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December, 6, 2016

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DPP must stop waffling on issues that matter

Tsai Ing-wen's administration has had a tough couple of weeks. Amid growing challenges facing Taiwan, the government has pointedly chosen to prioritize settling scores for political gains rather than empowering the disenfranchised.

First, TransAsia collapsed, seemingly out of the blue, stranding thousands of passengers and temporarily creating transport headaches for parts of the country that relied on its routes. The government initially spent a great deal of time defending itself from blame rather than focusing on ensuring that TransAir's demise would have the least detrimental impact on employees, travelers and affected travel agencies.

Then pressure intensified between supporters and detractors of same-sex marriage outside the Legislative Yuan, as pro-LGBT groups demanded basic human rights under the Constitution and voiced their opposition to the creation of a specialized law that would target them specifically. Rather than making good on the president's support of marriage equality regardless of sexual orientation, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has backtracked again and again in the name of social consensus.

If that weren't enough, a medley of protests under the umbrella of Autumn Struggle 2016 also reminded the administration of its ongoing disputes with workers and property owners in land requisition cases, among others.

The government has shown an aloofness that continues to make a mockery of its claim to be the most communicative government the island has seen. On Monday, a weekly policy coordination meeting among government elites focused on combating crime and narcotics — an issue that, while deserving attention, is not particularly pressing compared to the other issues mentioned above.

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