By Denys Springer
Over the years I have alluded that Taiwan is the best model of democracy that I have seen and/or live in given the many countries I have had the privilege to explore. I am without a doubt an admirer of Taiwan because of their truly democratic way of life that permeates every aspect of living. Thus, Taiwan has become an example of democracy to the world – genuine about its democratic process.
The same cannot be said to the forms of ‘democracy’ that I have witnessed elsewhere including Saint Lucia, currently edging towards a form of dictatorship by the Allen Chastanet- led government, that should be of concern to Taiwan – our diplomatic friend and main source of revenue for social and economic development.
According to Kenneth Hudson in “The language of modern politics” — “what is term conservative is that most fellow citizens are actuated by greed and by a never-ending desire to add to their possession. The mainspring of all human activity is what is politely called competition that is the attempt to acquire more expensive and desirable possessions than one’s friends and neighbours. He went on to write that the public good depends on unfettered competition between individuals. Greed is a universal motive; competition is the primary rule of life.”
The Taiwanese mindset is configured that country should come first. They don’t only look for the now but the future. Their whole attitude is geared toward that. They have learned the proverb “give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you will have fed him for a lifetime”. That is their model whether economic or otherwise. And one must never forget that Taiwan learned how to feed themselves; reduce their food import bill; pursued engineering and technology, medicine and manufacturing.
Hudson’s views immediately came to the fore when I heard of what emanated in Taiwan on June 6, 2020, concerning the recall of the Kaohsiung Mayor. It is the belief of many in his constituency that he allowed his thirst and ‘greed for power’ above all else would catapult him to the heights of Taiwan’s politics. He thought he had arrived and that the thrust of money “from China” would catapult him taking residence in Taiwan’s presidential suite. However, many in his constituency and the country as a whole realized that perhaps his more desirable purpose was to propel the country in the direction of China with whom he had coalesced and to gradually push Taiwan towards China without a tussle.
Nevertheless, good sense triumphs over evil. The now ex-mayor of Kaohsiung should have read Hudson book. “Power neither approvingly nor disapprovingly is sweet, it is a drug, the desire for which increases with habit. Those who rise seized power even for the noblest of motive, soon persuade themselves that there are good reasons for not relinquishing”.
As the Mayor of Kaohsiung he was not satisfied with the title of Mayor and to put in the necessary work of being a good mayor for the constituency. Presumable ‘greed, a self-inflated ego and a universal motive’ took the better of him, parading as the untouchable only to become the blue-eye boy of the KMT overnight.
‘A universal motive’ seems to be some typical mode of Chinese thinking, especially from self-styled emperor Xi Jinping. His political impulse is to change the democratic philosophy and ideology of Taiwan to that of China whose ideology and philosophy supports Marxist, Communistic, Stalinist, and Chineseness. Anyone looking at the two systems of government would quickly say emphatically “never The Twain shall meet”. Therefore, Xi Jinping and his cohorts are simply living in a fool’s paradise.
The angriness of the Kaohsiung people was not only directed at Han Kuo-yu, but at China. The “voters in the southern port city of Kaohsiung voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to remove their China-friendly mayor from office, just months after he lost his bid to unseat president Tsai Ing-wen in national elections”.
The recall of the mayor was supported by all but 2.6 percent of the votes cast. It is reported that for the recall to succeed it needed the support of at least 25 percent of the city’s two million eligible voters. It was reporter that the “threshold was easily surpassed on Saturday when more than nearly one million votes were cast according to the municipal election commission.
There were celebrations in the capital of Southern Taiwan Kaohsiung at the removal of the mayor a pro-China individual. Many believed that he was not a good mayor and that he should not have run for the presidency while in office. Some thought that his economic policies were very pro-China. However, he was still of the opinion that “the only path for Kaohsiung in the future is globalization” but some see his globalization thought is in tune with closer economic interactions with China.
My attempt to elucidate why Taiwan is not part of China – was never part of China and will – never be part of China is evident through my intensive research over two years. The century jokes that Xi Jinping has cast Taiwan as a renegade part of China, yet, research continues to show otherwise.
Taiwan is without a doubt a fully democratic country with recall procedures to remove a sitting Mayor of Kaohsiung.
Joseph Schumpeter classical doctrine of democracy is unambiguous that, “there exists a common good, the obvious beacon light of policy, which is always simple to define and which every normal person can be made to see by means of rational argument”. He goes on to write, “there is hence no excuse for not seeing it and in fact no explanation for the presence of people who do not see it except ignorance which can be removed – stupidity and anti-social interest”. However, the beacon he speaks about is where he writes that “all people having, therefore, to agree in principle at least there is also a common will of the people”.
Taiwan will not change over to the will and fancy of China. Chinas’ mode of governance and the practice of communism has no significant impact as an alternative to democracy and democratic values that Taiwan upholds.
Preseident Tsai Ing-wen is a tremendous leader and above all, very strategic in her approach. I call her the soothsayer – determine in her beliefs and the democratic way of life that enshrine the ultimate dream of the Taiwanese people.
God bless Taiwan Ilha Formosa the beautiful country.