&#91EDITORIALS&#93MDP’s politics of the low

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[EDITORIALS]MDP’s politics of the low

The cursing and brawling on display at the Millennium Democratic Party’s meeting yesterday are deplorable because they show an insurmountable limit to Korean politics. How can we expect reform or change when the official meeting of the governing party that is pitching political reform as its highest ideal turns into one big chaotic fight?
A new administration has set sail, but there are rough seas, with the North Korean nuclear issue and fragile Korean economy. Diverse social groups are rushing to make themselves heard, and labor strife is deepening by the day. But the governing party for the past eight months has turned a blind eye to the problems looming over our country, mesmerized by unjustifiable factional fighting. Can it really claim the governing party status?
Its claim to be an agent of reform and accountable politics is in doubt, and just as open to question is the kind of change it can bring about. It is stifling and frustrating to think that these same politicians will attempt to lure voters with lofty yet empty promises.
We will not even attempt to determine who is right and who is wrong in this mud fight. Neither faction can escape criticism for not carrying out the minimal duties of a governing party. The two groups ― the old leadership that is stalling for time by putting forth new proposals at every turn and the new leadership that is trying to make the old leadership obsolete ― are acting purely according to factional interests.
It is up to the Millennium Democrats to decide if they will give the party a new name, or if some will quit, or if the party will amicably split up but join forces again for the legislative elections next year. And the voters will make their choices. Voters have had high expectations for political reform long espoused by the Millennium Democrats, but frankly they are tired of watching the politics of the low and base.
Since the calls to create a new political party are centered around President Roh Moo-hyun, he should not keep his distance under the guise of separating the leadership of the Blue House and the party, but should settle the matter.
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