[EDITORIALS]Burdens of political reform

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[EDITORIALS]Burdens of political reform

The main opposition Grand National Party's committee on national reform announced a blueprint proposing reforms throughout the political system. One of the party's proposed reforms involves reducing the traditional power vested in the president. Some of the committee's ideas of fundamental change in the structure of the government, such as strengthening the checks and balances function between government agencies, could be even called revolutionary. Implementing these ideas would take nothing less than amending the constitution, an ambitiously large-scale plan.

The committee's 284-page report contains almost all the issues that have been pointed out about our political, economic and welfare policies in the past. The solutions prescribed would generally be in line with the public consensus, and on paper there is nothing to find fault with the plan.

The problem is how to make the proposed reforms reality. Due to society's weariness in recent years of "imperialistic presidents," the reforms aim of reducing and splitting presidential powers are more or less detailed. The report as a whole, however, is overly copious and grand, raising questions about how the proposals could possibly be carried out. The report calls for political reforms to be handled by "reformative legalism," economic reforms by "reformative liberalism" and welfare and cultural issues by "progressivism." In short, the report's "comprehensive pragmatism" is a motley list crammed with all the current buzzwords of politicians.

Much in the report is not actually new. Many of the ideas had been promised -- and forgotten -- by both the ruling and opposition parties. Let the reduction of presidential powers alone, for politics in Korea has yet to fulfill the age-old promise of reducing the number of presidential aides. Politicians in Korea give new meaning to the word chutzpah when they show absolutely no shame in immediately heading off in the opposite directions of their campaign promises. The Grand National Party should not bury the truth in 284 pages of proposed reforms. Plans must precede proposals. Set up the priorities, define the methods, stamp the deadline dates, conduct discussions among political circles and last but not least, check to see if the people agree.
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