[EDITORIALS]Party indulges in old politicsWe cannot but smile bitterly at South Gyeongsang Province Governor Kim Hyuk-kyu’s departure from the Grand National Party and his plan to join Our Open Party. This is nothing but a signal that an election is around the corner and that the politicians, like migratory birds, have started to fly in another direction.
We are surprised at the brazenness of Mr. Kim and Our Open Party that repackages an old practice as new politics. Moving from one party to another in pursuit of self-interest is most typical in old politics.
The Grand National Party helped Mr. Kim win the governorship of South Gyeongsang province three consecutive times. After he reach his term limit, Mr. Kim called his party “old-fashioned” and bolted. His desertion could hardly be called new politics.
During the 1992 presidential election, Mr. Kim worked for former President Kim Young-sam as the planning chief of his private campaign organization. It is doubtful that he can say that he is disgusted at the money politics. If he were disgusted, he should have showed a more responsible attitude by leading a reform movement within the party.
Mr. Kim cannot avoid criticism that he joined the ruling camp for his personal gain. We are more disappointed because his leaving is the result of the ruling party’s effort to siphon off opposition politicians.
Some politicians say that his departure was promoted by the Blue House and that President Roh met him a few times alone. Mr. Roh promised to work for the “new politics of cooperation and coexistence” when he met with the leaders of the four parties on Sunday. We wonder how Mr. Roh will explain Mr. Kim’s move just one day after his promise for cooperation.
If the ruling camp decides to break its own party to exclude legislators from certain regions and recruit opposition politicians to strengthen its hold on Busan and South Gyeongsang province, it won’t eradicate regional dominance, but will create a new regionalism. We, the people, must remember the politicians’ behavior and deliver our judgment through elections.