Taiwan's "Refuse-to-Lose" Crowd
台灣這群輸不起的民眾


By Therese Shaheen Posted: Wednesday, November 8, 2006
錯誤很多的翻譯 by honu


The roots of the current political turmoil in Taiwan lie not in the allegations of corruption against Chen Shui-bian, his family, and his friends. Rather, they lie in the huge changes that the Taiwanese president has sought to introduce during his six years in office.


現今台灣政治亂象的根源,不是對於陳水扁總統以及其親友被控貪污,而是在於這六年來陳總統試圖推行的巨大改革It's important to remember that Mr. Chen is the first president to come from a party other than the Kuomintang (KMT), which ruled the island with an iron grip for a half-century. Given that, it's unsurprising that his radical reform agenda has faced consistent resistance from an established order unaccustomed to defeat. Known to some Taiwan-watchers as the "refuse-to-lose" crowd, this coalition of former KMT officials--in conjunction with a splinter group called the People's First Party--has stymied much of the president's agenda.


重要的是,陳水扁是第一任非出身於緊緊箝守台灣半世紀國民黨的總統,因此,當他推行一些激進的改革議程,卻面臨建立已久的舊制序頑強反抗並不令人意外。被許多知名的台灣情勢觀察者稱之為「不願服輸的民眾」的紅杉軍,其組成來還包括後來分裂出走到親民黨的舊國民黨官員,而這些人就是造成總統推行議程的阻力。


Take defense: While it took the President nearly until his second-term to address the island's defense capabilities, he did introduce a $18 billion defense supplemental budget in 2003 which was strongly supported by the Bush administration. But the package has stalled in the opposition-dominated legislature ever since.


軍購案:在陳總統第二任任期初期,他要加強台灣本島的防禦能力,因此在2003年的年度預算的中編列了18億的增額預算購買軍火;此舉受到美國布希政府的大力支持,但是這個法案卻被立法院的多數反對黨凍結至今。


Mr. Chen's attempts to reform Taiwan's outdated political structure have met similar hurdles. Dating back to Chiang Kai-shek's defection from the mainland after World War II, Taiwan's current political system consists of five--often overlapping--branches of government. But attempts to streamline this into a structure better-suited to the present day have run into predictable resistance from the KMT, whose supporters still dominate most branches of government.


陳水扁試圖改制舊政治體制也遭遇到相同的困難。這五權分治卻部份交疊的政治體系要追溯自二戰後蔣中正自大陸遷移過來的國民政府。總統試圖將舊體制合理化而更適合現今環境,當然也遇到國民黨的反對,因為國民黨的支持者在五院裡多半是優勢多數


In such a climate, it's unsurprising that allegations of misuse of official funds have been seized on with such glee by the refuse-to-lose crowd--especially after last Friday's indictment on corruption charges of President Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen. Certainly, charges waged against any public figure need to be investigated and due process followed. But it's also worth remembering that the disputed expenditure comes from funds for unofficial international activities deemed to be in Taiwan's national security interests.


在這樣的政治氛圍下,國務機要費的濫用的結果鼓舞那些不肯服輸的民眾並不令人訝異,尤其是在上週五總統夫人吳淑珍因貪污遭檢察官起訴,這起訴讓每一位公眾人物都必須被調查及進入接下來的司法程序。但是我們也要記得,這筆備受爭議、為了支付非官方的國際活動的機要費支出,也可被視作是為了台灣的國安利益。


With Beijing investing heavily in countries around the world with the specific objective of isolating Taiwan, the island must be creative with its diplomacy. Because of the discreet nature of these activities, the rules governing these funds are vague and ambiguous. In the light of the current controversy, the air of secrecy surrounding some of these funds could be removed by insisting upon budgetary transparency and developing guidelines governing their use.


被北京政府大量金錢援助的國家存在在每一個角落,他們的唯一目的就是要孤立台灣,所以台灣必須在外交上有所突破。因此,被國際社會排擠造就的謹慎性格,讓機要費的支配規則顯得朦朧而曖昧不明。照目前的爭議看來,包圍在這些特支費四周的神秘面紗,能因對預算透明化以及機要費支出規範修訂的堅持而被揭開。


President Chen has made missteps during his six years in office. Elected on a mandate to accelerate the move toward sovereignty and national identity that began under his predecessor, Lee Teng-hui, he may have mistaken popular public support for Taiwan to maintain its own identity with a desire for formal independence. His coyness on the issue has been a hallmark of his administration, and the opposition-dominated press has been effective at characterizing him as unnecessarily provocative toward Beijing. Even the Bush administration felt it necessary to caution him on this matter.


陳總統在他的六年任期內做過幾個錯誤的官方決策。陳水扁被人民選出來,接下前自總統李登輝開始的任務,乃是加速主權獨立和國家認同,但是他卻錯將人民想要維持現狀的主權認同的希望解讀成台灣獨立。他對這項議題的隱晦讓扁政府被貼上標籤,深具影響力的反對輿論認為他是在對北京政權做不必要的挑釁,甚至布希政府都必須提點他要注意狀況,


The fact is, most of Taiwan's citizens don't want to be ruled by Beijing, nor do they want to antagonize it. This creates a dilemma for Mr. Chen. While the Taiwanese enjoy their de facto independence, they are increasingly intimidated by China's growing economic and military might. The President's periodic flirtations with formal independence make people nervous on both sides of the Straits.


事實上,多數的台灣人民不想被北京政府統治也不想與他們作對,這讓陳總統陷入一個進退兩難的困境。台灣人民享受實質上獨立的生活,也但害怕中國逐漸強大的經濟能力與武力。每隔一陣,總統不經意說出獨立的言論總讓海峽兩岸的人民深感緊張。


The turmoil in Taipei this week has little to do with the current government's effectiveness, or even its alleged corruption. Instead, the demonstrations and calls for Mr. Chen's resignation are significant for what they say about Taiwan's relatively young democracy.


這星期在台北市的倒扁遊行活動,對於當前內閣、甚至是其貪腐行為的影響力並不大。反之,群眾要求阿扁下台的示威遊行,對於台灣這個較年輕的民主體制才有重大的影響。


In taking to the streets, some Taiwanese are abandoning respect for due process and the rule of law--values that should lie at the heart of any democracy. The heat and the intensity of the anti-Chen movement leaves a sense of riveted frenzy, where the mob--not process--will rule. The highest democratic aim ought to be to protect the voice of each individual citizen, not to project the roar of the crowd, however righteous.


在這次的街頭遊行中,台灣人民拋棄了對司法程序的和法律的尊重,而那是民主社會的核心價值。激烈的倒扁運動給人民一種由滋事民眾主導的狂熱感,而非程序。民主政治的最終目標是保護每一個人民的聲音,而非單單凸顯民眾的怒吼,無論其主張正確與否。


A strong, democratic Taiwan is not only best for the people of Taiwan, but for the region and for the world. In this crucial period of its growth, Taiwan's democracy deserves the support and encouragement of the international community. But ultimately, it is up to the people of Taiwan to decide whether they want their future to be determined through democratic processes--or by mobs taking to the streets.


穩固的民主台灣不只是台灣人民最好的選擇,對亞洲、對這個世界都一樣。在這個台灣民主體制成長的關鍵時刻,更需要國際社會的協助與鼓勵。但是這個選擇權最終是要交到台灣人民手裡,由他們來決定在這民主過程中未來想要什麼,或者,由那群聚及在街頭的民眾來決定


Therese Shaheen is an adjunct fellow at AEI.



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