중앙데일리

The irresponsible party

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July 24,2009
The National Assembly is once again closing its doors, following the recent passage of the media-related bills on the speaker’s authority.

When the extraordinary session ends tomorrow, a group of bills related to public welfare will remain buried until the regular Assembly session in September. Although the legislators do need time to cool down after their battles, which were often physical, neglecting these urgent bills could cause trouble.

The irregular workers’ bill is one that will be put off until the September session. It is difficult to tell at this point whether this bill will pass in the regular session; meanwhile, irregular workers will continue to be laid off. We must not forget about their desperate plight, especially because they have few ways to make their voices heard.

And that’s not all. There is also a bill on traditional markets that is designed to protect small shop owners; a bill related to electronic communications and credit finance that would help lessen the burden of communication service fees and credit card fees; and a bill on civil servant pensions. These are all pressing bills that are lying dormant.

The current 18th National Assembly hasn’t done anything as serious as the sledgehammer-swinging and chainsaw-wielding violence of Dec. 18, 2008.

Rather than negotiating, legislators have kept the doors closed and have had petty arguments on whether they should re-open the session or not. And these lawmakers, in this abnormal state of affairs, will lose the trust of the people. This is also an unfortunate issue for democracy in this country and for the citizens who supported the lawmakers by voting for them.

The Democratic Party has pledged to fight once again. But judging from the fiasco surrounding the media bills, it’s easy to see how ineffective such antics are. The DP has gained nothing. It may have won some backing from its supporters, but it was nowhere near as effective in negotiations as the Grand National or Liberty Forward parties. As it did during last year’s U.S. beef disputes, the Democratic Party chose to pander to the masses, despite knowing it was committing an outrageous act of instigation. That is not what responsible parties do.

The Democratic Party is arguing that the passage of the media bills is invalid. But to really find out, it would have to get into the National Assembly. Stripping themselves of their seats and going out to fight, as some particularly indignant legislators have suggested, won’t get anything done. If the party was really working for the people, it would first come up with measures to protect irregular workers, either by calling for another extraordinary session or by forming a standing committee.



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