quietly around old people’s homes. Their sons and daughters are either raking in cash from connections that daddy made (KMT) or making inane comments and behaving like common street thugs (DPP). Either way, as someone posted back there, we’re not exactly talking about quality leadership material here.

Well, if you are talking about the 1940s, indeed this was some time ago. But this state-directed violence continued into the 1980s as I’m sure you well know. There are many reasons to be unhappy with the current form of the DPP. But putting pressure on the KMT one-party state to put a stop to this is something we all should appreciate (except of course those who continue to harbour nostalgia for those supposedly good-old-days). :2cents:

Guy

1949 is a history? Let’s be today-relevant and Forumosa-relevant.
KMT believes that Chinese are the master race. DPP supports pluralism.

Basically, there are two big differences between the KMT and DPP that drive their political philosophies. First is their viewpoint on Chinese/Taiwanese identity and second is their money. I know you said “other than China” but it’s really impossible not to discuss that.

The KMT is the party of cognitive dissonance, as I like to put it. They recognize that the ROC no longer includes mainland China, but refuse to give up the claim (at least on paper) which they have pigeon-holed themselves into thanks to successive decades of “seemed like a good idea” policies that they can’t go back on while continuing to look legitimate. To make it quick and easy, the DPP believes that Taiwan-China ties are a state-to-state relationship, while the KMT believes it is something else (although the answer to what exactly it is will differ depending on which high-ranking official you ask).

That out of the way, I completely agree with Dog’s Breakfast that the DPP’s purpose is to oppose the KMT’s. Let’s face it, the KMT used to be an authoritarian regime that locked away or beat up dissidents, and this is recent history. Under one-party rule, the state’s money was the party’s money, and the issue of KMT assets continues to crop up from time to time. Because of its longtime grip on power, many high-profile business people continue to enjoy connections with the KMT. Needless to say, all of that gives the KMT a boost when it comes to election time. Other than that, it’s come up with whatever policies it felt were right, and the DPP has become an amalgamation of disparate groups that dislike one or more of those policies.

The problems with the KMT are pretty clear for everyone to see, but the DPP has failed to produce a legitimate alternative. Eight years of Chen Shui-bian were marred by continuous squabbling over things like what the post office should be named, and while he and his party were clearly trying to make a point, the only real good they did is to make the KMT realize it has to win people’s support to stay in power. The tired analogy is about choosing between two rotten apples, and there’s some truth to it. Both parties have suffered from high-level corruption, disingenuous statesmen, ulterior motives, closed-mindedness, and whether overt or subtle, racism and intolerance. Neither party really cares about the aboriginals (too small of a demographic to make a change in elections?), but it’s worth noting that aboriginal-heavy districts tend to vote overwhelmingly blue.

A lot of foreigners side with the DPP because they come off as the more liberal party, saying nice things about gay rights, the environment, equality, and freedom. Such an approach is certainly what the DPP used to represent when it was part of the Dangwai movement, but after getting a taste of power, the party sold out and today it tries to pander to its interest groups while shying away from some of the major issues it used to champion. It’s like a film critic who makes insightful commentary on movies, but wouldn’t be able to actually direct one if you gave him the resources. The party gets a huge boost in reputation, though, by not being in power; while the KMT continues to make bad choices, people seem more than willing to forget the serious problems in the DPP.

[quote=“printlessfoot”]1949 is a history? Let’s be today-relevant and Forumosa-relevant.
KMT believes that Chinese are the master race. DPP supports pluralism.[/quote]

What do you mean DPP supports pluralism? Have they done more for minority groups such as gays, aborigines, foreign workers, and other minority groups compared to the KMT? If you’re trying to draw a clear line between the wai shen ren and ben shen ren and say that the KMT are oppressors of the true Taiwanese, that argument just doesn’t work anymore in terms of winning elections.