National pension reform is a dish best served cold
The China Post news staffThe Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is striving to become a viable alternative for the presidency, but when it comes time to advocate actual policy, they tend to just get angry.
February 2, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
Late last year when the DPP failed to pass key bills on their agenda, party members responded by demanding an extralegislative national affairs conference. When President Ma Ying-jeou refused to open the national affairs conference, the DPP launched the record-setting “Fury” street protest in Taipei. When the call for a conference went unheeded, Chairman Su Tseng-chang unveiled a plan to remove the president altogether, along with all “anti-reform Kuomintang (KMT) legislators.”
Yesterday, Su got angry again, hopping into the boxing ring over which party's pension reform plan is kinder to the working class. It is not the DPP but the KMT that will ultimately hound the working class to death, Su said in response to comments by the vice premier.
While Su's response was issued in his inside voice, the DPP's overall treatment of national pension reform has been somewhat shrill, imbued with that same populist charge that doesn't really belong to the issue. National pension reform is a matter of redistributing Taiwan's resources between the private sector and public sector. When DPP officials use the terms interchangeably with “working class” and “government officials,” they are redrawing and intensifying class tensions: Such conceptual reductions widen the old social fissures that the DPP's “Social Solidarity” plan purports to close up.
What's worse, the DPP's fury has not really translated into fresh ideas.