Indicative Comments - Updated
News recently that the Presidential Office has been seeking to downplay the importance of Sunday's ECFA debate between the two 'Yings'. A PO spokesperson had the following to say:
The Presidential Office yesterday tried to downplay the importance of Sunday’s debate between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA), saying it [the debate] was merely part of the government’s efforts to explain its cross-strait policies.
“What we care about is explaining the government policies clearly and to allow the public to have a better understanding of the trade pact,” Lo said. “We didn’t begin preparations to explain the pact simply because of the debate and we certainly will not stop after it is over.”
Lo said Ma would do his best to use language that “people in the south” understand, so they would see the necessity of the planned pact.
“The DPP fully understands the importance of this trade pact, but they strongly oppose it because of their political ideology,” he said. [subtext: opposition is partisan not rational]
Lo yesterday said Ma might “not be good at debating skills or packaging himself,” but that he would exercise his “sincerity and consistency” and “cite facts” to convince the public that the ECFA was urgent and necessary.
Lo said the purpose of the debate was not to win, because Ma is more concerned about how Taiwan’s interests can be protected and how to formulate a strategic policy for the country’s economic development to connect with the world. [subtext: losing the debate is not losing the argument so Ma and the KMT can't lose]
“It is not a matter of whether we should sign the ECFA, but how we should sign it,” he said. [Neatly framing the debate as how not if ECFA should be signed - clearly it has been decided that it will be signed ... again, so much for Premier Wu's 60% of public support]
Any individual with “economic rationality” knew the trade deal was important for Taiwan, he said. [Subtext: if you are a business person with a 'real' handle of the 'real world' (read economic world) you will support ECFA but if you oppose it is because you are exercising 'political rationality'? - is economic rationality the only authoritative viewpoint of complex human societies?]
Lo urged the public to examine whether the DPP’s opposition to the ECFA ran counter to Taiwan’s best interests.
It was the government’s duty to prevent the DPP from securing political gain at the expense of the nation’s interests, he said.No, it is the KMT's goal to prevent the DPP from securing political gain. Here Lo is confusing the KMT for the Government - must have got confused when the Party-State resumed after 2008. On the other hand .. it is the DPP's duty to prevent the KMT from using the State to secure permanent hegemony and annexing Taiwan to China - which one is more in the nation's long-term interests: sovereignty and security or short term economic gain for some at the expense of the majority?
UPDATE: More comments from Presidential Office Spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) that are very revealing:
1. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had too little time to prepare for today’s debate.
2. Lo said that because of Ma’s fatigue and the DPP’s expertise in packaging, many people predicted that Tsai would perform better than Ma during the debate.
3. As long as Ma said what he believed and remained consistent in his argument, he would prove that Tsai was being “two faced,”acting like an academic but actually being a politician, Lo said.
Clearly Lo is prepping the public for a Ma defeat in the debate. Lo's comments are the whining of someone who is trying to spin an anticipated defeat into a victory before the first word of the debate has been uttered. What does he mean by the 'DPP's expertise in packaging?' and how is someone 'two faced' simply because they can argue with intelligence and fact?
Again, Ma has stated that he will sign ECFA regardless of public opinion - "In his weekly video address yesterday, Ma vowed to forge ahead with the Taiwan-China trade pact, saying the administration “will definitely” sign the proposed accord because it is conducive to Taiwan and its people."
Clearly Ma is ignoring Premier Wu's promise of 60% public support required for ECFA to be signed, as we all knew it would be.
If there is one thing you can trust the KMT to do it is to go back on their word, accuse opponents of what they are criticised for (divertisement - or making a strength out of a weakness) and rush implementation of policies through on the side and quietly to build up a fait accompli - a trap door from which no return is possible. They are the antithesis of democratic and always have been - local clients and patrons are what drive the party and what the party operates to feed.