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Wednesday, November 11, 2009


NCC controversy again

The NCC has a proposal to relax restrictions on the government, political parties and the military from holding shares in media companies.  The rationale? :

The NCC said that while it was important for the three to stay out of the media, the rules had generated problems in some of the NCC’s rulings because some media corporations are publicly traded, meaning the government can purchase shares on the stock market.
KMT black sheep and family outcast Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) pointed out the obvious negative ramifications of this change for Taiwan's democracy but another KMT legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) called the NCC’s proposal practical.  

So the NCC wants to relax restrictions because they make the NCC's job more difficult and because the Government can't control itself and deign from buying shares in media (which for the KMT is like breathing or eating - a taken for granted necessity).

The NCC's job is to ensure media independence and quality but since its controversial inception it has done little to convince observers that it is anything but a tool of the Government.  So what difference then from the GIO many of whose powers it assumed?.

There is also a disturbing tendency of assuming that now Taiwan is a democracy, the old vestiges of the party-state are no longer a factor much in the way that because the CCP and the KMT are collaborating this is supposed to equal 'peace in our time' and an end to hostilities.  The danger is that in substance little has changed but policy is being changed to match the 'new conditions' which are really more just rhetorical flourishes rather than actual elemental changes in culture and practice.  This is in effect a 'gateway' for old party-state elements to resume their influence under the guise of democratic freedom.


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