Thursday, August 11, 2005

Chen hangs Hsieh out to dry

Recently my Rank colleague Feiren wrote about Premier Frank Hsieh's occasional silliness. The premier managed to survive that mighty blow from Feiren's pen, but now he's receiving public criticism from a more worrisome source -- President Chen Shui-bian.

Chen, casting blame for the water-supply problems that Taoyuan has experienced in the aftermath of two recent typhoons, said yesterday that if a premier "cannot thoroughly resolve the water supply issue, people naturally will wonder what has he been doing," and that after the emergency is resolved "we'll see who should be responsible for this fiasco."

I'm not sure how Frank Hsieh is supposed to prevent typhoons from making reservoirs muddy, but apparently his failure to do so could result in his loss of the premiership. That's how it goes in Taiwanese politics -- if tomorrow a solar eclipse frightened small children and interrupted the growth cycle of mangoes, some politician would have to admit responsibility for it.

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