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Tsai Ing-wen Should Change Herself First


 A Commentary

Tsai Ing-wen Should Change Herself First
Source: United Daily News
May 27, 2014
Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen won re-election as the leader of the opposition party, garnering 85,411 votes, 93.71% of party members casting ballots.  Tsai is the first person to serve as DPP chairperson for a third time.  85,411 votes and 93.71% of the total ballots are both new records in the history of the DPP. Therefore, party members have given Tsai a mandate to run in the 2016 Presidential Election on behalf of the DPP.
In Tsai’s policy presentation before the chairmanship election, she stated, “Let’s change the party and further change Taiwan.”  Tsai’s remarks seem to show good judgment.  One of the major reasons that Taiwan cannot make progress is that the DPP is reluctant to change itself and the DPP has not allowed Taiwan to change itself.  Tsai added, “In the future, the DPP must become a political party of good prospects, inclusiveness and action.”  Tsai’s remarks are tantamount to saying that the current DPP is a political party without good prospects, inclusiveness or action.  Tsai went on to say, “My purpose in running for the party chairmanship is to allow the public in Taiwan to believe in the DPP again.”  Tsai’s words imply that people in Taiwan no longer believe in the DPP.
Obviously, Tsai knows that the DPP must inevitably change with the times.  But the reason the DPP has been unable to reinvent itself up until now is because the DPP lacks a leader who can thoroughly change the DPP.  Chen Shui-bian tried to lead the DPP to move in a new direction.  However, pro-Taiwan independence forces and Tsai Ing-wen forced Chen Shui-bian to deny the existence of the “1992 Consensus,” so Chen became a pawn of pro-Taiwan independence forces during his eight-year tenure as President, and the DPP also lost an opportunity to change itself.  Therefore, Taiwan made no progress when the DPP was in power.  In fact, Su Tseng-chang also has not changed the DPP in the past two years, nor did he change himself.
Consequently, one might wonder whether the DPP will prevent Tsai Ing-wen from changing the party or Tsai will change herself first and then lead the party to change itself.  This could be the biggest challenge for the DPP until the 2016 Presidential Election.  However, if Tsai continues to flip-flop and resort to hollow rhetoric, how can she lead the party to change?
Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP are a community of shared character, so if the party chairperson cannot change herself, how can the party change?
【Editor’s note: Tsai Ing-wen served as party chairperson twice in the past. Why didn’t she change the DPP at that time?  Now Tsai says that she wants to change the DPP.  However, her past actions as DPP chairwoman cast doubts on whether her current rhetoric is anything but empty promises.】      

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