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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Progressive Taiwanese politician survives recall vote

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For detailed biographical information, please check the very first article of this blog. Thanks!

Huang Jie (born 1993) is a independent female councilor in Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s biggest port and third largest city, and a former member of the leftist New Power Party (NPP) that emerged in 2015 from the short-lived Sunflower Student Movement formed in 2014.

She appears to be the type of progressive politician who consider politics just another profession and that has plagued Western nations for decades. In consequence, Huang took a second leave from her graduate program at the Institute of Environmental Health at National Taiwan University to pursue a more exciting career.

Just like in the West, the reportedly monolithic LGBT community ranks high on her agenda and can be considered one of her favorite minority groups.

On September 9th, 2020 Huang urged Taiwanese to avoid “spreading fear and fake news” online amid rumors that children reading King & King, a fictional story about a homosexual prince, intended for ages six and older, would become gay.

The female do-gooder was referring to Taiwanese Christians who said that the book officially promoted by the Ministry of Education depicted marriages between men and women as unhappy and being forced upon couples, calling it an attempted brainwash.

Huang threatened to “fully investigate all anti-gender equality messages” and announced that she would form a related supervisory group with her colleagues to promote their vision of 21st century Taiwan.

The Referendum No. 11, hold in November 2018 and approved by a large majority, aimed to prevent that gay topics are taught in elementary school and junior-high schools.

Though exactly as their many overseas counterparts, the Taiwanese Left respects the will of the people only if it fits into their concept. This is quite remarkable as the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has always praised referendums in general as great democratic achievements.

Recently the common man’s opinion came to haunt her. On the grounds that Huang had shown no interest in local affairs, her political opponents in June 2020 proposed to have her recalled.

But after even President and DPP chairwoman Tsai Ying-wen had expressed strong support, on February 6th, 2021 Huang survived the vote initiated by Hsu Shang-hsien from the Nationalist KMT and will be able to retain her councilor seat.

While the turnout was 41.54%, 65,391 Kaohsiung residents voted against recalling her and 55,261 in favor. At least 25% of eligible voters, in this case 72,892 people, were required to support a removal from office.

Tearful while delivering a speech after the favorable result was revealed, Huang was flanked by DPP lawmakers and city councilors as well as independent legislator Freddy Lim.

First unable to talk, Huang began by thanking all of her supporters. Then she harshly attacked those who had started the failed retributive drive: “We do not want hatred to spread in Taiwan”. She also considered it a victory for the forces of democracy and those who love Formosa.

Separately, for DPP spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang the outcome indicated that Taiwanese detest such actions spearheaded by the KMT, calling them a waste of resources which perverted the democratic system.

Why a poll stipulated in the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act is also supposed to obstruct the expression of diverse viewpoints in a maturing society and impede Taiwan’s progress remains her secret.

In any case, these reactions only show once more how selective the DPP’s views about popular participation really are when its own interests and those of its cronies are threatened.

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