Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Professor: ‘Democracy is Compatible with Chinese Culture’
Democracy is been generally adopted throughout SE Asia however haltingly. It is naturally evolutionary which actually makes it more fully acceptable to everyone. Those in a hurry are always frustrated but any study of Taiwan shows us just hoe evolutionary it all is and likely has to be. Thinking it can be done by fiat is as often a retrogressive action.
Japan, Korea, and Taiwan all began as military dictatorships. Three generations, a combination of social pressure and some political will and we have three clearly democratic systems that work rather well. Could they be better? could Oligarchs be shoved aside? could corruption be more fully subdued? Who Cares? The alternative makes all that worse and never better. That is why the public supports democratic institutions.
We have learned that someone must have the stick of public censure to yield to control negative tendencies that remain inevitable. Who better that the people themselves? And yes, China began its transition only thirty years ago. Today it is increasingly simple to introduce democratic systems throughout China and becoming more difficult to resist. A generation is not long to see this out in China.
Professor: ‘Democracy is compatible with Chinese culture’
Forum explores democracy in Taiwan after successful presidential election
Last Updated: January 30, 2016 11:46 pm
Democratic Progressive Party leader Tsai Ing-wen waves to supporters in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on Jan. 9, 2016, a week before winning the presidential election. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
OTTAWA—Canadian Parliamentarians and academics say the recent election in Taiwan has set an example of democracy for mainland China.
On Jan. 28, the Canada-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group held a forum on the election that saw Taiwan elect its first female president, Tsai Ing-wen, earlier this month.
Panelist Andre Laliberte, a professor at the University of Ottawa, said after the forum that “the election in Taiwan should be an example for everyone with a Chinese cultural background. It is proof that people who have Chinese culture can have democracy, and democracy is compatible with Chinese culture.”
Taiwan is a great democracy now, China is still a dictatorship.
— Michael MacDonald, Canadian senator
Wu Rong-chuan, the newly arrived representative for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (the Taiwanese embassy in Canada), said that as a diplomat posted overseas, he has so far not been able to vote in any of Taiwan’s presidential elections.
But overseas Taiwanese were anything but indifferent, he said. In his opinion, overseas Taiwanese were “more concerned about the election result than Taiwanese living in Taiwan.”
The election was smooth and without surprises, he told the forum.
Wu noted this last election was significant in comparison with previous elections. From beginning to end, voters were more rational and policies were well discussed.
“There was little sensational language during the election,” he said.
Taiwan will be governed by a majority DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) government after KMT (Chinese Nationalist Party) government rule.
It’s the kind of transition many Canadian officials hope China will also one day experience.
“Taiwan is a great democracy now, China is still a dictatorship,” noted Senator Michael MacDonald.
MacDonald recently visited Taiwan, one of Asia’s comparatively few democracies.
He told the forum that he saw thousands of mainland Chinese tourists visiting the National Museum in Taipei.
“They are going back with perspectives of democracy, and I think that’s great,” he said.
MacDonald believes “the real change is going to be the big, emerging real quest in mainland China for democracy.”
“If you want to see what China could do with democracy—go to Taiwan,” he said.