The point about reducing the number of legislators is that their quality is so low, and their contribution to society so negative (as Lee Yuan-tseh said, they’re “dragging the country down”), that people have come to feel that the fewer of them there are, the better. It’s a simple enough equation: fewer legislators = less mischief, less grandstanding, less sowing the seeds of conflict in society. To some extent, it’s hard to disagree with that.
Moreover, the fewer there are, the easier it will be for the media and the public to keep tabs on the performance of each – it’ll be harder for the lamest ones to remain hidden among the crowd, their neglect or abuse of their responsibilities obscured by the smoke and noise emitted by their colleagues.
However, I don’t see any reason why the formula for reduction should be arbitrarily set at halving their number, or any other such random figure (I like the number 140, but on no more solid grounds than those put forward in favour of the halving). I see reduction as good in itself, but probably not to such a large degree as proposed. Perhaps the appropriate number should be reached through careful assessment of the minimum required to fulfil the functions of the Legislative Yuan effectively without too much overlap of responsibilities, especially in the all-important standing committees.
I agree wholeheartedly that the most important target is to change to a system of single-member constituencies, and I like the idea of the two votes (one for person, one for party). There should also be a thorough overhaul of legislative procedures, and the introduction of a system of ethics that requires legislators to behave with at least a bare modicum of decency (especially in the interpellation of government officials – there is no justification for the rudeness and baiting that we currently witness on a daily basis, which not only makes good people reluctant to accept public office but also, I believe, has a pernicious effect in undermining civility throughout society).