Clinton sex scandal turns up heat in Taiwan
Web posted at: 2:32 p.m. EST (1932 GMT) From Hong Kong Bureau Chief Mike Chinoy
TAIPEI, Taiwan (CNN) -- On Taiwan's top-rated TV talk show, a former aide to Taipei's mayor recently accused city officials of frequenting "hostess clubs."
Soon afterward, a key mayoral adviser confessed and resigned -- the latest example of how sex and politics don't mix when it comes to public consumption.
Despite a continuing police crackdown on hostess clubs in Taiwan's capital, many politicians are said to commonly visit such establishments.
"After their work, they go to some clubs to drink, and even have a lot of outside marital relationships," said Chen Hao, a magazine editor. "It's quite normal here."
But in the wake of U.S. President Bill Clinton's sex scandal involving former White House intern Monica Lewinsky -- which has mesmerized the Taiwan public for months -- the country has witnessed a series of efforts to change the private behavior of its politicians.
Taiwan's main opposition party called for an expulsion of all members involved in extra-marital affairs.
"There was a joke going on that, if this proposal actually passes in our party congress, that means most of our leadership has to step down," said Hsiao Bi-Khim, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party.
"It's kind of a common understanding," she added, "that politicians in Taiwan, their private lives are not much different from that of President Clinton."
Not to be outdone, a legislator in the ruling KMT party demanded a law banning anyone implicated in a sex scandal from holding political office.
In this traditionally male-dominated society, even raising such issues represented a dramatic change. But the change was short-lived. Neither of the two proposals came close to passing.
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