Mr. Democracy Revisited
Originally posted at Chinese Community Forum (CCF)
January 15, 1997
I don’t know if Newsweek has been keeping up on Taiwan’s Lee Teng-hui, but “Mr. Democracy” has just convened a so-called National Development Conference in Taipei.
Under the pretext of eliciting a diversity of opinions from the two major opposition parties in order to reach a tri-partisan consensus for the future of Taiwan, he sprung a little surprise on his unwary guests.
What he said in effect was “As long as I have you all here, I propose to revise the ROC Constitution so that I can dissolve the Legislature at my discretion, strip the National Assembly of its impeachment power, abolish all local elections, making county supervisors and city mayors presidential appointments, and abolish the Taiwan Provincial government in its entirety, ridding Taiwan of its pesky dual status as a province of China and moving it one step closer to independence. Any objections?”
Imagine the reaction from the American media, including Newsweek, if a US president suddenly declared that he intended to revise the American Constitution so that he could dissolve Congress at will, strip it of its impeachment power, abolish local elections for county and municipal governments making them presidential appointments, and abolish the fifty state governments in one fell swoop?
Would Newsweek continue to refer to such a man as “Mr. Democracy” and coo about his “fundamentally democratic instincts”? Time for a followup story, don’t you think?
Consultant to Professor Fu Kuen-chen, Member of ROC Legislature (New Party)
(The opinion expressed is my own, and does not necessarily reflect that of any other individual or party)