Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Civics 101

This comment to the Asia Times by Chin-Hao Huang contains the following glaring error.

Chen has repeatedly expressed his admiration for Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's ability to dissolve the diet and in turn win a snap election. Chen appears tempted to make a similar call as a way out of the current political deadlock in Taiwan's legislative yuan. However, doing so would further polarize domestic politics and cause more unrest in Taiwan's unconsolidated democracy. Chen ought to be mindful not to sacrifice the long-term goal of political stability for short-term political gain.

Chen can't make a similar call. The Constitution doesn't allow it. For this to happen, the legislature would have to pass a motion of no confidence against the cabinet. Only then could Chen dissolve the legislature. In effect, this means that the legislature would have to dissolve itself and risk new elections, something the pan-blue coalition would never dare do given their behavior over the past year.


David said...

True - but Frank Hsieh and the DPP were agitating for the dissolution of the legislature a few weeks ago for just this reason.

I'm not convinced the greens would do any better if an election was called though - they haven't exactly been covering themselves in glory recently either.

Of course there's no incentive for the KMT to allow a new election ... but what about if the PFP decided that they had a good chance on improving on their pitiful performance and agreed with the DPP?

Feiren said...

I think that unlikely. Ive read that the KMT is waiting to deals with arms bill until after the elections because it thinks that the PFP is going to do so poorly that they will be irrelevant. The PFP is going the way of the New Party.