Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin of the ruling Kuomintang recently proposed assembling a medical team to assess the possibility of granting former President Chen Shui-bian parole. The suggestion immediately sparked speculation that Hau is paving the way for his political advancement.
In reaction, supporters of Taichung Mayor Jason Hu proposed that he make a bid for the KMT chairmanship, while supporters of New Taipei Mayor Eric Liluan Chu suggested that he run for president.
In fact, the three mayors each have two more years in office. Given the fast pace of politics in Taiwan, who can predict what will happen in two years time?
The question of medical parole for Chen may involve legal, political and human rights issues but it has little to do with the so-called jockeying for positions within the KMT.
Though well-received among the "pan-greens," Hau's proposal has drawn more negative than positive responses within the "pan-blue" camp. Where will Hau get the opportunity to jockey for positions?
The controversy has again highlighted the immutable conflicts between the two rival camps.
Trained in natural science, Hau tends thinks differently from politicians with a social science background. He does what is right and says what he believes, paying little attention to political ramifications. He formerly served as environmental protection minister in Chen's administration, risking censure from the "pan-blue" camp.
There are more important things in life than politics. Unless Taiwan can move beyond politics, it will have no future. (Editorial abstract -- Aug. 29, 2012)
(By Y.F. Low)