Look at you now, Ma — the tables have turned
The China Post news staffAs protests raged yesterday evening over the razing of four Dapu (大埔) residences, with President Ma Ying-jeou away on a 12-day diplomatic tour, political commentator Nan Fang-shuo (南方朔) stepped up to proclaim that he does not rule out an Arab Spring-like revolution in Taiwan.
August 20, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Ma's administration has deteriorated from simple incompetence into an excessively authoritative state — all amid declining approval ratings — said Nan, adding that it is too early to rule out the outbreak of civic revolution.
Citing the brewing of overwhelming public discontent over Ma's administration, Nan stated that the conditions for a presidential impeachment are forming. Ma's 13-percent approval rating is nearing Boris Yeltsin's 8 percent during the height of efforts to remove him from power.
Shih Ming-te, a former opposition party chairman, on Aug. 17 stated that it is ridiculous to consider Taiwan in a similar vein to countries under dictatorship in the Arab world such as Yemen and Egypt, noting that the last time Taiwanese protesters took to the streets to express their demands, their protest was peaceful.
Shih was the main ringleader for the 2006 “Million Voices Against Corruption, Chen Must Go Campaign” to impeach and depose the then-President Chen Shui-bian. The campaign garnered widespread participation from the public, while numerous pan-blue politicians took their turns at the head of the movement to rail against Chen's corrupt administration, including Ma, who was Taipei mayor at the time.
Speaking in front of a great host of protesters, Ma stated that in a democratic system, impeachment is a mechanism reserved for the people to check authority, and are as common as elections. The impeachment and deposing of a president should not need a guilty criminal verdict. Gross incompetence, reflected by the people's discontent and loss of respect, is enough to depose a president, said Ma during his address in 2006. In a democratic system, a leader is subject to the approval of the people and must bear responsibility for the people's discontent, continued Ma. “A man should preserve a semblance of humility to be worth the people's respect. No one will pity a man who is without morals and shirks from responsibilities,” said Ma. “Yet you (Chen) remain, with your scant 18-percent approval rating, asserting that you have not committed a crime,” cried Ma during his address, while appealing for cheers from the crowd.