중앙데일리

'Grass-roots' Politicians Entering National Assembly

Apr 26,2000
A new and interesting trend was noticed in the outcome of the April 13 General Election. A noticeable number of politicians from local assemblies and government won in the election and have entered the National Assembly.

The election winners from local assemblies and government amounted to 24, or 8.8 percent of 273 total election winners. It is a significant increase equal to four times the 6 members in the 15th National Assembly.

It is important to look at the entrance of lawmakers from city district assemblies as well as metropolitan and provincial assemblies into the center of the political world through three main points.

First of all, the people with true ability and a life time of experience can now participate at heart of politics through election and the fair evaluation of citizens.

The second thing is related to procedures to establish policies. The politicians from local governments and authorities understand the current and immediate needs of the citizens. They will have develop the insights to help establish policies, laws, and administrative issues. They will stand on a superior level than politicians who became National Assembly members based on personal connection and power rather than the ability to understand the policies and needs of our nation.

Third, the politicians with experience and careers from local authorities and assemblies will change the system of political party management as well as the nomination process. They will draw the power from the leaders of the political system to the bottom, and with this shift from the top authorities to the bottom, they will prevent the misuse and abuse of political power. They will also become the shield to protect our politics and its system.

The positive aspects of local politicians have already been proven in many advanced nations with their highly local governing systems. The most influential politicians working at the center of politics are from local governments within their various nations.

In the Japanese Diet, 269 Diet members or 36 percent of the 752 members are from local assemblies or local government authorities.

The case in the United States is similar. President Clinton was the governor of Arkansas, a small state in the U.S. His successful service in the states administration was recognized and he became the President of the United States. President Carter and President Johnson also came from similar situations, starting as lawmakers in state assemblies.

I sincerely hope that a lawmaker from a local assembly becomes Korea's President some day. Maybe, that will be the day that democracy completes its solid foundation in Korea.

Certainly, we must caution local lawmakers to not only concentrate on entering the National Assembly, however, their natural growth in politics must be promoted and supported. Moreover, we must change our attitude to look down to the local lawmakers. They hold the legal rights to support and resolve important issues to provide the best services to local residents.

Young people with ambition are urged to try to become local lawmakers making it possible to feel the satisfaction of improving the quality of our citizens' lives.





by Kim Il




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