[EDITORIALS]Cut a deal and move on

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[EDITORIALS]Cut a deal and move on

The conflict between the ruling and opposition parties over a revision of the election laws is getting uglier. All the parties have given up attempts to pretend that their version is anything more than a way to win the elections next year.
Now the outside members of the Electoral District Zoning Committee have handed in their resignations. It will be difficult to revise the election laws by the end of this year.
Under the law, a bill for electoral redistricting has to be submitted to the speaker of the National Assembly one year before the first general election using revised electoral districts. And the Constitutional Court ruled in 2001 that the current electoral districts would be valid only until the end of this year. The lawmakers are ignoring those points.
The ruling and opposition parties have now reached agreement on a single-member constituency system, but are now fighting over the size of those districts. Although the difference in size is not great, the slightly smaller districts proposed by the opposition parties would result in 16 new districts, all in urban areas. Our Open Party’s proposal would reduce the number of elected seats in rural areas, and the Assembly would have 21 fewer elected members than now. Other members of the Assembly are proportional representatives, appointed based on their party’s vote-getting ability. The proposals reflect the lack of a rural regional base by the Open Party; the opposition parties want to keep their rural bases intact.
It is not proper for a party to push its proposals on the issue unilaterally. Since each party’s intention is so clear, they should be able to reach a compromise on the size, perhaps by agreeing to keep the size of the National Assembly as it is now. That kind of compromise is the essence of politics.
If the number of electoral districts is cut, the lawmakers from the districts to disappear will protest strongly. Neither is it a good idea to increase the number of seats for the interests of the lawmakers.
The leaders of the ruling and opposition parties should quickly find the points where they can compromise.
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