중앙데일리

Elections Are for the Public, not for Interest Groups

Apr 05,2000
The chains of collective actions taken by various interest groups have worsened the national political situation, already messed up by political propaganda in the run-up to the upcoming elections. Doctors have already closed hospitals and clinics against the proposed medical reform plan, and a series of strikes are on their way. The Seoul Metropolitan Subway Corporation, all four automobile companies, and corporate medial insurance unions have announced plans to take to the street soon.

Without doubt they have their reasons and excuses, and maybe this is the most reasonable time for them to bring up these issues. However, it is also possible that they are manipulating the current political situation, in which political forces - wanting to buy votes in elections - cannot deny the demands of these groups, to serve their selfish interests.

The medical reform plan was settled after numerous review sessions. It only needs the final touches before it kicks off in three months' time. There is still time for discussion and revision. But doctors chose to take action - the suspension of medical service - rather than engage in dialogue, ignoring their social responsibilities.

It is unbelievable that Seoul subway workers plan to stage a strike after they agreed a 'No Strike Policy' in January. The four auto makers, opposing the sell-off of Daewoo and Ssangyong Motors to foreigners, went on strike on April 4. The medical unions will take action on April 10 against the integration of the medical unions.

The principle of social order and public interest should be on the top of the agenda when the government makes decisions over these matters. The opposition parties should follow suit, rather than appropriating the situation to their own interests. It should be kept in mind that these decisions will determine the future of democracy in Korea


by Kim Tae-gi




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