Some in the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have suggested recently the establishment of a "shadow cabinet," an alternative to the Executive Yuan that would shadow or mark each member of the government.
The benefits of this shadow cabinet would be to let the inexperienced learn how to govern, starting from learning about the various government agencies and then going into more specific detail. In this way, the opposition could be more to the point when it criticizes the performance of the administration.
Should it win a general election, it would also be better-prepared and would be able to effect a smoother takeover.
The DPP has said that it plans to set up a Chinese affairs unit, which we think is important and should be part of the shadow cabinet. In addition, we hope that other members of the shadow cabinet could cover interior, foreign, cross-Taiwan Strait, economics, finance, education and national defense affairs.
It would be even better if the DPP could name shadow representatives to the United States and Japan.
We believe the arrangement of such a shadow cabinet could revitalize the opposition party.
Looking back, we can observe that whether it was the Kuomintang (KMT) or the DPP, all they did while in the opposition was oppose for opposition's sake, regardless of the merit, or otherwise, of the item being mooted.
The DPP only began to scout for people to serve in major posts such as premier or Cabinet ministers after it won the presidential election of 2000. Many of them had only served in teaching positions previously and had no experience of government.
It often took time for them to become familiar with their posts after being appointed, and complaints from the public arose during that process.
Now that it is back in the opposition, the DPP has returned to opposition for opposition's sake during the two terms of President Ma Ying-jeou's rule. For example, a number of DPP legislators do nothing more than take turns every day to lambaste the Ma administration, which they think is the fulfillment of their duty.
One can easily see that if the ruling and opposition parties continue such lazy practices, they will not be able to field worthy Cabinet members should the need arise. (editorial abstract - July 31, 2012)
(By Lilian Wu)