What Counts as Constitutional Idolatry?

Taiwan’s supreme law is officially known as the Constitution of the Republic of China, enacted in Nanjing, China in 1947. Recently, proposals for another round of revisions have emerged in Taiwan at the behest of both the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the opposition party KMT. Unsurprisingly, this has incurred the wrath of the Beijing government, which continues to claim Taiwan as part of its territory. Is the importance of a codified constitution over-emphasised in Taiwan? More broadly, what counts as constitutional idolatry? The answer depends in part on how wide the gap is between the big-C Constitution and the small-c constitution. Ceteris paribus, a written constitution is more likely to be overvalued when its provisions do not regularly function as supreme law, as the practical impact of codification is limited. I suggest that constitutional idolatry emerges particularly when a constitution gradually becomes a parchment barrier and mainly functions symbolically.