중앙데일리

Korea's Political Parties Need To Act More Civilized

Mar 23,2000
The campaign for the upcoming general election is turning into a battleground where the weapons of mass destruction include insults, curses, and every possible kind of mudslinging. As the slanders, inappropriate disclosures, and smear campaigns get out of hand, there is widespread trepidation about what will occur on election day, April 13.
Recent calls for the resignation of President Kim Dae-jung show just how deadly this election battle has become. When the ruling party asked the opposition party whether they deserved to live in Korea after the economic damage they have caused, party leader Lee demanded that the president step down.
Former president Kim Young-sam went even further, claiming, "Incumbent president Kim Dae-jung's government has been oppressing the nation for the past two years with its authoritive power, which is just one of many reasons for him to step down."
What were members of the ruling party thinking when they suggested the opposition party 'move out of Korea?' Of course, the same question may be asked of the oppostion party members who have demanded the resignation of Kim Dae-jung.
Is there any concern for the good of the nation in this mess? According to the ruling party, the opposition party consists of political offenders who are trying to seize control of the government by instigating social unrest. On the other hand, the opposition is claiming that the incumbent administration is completely incompetent and corrupt, and is headed by a dictator-like president who rules with an iron fist.
Of course, what is most unfortunate about all this mudslinging is that the Korean people have to somehow select the best national leader from among these quarrelsome party leaders.
The obscenity of the General Election campaign is a serious issue all by itself; however, what will happen after the election is just as worrisome. After the vote buying scandal, government intervention, regional antagonism, political backbiting, ugly disclosures, and the recent invective war, it may be legitimately asked how these parties will be able to cooperate in the future.
For the good of the nation, Korea's two main parties need to learn some restraint and find ways to challenge each other in a more civilized manner, though now it may be too late to reverse the damage they've caused. Verbal violence by politicians will only contribute to the Korean people's ever-increasing hatred and distrust of politics.




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