Meddling Kids

On the lighter side, I can’t stop thinking about Scooby Doo.  Scooby Doo is one of my favorite childhood cartoons.  In it, a group of teenagers and their dog, Scooby Doo, solve a series of mysteries.  At the end of every mystery, they unmask the villain who always exclaims, “and I’d have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”

President Ma seemed to have this fight won.  The DPP was going to protest loudly and ineffectively, and the KMT caucus was going to follow orders and pass the Cross Straits Services Trade Agreement.  We’ve seen this soap opera before, and we know how it usually ends.

And then the students stepped in and changed everything.  If the CSSTA eventually doesn’t pass, Ma will be justified in echoing a host of thwarted schemers:

The irony is that these students were only ready to take on such a monumental task because Ma has been training them for two years.  They’ve been practicing and learning how to run large scale protests.  Chris Wang at Taipei Times has written a very good story today making exactly this point.

Scooby Dooby Doo!

2 Responses to “Meddling Kids”

  1. David Reid Says:

    The students have actually been training for more than two years. The origins of this protest can be traced back to the Wild Strawberry Movement in 2008. That movement was in turn influenced by the earlier protests against the Losheng demolition.

  2. joequant2013 Says:

    The CSSTA will pass in some form, and most likely without any amendments. Looking at the polls and the public mood, the groups that are in favor of it are still in favor of it, and if Ma and KMT cave in to student demands to kill the CSSTA, then they are going to have hell to pay by CSSTA supporters who are in the business community.

    The issue with the students is that they are taking a position that is more radical than the DPP. The DPP does not want to kill the CSSTA, because in the past when they have killed cross-straits agreements they’ve suffered in the polls. One irony is that some of the groups that benefit from China trade are “deep green” (i.e. farmers in the south and Taiwanese business people on the mainland, a surprisingly high number of whom are rabidly pro-independence).

    The student movement has posed a big problem with the DPP is that they have removed the “fig leaf.” By saying that you want to “renegotiate” the pact, you can kill the pact without alienating pact supporters, but the students have made this impossible. It’s clear that the students want to see the pact dead, and that makes “clever compromises” more difficult. Also the other thing is that doing “clever compromise” just annoys the students, and something that is odd is that the students are as annoyed with the DPP as with the KMT.

    The only way the DPP can make a possible political gain is that if they come out and say that they want the CSSTA dead, and the purpose of having legislative restrictions is to kill any future trade deals. If they don’t clearly say this (and I think they can’t), they’ll just make the students even madder at them.

    Also, it seems to me that the pact is a symbolic issue. One problem with “renegotiating” the pact is that no one has clearly stated what needs to be renegotiated. Once you remove excuse of “renegotiation” then it just becomes are you for it or against it. The KMT is clearly for the pact. The DPP is still hedging and trying to change the issue.

    I was worried and more than a little depressed for a few days because I was worried either I had very seriously misjudged Taiwanese public opinion, or that the students would do something to fundamentally alter public opinion on Taiwan. I don’t think either is the case.

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