[EDITORIALS]The Junior Lawmakers Are Right

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[EDITORIALS]The Junior Lawmakers Are Right

The way the Blue House and the Millenium Democratic Party are handling calls for party reforms by junior lawmakers is very disappointing. Their intention seems to be to buy time so that first and second-term lawmakers lose momentum and the will. There is also a tendency to call into question the method by which the reform advocates have expressed their opinion and to brand their movement as party division. It is difficult to find any will to reform and serious reflection on why reform-minded first and second-term lawmakers had to step forth.

The ruling party leadership and the reformist lawmakers differ even in the way they perceive the issue. The reformist lawmakers put higher priority on reform than the president; the party leaders see the president as their first priority. The reformists see the appointment per se of former justice minister Ahn Dong-su as problematic; the Blue House reads the fiasco as a result of the draft document pledging loyalty to the president. The two groups also differ on solutions to the fiasco. The reformists are calling for an overhaul of the party leadership and the Blue House. The Blue House considers the case closed with the resignation of Mr. Ahn. How can a proper solution come out of such an understanding of the incident? The statement made by the party leadership that "We fully understand the true feelings of first and second-term lawmakers," was also an attempt to gloss over the crisis.

The response of those in positions of power fall below common sense. We are dumbfounded to hear them scorn those demanding party reforms: "How dare those youngsters" and "What did they do when we ran around for decades to win the presidential election?" This must have been what led Chung Dong-young, a Supreme Council member, to leave the room in the midst of the meeting yesterday.

Turning crisis into an opportunity is the power of politics. Supreme Council members and party heavy-weights should heed the calls for government and party reforms. Blue House aides should deliver the true feelings of the junior lawmakers as they are to the president and thus gain wider support for reforms from within. Only then can the president come up with proper solutions.

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