Dear Mr. President Jacques Chirac,
In Taiwan; there are "three in one" elections. President
Lee Teng-hui threw the phrase, and concept "new Taiwanese"
into the mouths and minds of Taiwan.
It was the perfect rebuttal to Chen's call for ethnic divide
and voters knew it instinctively. You cannot hate your neighbor
simply because his grandfather came from mainland China. And
now voters will no longer vote for a candidates simply because
his grandfather farmed in Chiayi (Taiwan county). Taiwan's democracy
has come by age, as demonstrated in Taipei's mayoral election
--- a three-way race between incumbent Mayor Chen Shui-bian
of the DPP, and former Justice Minister Ma Ying-jeou of the
ruling KMT, and former Finance Minister Wang Chien-shien of
the New Party.
The battle for the capital was virtually a duel between Chen
and Ma since Wang had been regarded as an also-run from the
beginning. Fears of possible riots and disturbances on election
night proved to be unfounded, as the large crowds gathered in
front the campaign headquarters of Chen and Ma showed admirable
restraint. Chen's supporters were able to take the defeat in
their stride. In Ma's camp, the cheering crowds were celebrating
the victory in a festive mood, singing and dancing and crying
President Lee Teng-hui said last week that "elections
should be like a festival" and what happened
on election night had borne this out. This is a sure sign that
Taiwan's democracy, which has often been regarded in the west
as being rambunctious at best is becoming mature. Compared with
the elections four years ago, when violence was often involved,
this years three-in-one elections were smooth and
No wonder Richard Bush, chairman of the American Institute
in Taiwan was impressed.
He said in Washington that Saturday's poll reflected "the
continued maturation of Taiwan's democracy and multiparty politics".
That's a fair and accurate observation. Looking back at the
island's elections over the past decade, it is obvious that
democracy has become more mature after each election. Democracy
is putting down deeper and deeper roots, and it has become an
institution as well as part of daily life. With
the passage of time, it is going to become a tradition and a
part of Taiwan's culture.
The process of democratic maturation is being accelerated by
a people who are becoming increasingly rational as they try
to learn step by step the true meaning of democracy.
The people are the biggest winners because they have learned
from the campaigns that they should not be divided by differences
in ethnic or provincial origins.
President Lee is also a big winner for several reasons,
A. It is he who first introduced the "new
Taiwanese" idea as an antidote to provincialism that decides
native Taiwanese and mainlanders who came to Taiwan after 1945.
B. Lee's strong endorsement of Ma on the eve of
election had dispelled rumors that his support for Ma was half-hearted.
C. The President has shown, once again, that he
was the only one in Taiwan
who could sway the election.
President Lee, we call him "Mr. Democracy" also.
In our view; few discrimination happened in Taiwan since transformed
New Mayor Ma said; "The notion of new Taiwanese is mutual
tolerance and mutual respect" "No matter
when you came to Taiwan, no matter where you came from , you
are the new Taiwanese as long as you love Taiwan and are willing
to struggle for Taiwan" he added.
Taiwan is democratic country. One Taiwan, one China.
Taiwan need your support.