[FOUNTAIN]The industry of politicsPolitics is also a kind of industry. While other industries produce goods, politics produces power. Traditional industries require capital, technology and a labor force, but the industry of politics is fueled by human nature only. Politics is an industry that generates values without capital. If the gross national product, which is calculated every year, is a measure of evaluating the sovereign competitiveness of industries, national elections that come every four or five years would be the balance sheet for the industry of politics.
The industry of politics creates three kinds of power. Every five years, voters elect a president, who has the power of the chief executive. The National Assemblymen elected every four years are given legislative powers. And heads of local governments and council members renew their powers every four years.
Amid the cooperation, checks and collision of the three powers, the community of the Republic of Korea shapes its course. In the process, people sometimes discover spiritual values such as pride, hope and shared purpose as citizens, but also feel shame, despair and confusion.
This is the year of the legislative elections. On April 15, 273 lawmakers will be chosen. Reshuffling the constituency system might add to the number of seats, and maybe we will have 289 or 299 new assemblymen. The members of the 17th National Assembly will play a key role in the rise and fall of the industry of politics, along with President Roh Moo-hyun, who has been in office for a year holding the power of policy decision-making and the appointment of the cabinet.
Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee has said that one genius can support the economy of an entire nation, referring to Microsoft founder Bill Gates. He said that industries must find and educate the best talents in preparation for the future. The same could be applied to the industry of politics. We should discover and nurture the elite politicians who can produce national pride, hope and shared purpose for the citizens five and 10 years later. First-class politicians stand out from the election campaign period.
They do not rely on money or a network, but focus on advocating a message to win support. They would rather persuade voters with what they can offer instead of picking on their competitors. The promising candidates have clear opinions on specific policy issues. Let’s look for those candidates.
by Chun Young-gi
The writer is a deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.