[EDITORIALS]Being new not importantThe internal strife over the creation of a new political party that is tearing apart the Millennium Democratic Party is showing no signs of easing. Evolving out of the pessimism over the chances of Roh Moo-hyun winning the presidential election in December, the plot has thickened, with the complicated entanglements of Mr. Roh's supporters, his critics and potential hopefuls outside the party.
The latest development in the plot was the announcement by Chung Mong-joon, an independent legislator and vice president of the world soccer governing body, that he would single-handedly form a new party, refuting rumors that he would join former Prime Minister Lee Han-dong and legislator Rhee In-jae, among others, to forge a new political entity.
So much talk about new political parties is abnormal in the absence of any social upheavals. The forming of new parties is not the problem. It is the forming of parties based on the selfish interests of ambitious politicians that is the problem. Even if unable to adhere completely to the dictionary meaning of a political party, "a group organized by persons whose political ideas and statements coincide in order to realize their political vision," parties should at least have some kind of honorable cause. If defeating the Grand National Party candidate, Lee Hoi-chang, is the only purpose that the Millennium Democrats hold as a party, its disintegration would come as no surprise.
There are some who regard this confusion as the labor pains of the birth of a new political paradigm to replace the "three Kims" politics. It is true that unlike before, the new political alliances are not necessarily based on specific regionalism. But how could a new paradigm of politics be expected when the results of the primary race, evaluated as a success, are not being respected? Of the 16 political parties registered with the National Election Commission, only four parties, including the United Liberal Democrats and the Grand National Party, are more than 10 years old. Being a new party is not important in itself. The reason for the new party and how democratic the procedures were in creating that party are important.