[EDITORIALS]No way to run a governmentPresident Roh Moo-hyun’s televised discussion with non-executive prosecutors was certainly a break from formality. It could be seen as refreshing and it was a useful opportunity for the president to express his determination to reform the prosecutors office and for the prosecutors to speak for themselves. But the decision to participate in this dialogue could also send unwanted ripples through the administration. It was a positive change toward an atmosphere of mutual communication, but it remains to be seen whether such events actually can help solve problems. The publicity generated raises the concern that a problem that should be solved in graduated stages will be handled as a publicity stunt.
The president is the head of the government and his decision is final. His every word and action should be carefully planned. Should the president ignore the government hierarchy and himself debate complaints about public service personnel management, all line of command would be destroyed. The president’s entering into open debate is an indirect affirmation of the uselessness of the justice minister, prosecutor-general and other executives. It could be interpreted as a sign that the prosecutors office and dealings with the non-executive prosecutors can be managed directly by the president. If so, what is the use of all these administrative organizations and their executives?
Such disregard for structure will lead to more disregard. The president would want to participate directly in every conflict ― labor-management disputes or tensions between interest groups. If the president is to step up every time, why do we need ministers and deputy ministers and what job is left for government agencies? Even if the prosecutors situation is serious and requires the direct attention of the president, he should have a quiet and unpublicized meeting to hear the prosecutors’ opinions. Why did this dialogue need to be televised? Refreshing and unorthodox methods are fine but we need an actual solution to the problem as well. A debate is no good, if it stops at words.