[EDITORIALS]Explain why this is neededAn internal struggle embroils the governing Millennium Democratic Party over dumping the current party and creating a new one. An outsider’s comments on a political party’s search for a new name or any tinkering with its identity might not be appropriate. Our questions pertain to the timing, with North Korea’s nuclear capability and domestic economic concerns facing the nation.
These issues are paramount, demanding the utmost effort of the governing party. The last thing we need is needless political wrangling over a new party with an eye on the next year’s National Assembly.
The drive for a new party, led by President Roh Moo-hyun’s supporters, is understandable in that they seek to end the friction between the party’s old and new leadership. Aware of the uneasy dynamics in the party, the president is keeping his distance. The governing party, which should be taking the initiative in the political arena, has instead served up political uncertainty. But whether President Roh’s supporters should push for a new party at such a critical junction for the country and for his administration is a different matter.
Calls for a new party that envisions reform and enjoys a national constituency is not new. These are the justifications given by the ruling party three years ago. Those favoring a new party should first explain what changes will be in the new party’s reform plans and politics. Instead, the MDP leaders are expressing anxiety about a total defeat in the next Assembly elections if the party maintains the status quo. In this situation, can they claim to be different from the Three Kims, who quickly aligned power to form a new party just ahead of elections?
The move to invite reform-leaning opposition legislators to hop on the bandwagon is also no different from the political maneuvering in the past. Heightening speculation that the move for a new party is aimed at political realignment could exacerbate political uncertainty. If MDP legislators want a new party, they should present its ideology and stand on the day’s important issues to win recognition as needed political realignment.