Last week, it was the KMT & PFP parties causing chaos in the legislature by ripping up speeches and blocking the podium, but it’s good to see that the DPP & TSU have just as much respect for the dignity of the legislature as they returned the favour yesterday:
While the pan-blue alliance was retreating to their seats, a skirmish broke out between Hung and DPP Legislator Yu Jan-daw (余政道), who was trying to grab her megaphone.
KMT Legislator Pai Tien-chih (白添枝) managed to take it back, but DPP Sandy Chuang (莊和子) attacked KMT Legislator Liao Wan-ju (廖婉汝).
Chuang pulled Liao’s hair and knocked off her spectacles, while Liao responded with a hard push.
Chuang was later taken to the nearby National Taiwan University Hospital, but KMT lawmakers blasted Chuang for faking injuries. Determined not to let Chuang get all the media attention, Liao also went to the legislature’s medical center for treatment.
Both camps then accused the other of starting the scuffle, and the KMT accused Yu of causing the mayhem under the influence of alcohol. Yu, however, denied the allegation and threatened to file a lawsuit against Legislator Kuo Su-chun (郭素春), who Yu said hit him on the head during the disturbance.
What’s the cause of the chaos?
Although many people think the Taiwanese parliament doesn’t need a reason for a good punch-up, there are reasons (albeit not very good ones) for them. Last week, the fights were all started by the pan-Blues trying to block Premier Frank Hsieh from giving a speech … this week it was the pan-Greens trying to block pan-Blue legislation. There are three major pieces of legislation that have got up the noses of the Greens:
- The NCC bill. Currently all regulation of the media is done by the ‘Government Information Office’ (GIO) – a body which dates back to the (not-so-distant) past when the Government took a very active interest in censoring anything vaguely out of line with Government thinking. Everyone is in agreement that this body should be scrapped and replaced with a ‘National Communication Comission’ – but the debate (if you can call it that) is about the makeup of this body. The pan-Greens believe that it should be made up of non-partisan experts, while the pan-Blues believe they should be political appointees chosen to reflect the balance of the leigislature.
- The ‘cross-strait peace’ bill. The aim of this bill is to set up a body to negotiate with China – a nice idea if it wasn’t for the fact that it is outside the constitutional powers of the Legislature. It is trivial to predict the future of this bill: it will be passed despite the complaints of the pan-Greens, who will then boycott it. It will be judged unconstitutional, but the Blues will continue on regardless and meet with PRC negotiators to come to a totally meaningless agreement.
- Another March 19th Shooting ‘Truth’ investigation. If this passes, it will have exactly the same result as last years investigation (and similar to the item above). It will be ruled unconstitutional, boycotted by the Greens and come to some meaningless conclusions.
The fact that the DPP & TSU are right to oppose all three of the above proposals shouldn’t detract from the fact that they are behaving like idiots in treating the legislature as a wrestling arena. The sooner politicians in Taiwan realise that they have a functional legislative and judicial system, and that civilized nations use these institutions in preference to their fists, the better.