當直選的統派總統發飆(中英文版)/ 范姜提昂/ Taipei Times/ 2015-3-10

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當直選的統派總統發飆

范姜提昂(作者為台灣北社法政組副召集人)

春節前馬受訪,便已按耐不住,他火冒三丈!挑明說:任期還剩一年多,還有很多事可以做,沒有看守問題,沒有跛腳問題,甚至揚言「我會反擊」!

實權總統一人統天下,講究術,何謂術?韓非子:「術者,藏之於胸中,以偶(對付)眾端,而潛御群臣者也。」尤其對於人之好惡,不可嚷嚷;天下盡知馬恨王,恨就恨,別叫;九月政爭帶頭叫陣,迫使黨人非選邊不可,注定大勢已去。

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一一二九以來可喜的是,社會認真思考國家體制問題,而就此角度,馬之無術以致天下紛亂,有幾點嚴重問題值得深思。

一、現行體制以「定期改選」修正民主選舉之失誤;必同時兼具負面效應:定期改選等同任期保障,不管你多無能、多無恥、多無術,在罷免與彈劾均設高門檻的「安定政局」制度設計下,只有眼睜睜看總統天天戕害國家,卻束手無策。

二、由於當年蔣介石雖妥協,接受內閣制,卻死抓兵權不放;如今,總統不但掌兵權,又實質掌控「最高行政機關」以致馬之無術,之跛腳,其恐怖不在「美國式跛鴨總統」之小奸小壞,而在馬「個人性格」剛愎無狀,因眾叛親離而惱羞成怒,惡向膽邊生。現行體制對於結合「性格缺陷」之惡果,也是束手無策。

三、由於歷史性鬱卒,國人珍惜直選總統之象徵意涵,實則不可諱言,每當選出的總統不忍卒睹,爛總統賴著不下台,會以「人民直選的總統」而獲得合法性與正當性的防護罩而堅不可摧,更鞏固了原本應該修正的體制缺陷。

四、值得注意的是,從直選前後的李總統到陳總統均屬獨派,長達二十年;而馬總統乃國史第一位「直選統派總統」,七年未滿。二十比七,懸殊的時間比,馬又無能無術,是否因此而讓國人忽略潛在危機:中國崛起,統派不可能消滅,誰能預料下一個直選統派總統,會如何運用直選加持的兵權而不利主權獨立?

五、實權總統,事實證明無法成為國家團結象徵;當國政紛爭,也不可能被相信是個公道伯,永被懷疑偏心;同理,每四年直選,國家必分裂一次。原因就在最高權力集中一人,他會是藍或綠的勝利者,卻難成統合者。直選,是否強化了這點?值得深思。

Torn apart by presidential power

By Christian Fan Jiang 范姜提昂

Prior to the Lunar New Year holiday, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) could no longer control his anger. Spelling it out, he stressed that he has more than a year left in office and that there is a lot he can still do, so there is no need to talk about a caretaker government, nor is there a lame duck problem.

He even said: “I’ll fight back.”

A powerful president who rules the land alone must pay attention to statecraft. According to Chinese philosopher Han Fei (韓非), statecraft “is hidden in the bosom and useful for comparing diverse motivating factors of human conduct and in manipulating the body of officials secretly.”

In particular, when it comes to personal likes and dislikes, people should refrain from raising a ruckus.

Everyone knows that Ma is not very fond of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), but if you do not like someone, there is no need to make a big fuss over it. However, during the “September strife” episode in 2013, Ma took the lead in calling for Wang to be kicked out of the legislature, forcing everyone to choose sides.

Ever since the nine-in-one elections in November last year, Taiwan has been engaged in a serious debate over the nation’s democratic system. From this point of view, Ma’s shortcomings in statecraft have resulted in chaos and there are a few points that need to be given some further thought.

First, the current system has adjusted the democratic system by relying on regular elections. This is a mistake, because it has a negative effect. A system of regular elections is tantamount to a guaranteed period in office, regardless of how inept, shameless or lacking in statecraft a person is. Given the high threshold for recalls and impeachment proceedings — which are both intended to stabilize the political situation — we are forced to watch the president cause harm to the country and there is nothing we can do about it.

Second, although Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) compromised and accepted a Cabinet system, he held on tightly to his power over the military. Today, the president controls not only the military, in practice he also controls the executive branch of government. The result is that Ma, despite his shortcomings in statecraft and his lame duck status, is more frightening than a lame duck US president and the small harm they might do, because Ma is unreasonable, stubborn and will not listen to anyone but himself.

As the public and his confidants are turning against him, Ma’s shame is turning into anger and he is throwing all caution to the side. The current system has no mechanism for handling the negative consequences of character flaws.

Third, for historical reasons, the public values the symbolism of a directly elected president, and it cannot be denied that every time voters have had enough of a president — who refuses to step down — the leader falls back on their status as a popularly and directly elected president, using it as a strong legitimate and legal shield, thus consolidating a systemic flaw that really should be addressed.

Fourth, former presidents Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) were pro-independence presidents, governing the country for 20 years. Ma, on the other hand, is the first directly elected pro-unification president, and has governed the country for seven years. He is inept and lacks the required skills of statecraft. Who can possibly predict how the next directly elected pro-unification president will use the military power bestowed upon them and what kind of negative impact that might have on national sovereignty?

Finally, a powerful president cannot also be a symbol of national unity. When the domestic political situation is in turmoil, such a president will not be seen as fair and impartial, but rather as partial and biased. For this reason, and because ultimate power is concentrated in the hands of one person, the country is torn apart once every four years.

That one person comes either from the pan-blue or the pan-green camp and it will be difficult for them to be a unifying force. The question is: Will direct presidential elections reinforce this situation? That is a question worth giving further thought.

Christian Fan Jiang is deputy convener of the Northern Taiwan Society’s legal and political group.

Translated by Perry Svensson

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