Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Democracy Does Not Equal Liberty

A lot of people who are concerned about Taiwan noticed the erosion of democracy in just the past 1 year. Although I agree with their observation, I think perhaps what has eroded even more is liberty and the rule of law.

A lot of people I think mix the term democracy with liberty, and thus they think democracy equals liberty. Although they are often related, strictly speaking they are not the same thing. Often they exist together, but there are cases where the country is democratic but is extremely lacking in liberty (a good example: Iran).

Most people probably won't feel it in their daily life etc. But there are already signs that liberty is eroded in Taiwan...:

1. The Chen Case: Ex-President Chen are still being hold in custody without good reasons. The justice system and prosecutors seem more determine to find him guilty than find the truth. The prosecutors also eves drop on Chen and his lawyer's meeting etc. Basically this shows the government's arbitrary coercion on people. Because I don't like you, so I can treat you unfairly...that's what the current government is doing.

2. No transparency on ECFA, Cross Straight Direct Link and other Treaties of KMT: Another type of arbitrary coercion. Basically the KMT and CCP negotiate some sort of treaties between themselves, and force people in Taiwan to accept them. ROC government officials again in this case is used to reinforce treaties that Taiwan has no knowledge or participation of.

PS: Interesting, as I am writing this, this post on Taipei times also shows similar opinion. I guess I am not the only one...The article is correct, it is possible to have a democracy without freedom and liberty...I know many people in Taiwan have the wisdom to realize this,...I just hope there are enough of them.

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