[EDITORIALS]The ruling party's bellyflopThe local elections ended in almost total defeat for the Millennium Democratic Party. The party got few seats in any regions including its traditional stronghold in the Honam region where the party lost a considerable share of seats to independent candidates. The public's cold shouldering of the party was even apparent in Busan, where party presidential candidate Roh Moo-hyun hails from, showing that Mr. Roh's enormous popularity wasn't enough to salvage his party. Some have even remarked that "revolution" is a word more befitting the results of June 13 rather than "elections."
What has brought the ruling Millennium Democratic Party so far down? It is the anger and revenge of the people for all the corruption discovered surrounding the party and involving the president's sons and high-ranking officials receiving bribes for doing favors. Another reason the party has irked the wrath of the public is the cronyism that has worsened regional division and antagonism.
The Millennium Democratic Party has protested that the scandals surrounding the president's sons have nothing to do with the party. It seems as if the Millennium Democrats think that the president's resignation from the party makes them exempt from any blame. This is the very kind of shallowness with which the party has destroyed itself. After the MDP lost in the re-elections last Oct. 15, the party managed to regain public support through the first-ever implementation of a presidential primary race. But it betrayed the people again by being intoxicated in short-lived strategic success. Some members blame the president's selfishness and stubbornness but no excuses will ever let the party off the hook for being one and the same with the troubled president's administration. Even while throwing the blame on the Blue House, the party tried to cover up the affairs of the president's sons and accused the prosecutors of unfair dealings in their investigations of the scandals.
The party seems yet to have learned its lesson for it blames its defeat on the low turnout of young voters. That will not do. Take this crisis and turn it into an opportunity. Repent your wrongdoings in the past and re-establish your political platform as if you are starting anew if you want to raise your party to become a nation-wide group again.