As Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan continues the process of amending the constitution to allow those as young as 18 years old to vote, the KMT is once again engaging in attention seeking behavior.
Some members of the KMT are upset by what they claim are authoritarian actions by the DPP on the amendment. However, this amendment is largely supported by both citizens and most major political parties in Taiwan. While there are certainly areas to criticize overreach by the DPP, it seems this may not be the best avenue, and the KMT might not be the best party to do so.
Much of the outrage stemmed from Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲), a legislator from Kaohsiung, giving a speech in which she remarked that the KMT had given up on vetoing the amendment. This, of course, could not stand and led to an outcry by many KMT legislators.
A group of KMT legislators, instead of using their words like big boys and girls, quickly ran out and found mouthwash, toothpaste, and toothbrushes and brought them to the floor. These were to “wash out dirty mouths.”
This is yet another stunt in a long line of KMT demonstrations in the Legislative Yuan that often follow the party opposing an issue that the public has already moved past. One might recall KMT legislators throwing pig entrails around the floor or bringing a giant pig statue in to protest the importation of ractopamine pork.
These stunts generally have little affect it seems, other than making them look absurd. They might have more success with actually debating the issue, but that doesn’t make for good TV. With their falling ratings in national polling, it seems that the KMT may now be relegated to third fiddle in terms of popular parties in Taiwan. Becoming, or perhaps continuing to be, a reactionary party with few ideas of their own, besides hawking NFTs.
Taiwan deserves, and desperately, an actual opposition party (or parties) with serious ideas that can hold the DPP accountable and push them to be more accountable to the citizens of Taiwan. Perhaps some third parties can step up in the vacuum that might be created if the KMT continues to drop in popularity. This would be even more likely if Taiwan implemented a ranked choice voting system, which allowed people to vote for the candidates they truly preferred without fear of ‘wasting their vote’.