The (hopefully) last ever National Assembly started yesterday in YangMingShan. The 300 members only job is to vote once on a package of constitutional reforms; given that they don’t even have to decide how they are going to vote (their parties have told their members how to vote), this is a job that trained monkeys could do pretty reliably in less than a day. They wouldn’t do it with the same style as Taiwanese politicians though …
The three members of the ‘Democratic Action Alliance’ took first prize for stupid behaviour on day one:
Chang, Wang Ching-feng (王清峰) and Huang Kuang-kuo (黃光國) announced on the first day of the National Assembly session that they were quitting and accused major political parties of perfunctorily preparing the constitutional amendment package last year under populist pressure without due deliberation.
So the grand plan of this party of nobodies is that each day the three members will quit their posts – to be replaced by three new members the following day. They are doing this to protest the fact that these amendments are popular.
Chang claimed that only 19 percent of the public supports the amendment package, while more than three-quarters refuse to endorse it.
… or perhaps they’re doing it because these amendments are unpopular. They seem to be claiming it both ways. However, their principled stand did have some limits:
They, however, joined other deputies in taking a group picture to commemorate the inauguration of the last National Assembly and attending a sumptuous lunch.
Food before principles, it would seem. Assuming that this is a foretaste of more idiotic behaviour, some members have taken action:
To get all deputies to behave, the lady deputies of the ruling party issued their “ten commandments” warning against drinking bouts, night parties, and above all, exhibitionism.
It isn’t clear whether fistfights are banned under this edict …
But will the vote go through?
All this moronic behaviour does detract from the serious business of voting. Despite a last minute panic by the DPP, it is looking likely that the two major parties will enforce their party line properly – and so the ammendments will succeed. Both the DPP & KMT have promised to expel any members who vote against the bill – and the KMT have already removed one candidate who had spoken out against the amendments. This should ensure that the 75% vote required to pass the amendments will be acheived quite comfortably. Unfortunately, nothing is certain in Taiwanese politics …
Update: Day 2
The China Post has an excellent article on the continued misbehaviour of the National Assembly members. You’ve got to admire an article which starts like this:
Many of 300 National Assembly deputies turned megalomaniac yesterday, conveniently forgetting that they are in fact just rubber stamps.
2 Days now gone – and they’ve still acheived absolutely nothing