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How clear is DP’s ‘vision’?

  PLAY AUDIO

Mar 18,2009
The Democratic Party’s new vision committee unveiled its “new Democratic Party” declaration following six months of debate and deliberation.

It remains to be seen whether the new plan will crystallize into concrete party plans, but this development is at least a very encouraging sign.

In principle, no one can disagree that the DP should work for the middle class and the working class.

However, the Democratic Party believes it can regain power once it wins the hearts of 80 percent of voters: those who are in the working and middle classes, whom the party believes are the DP’s staunchest supporters.

But the economic pie can grow bigger only when the wealthy and the big companies start opening their wallets. Afraid of massive real estate taxes, this demographic has stopped selling property and shied away from new investments.

And look what happened to 80 percent of the voters: They are suffering, too.

Its landslide defeat last year was a strong message for the DP to change its ways and find a way to revive the ailing economy. Belatedly, the Democratic Party seems to have realized that its political standing has been weakened by the way it patronizes the wealthy.

Indeed, that is why Kim Hyo-seuk, the DP lawmaker who chairs the party’s new vision committee, said recently that the party would strive to “come up with policies that serve the middle and working classes while not patronizing the rich and big businesses.”

But the question remains whether such determination will hold for long. The party displayed typical populist tactics late last year when the committee was busy preparing its new vision.

The party labeled the new legislation to allow non-financial companies to buy a stake in local banks as the “jaebeol bank bill,” and even dubbed the proposed media law aimed to strengthen the media and telecommunications industries as the “jaebeol media law.”

Britain’s opposition Conservative Party leader David Cameron recently issued a mea culpa in a speech in Parliament, saying his party should partly be blamed for failing to anticipate and prevent the worldwide financial storm.

This is exactly what we need to hear from Korea’s opposition party leaders. With reform-minded leaders and a strong determination to carry new principles into action, the Democratic Party can remain the same old Democratic Party without reinventing itself into a brand new party.



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