[EDITORIALS]Win-Win Politics, Please

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[EDITORIALS]Win-Win Politics, Please

There is a saying that politics is reality. Now that the partnership between President Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-pil, leader of the United Liberal Democratic Party is broken, the ruling Millennium Democratic Party is reduced to a minority group. Everyone can sense it is political reality that a ruling minority will face a tough going toward the end of the president's tenure. Another political reality: President Kim does not have many options to take as a chief executive with less than a year and a half in power and as head of the ruling party. The question then is, what position should the president and ruling-party leader take on the future direction of politics?

First of all, we believe that he should take a broad approach, rather than being narrow-minded, in order to sail through the political crisis. A divided government does not necessarily create a political deadlock. Rather, it can serve as a good opportunity to revive the parliamentary politics of tolerance and compromise.

Korea is now suffering from a social disturbance as the progressives and the conservatives are clashing, leading to splits in national opinion. Open-minded and tolerant politics is necessary at least to stop the chaos and conflict. We also believe that it is possible for the ruling party to cooperate with the opposition to solve pending economic issues and push ahead with the second phase of the "sunshine policy" of engaging North Korea through sharing information and forming consensus.

Then what is a narrow-minded politics? In such a mindset, the Millennium Democratic Party would play hardball with its opponents by forming an alliance with progressive left-wing forces on the belief that its divorce with the United Liberal Democratic Party, whose ideological background and policies are different from its own, has provided a chance for the ruling party to pursue independent agenda and become more reform-minded. Such narrow-path politics may work for a minority opposition party but is never an option for the ruling party to take under current circumstances, in which the entire politics, economy and society is embroiled in conflict and confusion. In this respect, we believe that President Kim and his party should take a tolerant, reconciliatory and win-win approach to politics.

It is still up in the air how the president will reshuffle his cabinet and party. If he opts to fill key government and party posts with hard-liners with a view to pushing his way beyond the limits of a minority status, that would ruin the politics of tolerance. The past three years and seven months of President Kim's service are riddled with destructive results of his hard-line politics. He should make balanced appointments that would reform the administration and politics, as has been suggested by some member of the ruling party. Only then can the president make headway in its policies, for which he takes the credit, and in the bungled restructuring. That is the best way for the Millennium Democratic Party to do the proper ruling, although it is a minority.

If the Grand National Party, headed by Lee Hoi-chang, neglects its role as a house majority due to complacency with its numerical superiority, it may face revenge from the ruling minority, which it is so afraid of, not to mention losing public support.

The opposition party has a golden opportunity to show new politicians that would introduce tolerant and win-win politics. It should stop picking on the ruling camp over every issue and pursue win-win politics so that it can help resolve the political impasse.

We expect the opposition party to show a new model of win-win politics, aware that the public is paying more attention to it than to the ruling party. The United Liberal Democratic Party is partly responsible for the current political crisis and thus is in no position to enjoy its holding of casting votes. It should redefine its identity to overcome criticism that it is a political troublemaker.
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