11/10 (Tue.) From Good Country Index to US Election (Host: Iris)

Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 756
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

11/10 (Tue.) From Good Country Index to US Election (Host: Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

In the previous meeting, “Proud of Taiwan”, we hashed out the possibility of maintaining Taiwan’s neutrality in its relations between China and the USA. The consensus was that all superpowers have their own agendas, and we are choosing the lesser of two evils. Why do great powers always become “evil empires”? Why are nations not like individuals, abiding by a set of ethical standards and rules? I could not help contemplating this.

I understand my thoughts may be out of touch, so I was thrilled to find a TED Talk in which the speaker was as naïve as I am and, even more passionate and enthusiastic about trying to promote his idealistic solution to curb the expansion of evil powers.

Simon Anholt brought up the concept of the “Good Country Index”, which is a mean to rate nations by how much they contribute to the common good of humanity. The idea is to encourage global citizens to express their concerns about the global commons and attempt to influence our political leaders to act on our behalf when dealing with global issues.

You may still remain skeptical and critical about the whole concept, but isn’t it better to use such a yardstick to try to bring world political systems to account, rather than letting them drift and fall off a cliff?

Reading Materials:
Which Country Does the Most Good for the world? (17 mins)

The Good Country Equation (3 mins)
A Middle Path Between Strategic Ambiguity and Clarity on Taiwan

Reference Only (Optional Reading): Session I: Good Country Index
Q1: A sick chicken in a remote village could become global pandemic. Banks overlending could bring the world economic system to its knees.
What other global issues have we been facing over the last few decades? How serious are they and why do these issues remain unresolved?

Q2: What is the “Good Country Index”? What are the purposes of GCI? What is your take on this initiative?
What is the idea of “Good, Gooder and Goodest” countries?
(Will it work as the creators expected? Is it practical or too naïve?)

Q3: According to the 2018 “Good Country” list, the US ranks 40st and China was at the bottom at 61st. Does this ranking match your own rating?
Taiwan sits between the two superpowers and has had a hard time maintaining its neutrality. Some say that to side with either one is like choosing between two evils.
Do you think if one of them could have been a “Goodest Country (with the greatest effort toward contributing to the global commons), would it be easier for Taiwan to side with this country? Why or why not?

Session II: US Presidential Election and Its Impact on Taiwan
Q1: Between the two U.S. presidential candidates, Joe Biden and Donald Trump,
a) If Europeans were to vote in the U.S. election, who would win the race? Why does Europe favor this candidate?
b) If the Taiwanese were to vote, what would be the result? Why are most Taiwanese partial to this particular candidate?

Q2: How might the next U.S. President impact the future of Taiwan?
a) What do the terms “strategic ambiguity” and “strategic clarity” mean with respect to U.S. policy on Taiwan?
b) Which one do you think is likely to be enforced by the new president?
c) Which one is better or is there any middle path for Taiwan?

Q3: How likely is it that the U.S. will fulfill its implied commitment to defend Taiwan, should China Invade?
a) Take some examples after Vietnam War, such as Persian Gulf War, invasion of Afghanistan, invasion of Iraq, U.S.-led intervention in Syria, Yemen Civil War, U.S. intervention in Libya: What are the patterns and results of these wars?
b) If “history is teaching by examples” (Thucydides), then what should we learn, in general, from the U.S. military intervention history?

6:45 ~ 7:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
7:00 ~ 7:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
7:10 ~ 7:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
7:50 ~ 8:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
8:10 ~ 8:15pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
8:15 ~ 8:55pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
9:00 ~ 9:20pm Summarization (20 mins)
9:20 ~ 9:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements

Meeting Date: As shown on the Subject Line
Meeting Time: 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Meeting Venue: 丹堤咖啡 Dante Coffee (Minimum Order $80)
Address: 台北市濟南路三段25號[MAP]-捷運忠孝新生站3號出口步行3分鐘

Important Notes:
1. We advise participants to print out the discussion questions and bring them to the meeting for reference. As for the supporting articles, feel free to print them out, as well, according to your preference.
2. We suggest that participants read the articles and think about the questions in advance.
3. Newcomers should prepare a two-to-three minute self-introduction in English to deliver when called upon by the host before the start of the discussion. The host may also ask you to give brief feedback about the meeting at the conclusion of the meeting.
4. We conduct the entire meeting in English. All participants should have at least moderate English-conversation skills and be able to articulate your ideas for each discussion question.
5. We welcome newcomers and other guests to attend the meetings and join the discussion freely for three times. After that, we hope you will consider becoming a YoYo English Club member. We charge a NT$1000 lifetime membership fee.
Janice Wang
YOYO member
文章: 75
註冊時間: 週六 3月 25, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: 11/10 (Tue.) From Good Country Index to US Election (Host: Iris)

文章 Janice Wang »

In a moment of truth, I was debating to skip writing a post on the forum, and head to the meeting instead. Hopefully, the host or someone else can drop some knowledge on me. As I tried, to the best of my ability, to form my opinions on those well-designed questions, but all ended up begging the million-dollar question, will people genuinely welcome the belief of “ the contribution of the global commons” and “allying with the US in a war against China” with open arms?

The take on the initiative of “Good Country Index” is a rational thought resulting from a government of people, by the people, and for the people when it comes to a democratic system. The government we selected is supposed to strive for being a good, gooder, and goodest country as the idea that the keynote speaker suggested, to serve their people in need and facilitate their people to do well. However, it seems contrary to popular priority. Most governments bend their efforts to compete with their political rivals domestically or unrelentingly turn their global competitors into enemies for better or best political gains. This adamant reality slows collaboration down and can be numbing for all around the world.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is how I sustain some of my friendships in such an overly enthusiastic political environment in Taiwan. I have to admit that I am very stubborn to my bootstraps for some political views. Besides, I have no intention of influencing others either actively or passively. I simply don’t have any faith in the US or any other country or even a certain number of Taiwanese that they will willingly go to war as allies over China for the accidental friction or a great deal of saber-rattling from China. Given the examples of QW 3a that Iris provides, they well demonstrate the fact that the linchpin of a war is not the alliance, but how the war may come with a price that we can’t afford!
YOYO member
文章: 640
註冊時間: 週五 4月 24, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: 11/10 (Tue.) From Good Country Index to US Election (Host: Iris)

文章 Michael-liu »

Haha, the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is funny. I know where it is from. ^·^
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 756
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 11/10 (Tue.) From Good Country Index to US Election (Host: Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

Thanks for the comments, Janice and Michael!
Truth be told, I was very uncomfortable when preparing the topics for the meeting. I could totally sense how naïve the concept of “Good Country Index” is and how unpopular it can be to touch the subject of politics. But I was thinking lately we have had enough confession in all sorts of “self-reflection” sessions, maybe it’s time to take a break from it.

Yes, it’s almost impossible to expect a government thinking out of country boundary. The way the world organized and the election each government is formed make all the countries inevitably “selfish”. In addition, the resources in this planet is limited, therefore, to survive seems a zero-sum game in the world. Worst of all, our economic progress indication is growth, hence the never-ending goal is the market expansion. When this kind of performance rating is applied to a country as well, then, “The end is more important than the means”, most of nations can hardly take the “global commons of humanity” into their economic development consideration.

No wonder when I search "Good Country" on Google to see if there are more supporting documents, and it pops up the "good country music" on the suggested list! :roll: