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Taiwan legislators star again

Chinese Taipai, or Taiwan, or the Republic of China; whatever you call it, you have to admit that the small electronic island has some of the best legislators in the world.

Not because they are particularly wise or sensible, but rather, they are perhaps the best exponents of the ‘scrummage’ school of legislative thought. The proceedings of the Parliament there are frequently punctuated by brawls, biffs, and other exciting interruptions.

And they have been at it again:

Pandemonium broke out in Taiwan’s parliament when deputies attacked a woman colleague for snatching and trying to eat a proposal on opening direct transport links with China in a bid to stop a vote on the issue. Lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party charged towards the podium and protested noisily to prevent the review of an opposition proposal seeking an end to decades-old curbs on direct air and shipping links with China.

Amid the chaos, DPP deputy Wang Shu-hui snatched the written proposal from an opposition legislator and shoved it into her mouth, television news footage showed. Wang later spat out the document and tore it up after opposition lawmakers failed to get her to cough it up by pulling her hair. During the melee, another DPP woman legislator, Chuang Ho-tzu, spat at an opposition colleague.

“She spat saliva,” yelled Hung Hsiu-chu of the main opposition Nationalist Party.

In Australia, although there is plenty of legislation going about, I fear it has almost zero nutritional value. However, I applaud Ms Wang Shu-Hui’s novel approach to legislation and I think it should be adopted in legislatures throughout the world.

10 comments to Taiwan legislators star again

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    Czech politicians come to blows two weeks ahead of parliamentary elections

    It’s not just Taiwan, although this one doesn’t involve eating. :-)

  • Heh, glorious. That’s what I call political drama.

  • Julian Taylor

    Well, our own British politicians like to cut out the paper middleman, so to speak, as witnessed by Mark Oaten’s coprophilia habit ..

  • J

    Our politicians are content just to punch the electorate….

  • Paul Marks

    I know that this will sound as if I am Geek (oh well, I admit it, I am a Geek – although a very old one) – but I was under the impression that the Nationalists had a majority in the Congress – so is it correct to describe them as the “opposition party”? In opposition to the Executive yes – but Taiwan (like the United States) has a divison of power – so it is possible for one party to hold the Executive and another party to hold the Leglislature.

    The Democrats hold the Presidency, but I did not think they held the Congress.

    Anyway if they held a majority in Congress there would be no need to eat a pro Peoples Republic of China move (or what they think is such a thing) – they could just vote it down.

    Still I admit that the whole thing is amusing.

    It reminds me of some of Strom Thurmond’s tactics against Civil Rights bills (reading out all of the Bible, then the complete works of the Bard, sitting on a pro Civil Rights Senator or two to prevent a quorum….).

  • Nick M

    Well, they have a long and ignoble history of it – enough to have won the Taiwanese parliament the 1995 IgNoble prize for peace:

    http://www.improb.com/ig/ig-pastwinners.html

    Perhaps if Uk parliamentary debates were conducted at a higher tempo the populace might take more notice…

  • Mike Lorrey

    “MMMMMmmmmm….. Terms of surrender….. Tastey”

    What I want to know is if the Taiwan legislature prints its bills on rice paper… ;)

  • Nick M

    If she had succeeded in eating the legislation then sometime later a new meaning surely could be attached to the statement, “the Bill was passed”.

  • Now if Congress did things like this more often (Cynthia McKinney aside), we might have more Americans paying attention to what their hired nannies are doing.