Wednesday, October 26, 2005

NCC - Built for Deadlock

The Pan Blues have done it again. They’ve passed an incoherent bill that will create more problems that it solves. This China Post article seems itself to be a paradigm of incoherence, but the process it describes matches the descriptions in Chinese media. Parties will nominate a total of 15 people to the National Communications Commission. The Cabinet will nominate an additional three for a total of 18 nominees. An 11-member legislative panel will confirm 13 nominees through a vote. The interesting wrinkle is that a nominee needs at least 60 percent of panel votes to be appointed. Given the current legislature’s record on cross-party cooperation, this virtually guarantees the NCC legislative panel will be deadlocked: based on the current legislature, five members would be pan green and six would be pan blue. Do the math. The pan blues won’t be able to push through nominees unless at least one pan green panel member is absent during a vote. How likely is that?

There are all kinds of “what if” scenarios right now. For example, what if the panel actually decided to confirm all the nominees by the same vote count (say 11-0)? What would happen to the five excess appointees? However, the biggest question is what kinds of obstacles the administration and pan greens will put up. There are several options, beginning with recalling the bill and asking for a constitutional interpretation (with a strong argument that the bill that has been passed goes against the principle of the NCC being an independent commission). The only good thing about yesterday’s legislative antics is there was no blood on the floor.

No comments: