The winners, from left to right: Damon Mac Wilson of the NED, a CIA spinoff, and Lai Ching-te
With Taiwan’s election results on January 13, this misleading topic pops up once again
In light of the Taiwan election results last night, many people talk about the Taiwanese “voting for independence”
Well, the Taiwanese don’t have the right to vote for independence.
And if you live in the United States or many other countries,
Neither do you.
Oops. That’s right, you also don’t have the right to vote for the independence of the state or province you live in.
Welcome to reality.
The idea has often been argued that Taiwanese people should somehow have the right to vote for their own independence and it certainly sounds reasonable and wonderfully democratic too.
However, some quick comparisons in the real world show that’s not how the world works in any country.
First, we may point out that, no, the Taiwanese of Taiwan island the Republic of China province don’t have any more right to vote for their independence anymore than the citizens here in Liaoning province or any other province of China might have the right to. That’s not how China’s system of government works.
Regardless of any unsettled arguments and plenty of passionate opinions to the contrary, there is no piece of paper or declaration with anyone’s signature on it stating that Taiwan is a separate country from China. And as we all know, the arguments continue, much like the endless argument between Israel and the Palestinians, fortunately without the accompanying bloodshed.
Meanwhile, I jokingly declare that I love living here in Shenyang and want to become the king of Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, and declare myself emperor of the newly independent Liaoning province and so call for a vote of the people of Liaoning province. Well, you get the idea. It can’t be done. The citizens of Zhejiang or Anhui can’t just decide one day they feel like having a vote for independence from the mainland. Likewise, Taiwan.
Turning our attention westward, likewise, the citizens of Kentucky or Pennsylvania or any other state of the United States can’t do it either. Neither can citizens of a province of Italy or Germany, if they ever wanted to declare their independence via citizens’ vote, it wouldn’t happen without severe disruption, as we know from history including attempts in Australia, Quebec, Spain. Even Texas has a secession plan in its legislature and we all know it’s just not going to happen. The US Supreme Court already ruled on it, they don’t have the right to vote for independence. That’s the end of that.
That’s our dose of reality when it comes to sovereignty and independence with the best we can hope for maybe being a quiet little island or mountaintop where nobody will bother us as we tend our tomato and basil garden.
For a truly entertaining look into this topic, I highly recommend the 1970s Hollywood classic, The Man Who Would Be King, with screen legends Sean Connery & and Michael Caine. It didn’t end too well for them either.