Elitism and oligarchic politics
This is the second commentary expressing doubt about the new government of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and president-elect Tsai Ing-wen. The first commentary has been described previously in my post “Blind”.
On April 21, 2016, most of the new cabinet ministers in waiting have been selected by Lin Chuan, president-in-waiting of the Executive Yuan. President-elect Tsai Ing-wen will be installed as Taiwan’s first female president on May 20, 2016 along with her cabinet.
The new cabinet consists of academics, former government officials under former president Chen Shui-bian, and a national defense minister who is a 71-year-old retired military man and the former chairman of Han Hsiang, the Taiwanese company that developed the IDF (indigenous defense fighter) Ching-kuo jet fighter. This new cabinet lineup is described as elitist, consisting of Ivory Tower academics, and it seems that Tsai Ing-wen’s government will be an elitist government that is aloof and far from civilian society. It is also feared that her government will practice oligarchic politics with the arrogance of elitist intellectuals. By retaining DPP chairmanship as president, she will hold power over party, government and the armed forces. In the eyes of the common citizens, she may become an “imperial president”. Her active visits with business groups indicates that the former activism of the DPP as the political opposition seems to have changed to economic activism that preferentially patronize the business oligarchs.
Rumors say that even former president Lee Deng-hui who advocates Taiwan independence has expressed dissatisfaction with the direction Tsai Ing-wen is heading and is contemplating forming a second indigenous political party to rival the DPP, Tsai Ing-wen herself and their new government.