A recent survey conducted by China Times reveals that 66 percent of people hope to see a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou and opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang.
The result reflects people's expectations for virtuous competition, not vicious struggle, between political parties. The political leaders should positively respond to such expectations.
When the DPP's Chen Shui-bian was president, Ma met Chen twice. The first time was in April 2006 in his capacity as chairman of the opposition Kuomintang. The other time was in April 2008 when Ma had become the president-elect.
However, the dialogue between leaders of the ruling and opposition parties has been suspended since Ma took over the presidency. During his first four-year term, Ma's offer to hold talks with former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen was never accepted. It was not until the televised debate on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement was held that they finally had the chance to meet each other.
When running for re-election, Ma said he was planning to invite opposition leaders for talks every six months in his second term. Su received an invitation from Ma as soon as he was elected the new DPP chairman last month, and he did not turn it down immediately.
Although the ruling and opposition parties do not see eye to eye on many issues, there is no harm in listening to each other's opinions and admitting that they have a common goal: striving for the survival, development and dignity of Taiwan.
For the good of the nation, our political leaders should work out a mechanism for inter-party interactions that allows everyone to move forward together. (Editorial abstract -- June 8, 2012)
(By Y.F. Low)