Campaign promises go unfulfilled, Ma unapologetic

Responding to President Ma Ying-jeou’s recent admission that he will be unable to deliver on his ‘6-3-3’ campaign pledge, Director of the Department of Culture and Information Cheng Wen-tsang reminded Ma today (September 4th, 2008) that people voted for him because they believed his promise to improve Taiwan’s economy. Their hopes have been dashed, however, as Taiwan’s economy continues to deteriorate and the Ma administration appears unable to devise any solution. Director Cheng called for Ma to publicly apologize to the people for his failed ‘6-3-3’ pledge, and demanded that the underperforming Liu cabinet should be reshuffled. The ‘6-3-3’ pledge is an economic strategy proposed by Ma to achieve an annual economic growth rate of 6 percent as well as annual GDP per capita of $30,000 while also containing the unemployment rate to less than 3 percent per year.

Cheng said that Ma admitted he will be unable to fulfill his ‘6-3-3’ pledge until 2016, which otherwise signifies that Ma will have failed to deliver on his campaign promises. Ma has also based his admission on a few assumptions, including that he eventually will succeed in fulfilling his pledge and that he will be re-elected for a second term. Cheng further highlighted the efforts of the President of the Republic of Korea Lee Myung Bak as an example for Ma to follow. President Lee has twice apologized for his failure to deliver on campaign promises, and as a result has already reshuffled his cabinet, in an attempt to salvage his ailing approval ratings. Unfortunately, Ma has failed to heed Cheng’s advice. Despite his, and Premier Liu’s, approval ratings falling below 50%, Ma has yet to offer any tangible solutions, going so far as to dismiss his failure on the natural order of things.

Director Cheng added that Ma’s actions not only demonstrated his arrogance but also his betrayal of the mandate and the trust given to him by the people. Cheng further questioned how anyone could support a president that failed to deliver on his campaign promises in his first term, yet had the audacity to demand a second term to fulfill those failed promises of the first.

Director Cheng also presented recent opinion poll results conducted after the August 30th march which show Ma’s disapproval rate exceeding 50% and his approval rate wavering around a pitiful 37%. These results reflect the maturity of the Taiwanese people, as they have refused to allow the recent events surrounding former President Chen to affect their disapproval of the Ma government. This also serves as a reminder that political manipulation will not gain points for the Ma government, and that judicial matters should be resolved only by the judicial system. The government should not employ political matters to raise its approval rate.

Director Cheng also pointed out that the August 30th demonstration was aimed to protest against the underperformance of the Ma administration, especially on the issues of sovereignty and the economy. According to opinion polls, more than 60% of the people believed that the objective and the demands of the August 30th demonstration were clear, and hoped that the Ma administration would truly listen to the requests of the people. Cheng added that following the August 30th demonstration, there has been a gradual increase in the support for the DPP. Although this has been a slow process, it nonetheless is pointed towards a positive direction. The DPP is confident that the capable leadership of Chairperson Ing-wen Tsai will guide the party towards becoming even more humble, diligent, and responsible to the people’s support. The DPP will continue to play the role of a loyal opposition, while also helping the people to fulfill their aspirations.