[EDITORIALS]Good news for the electionsNew attempts by the Grand National Party, the Millennium Democratic Party and Our Open Party to nominate candidates for the April 15 National Assembly elections are cause for a bit of hope for Korean politics.
The Grand National Party is using interviews and discussions to select their candidates. In that process, two incumbent lawmakers have been dropped. And the party has fielded women as priority candidates. There was some rancor, but so far the party’s efforts are refreshing.
The Millennium Democratic Party has opened hearings for those who have applied for nominations so that the party can decide whether it will pick the finalists through public surveys or through primaries.
The party said that it would put the incumbents up for hearings along with their rivals in the Jeolla provinces, so we will be watching to see if the party rises to the demand for new faces.
The announcement by an incumbent Our Open Party legislator that he would honor the in-house race results and not bolt from the party was a desirable step toward political improvements. To encourage a culture of competition, a practice of accepting the winners gracefully should be established in politics. Now, denial and betrayal run rampant. Notable also in Our Open Party’s nomination process is the surge of women.
As outsiders, we will not know fully how the procedures were handled and whether the best candidates were picked. There is really no way to find out if an “invisible hand” of a party leader intervened, as claimed by some, or whether the process was done in a smoke-filled room.
But if we are not willing to take chances, political improvements will not come. That is why we take the changes adopted by the parties as a positive one.
The political parties should certainly tend attentively the budding blossom of political development. The political ground of Korea is shifting delicately ; even a small error can turn the political clock backwards.
Everyone, from the review committee to the candidates, should work with a sense of historic mission. When that happens, voters can choose their candidate in the April 15 National Assembly elections with joy.
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