[FOUNTAIN]The sinking of the Grand Nationals?The recent JoongAng Ilbo opinion poll on the first year of the Roh Moo-hyun administration produced some shocking results.
More respondents said they would not renew the mandate for the president if a national referendum on his administration were held than those who said they would support the president.
Yet even more shocking is the support the Grand National Party garnered. The largest opposition party was even less popular than Our Open Party, the de-facto ruling party under Mr. Roh.
How can we describe the quagmire the Grand National Party finds itself in now?
It reminds us of the Titanic, which sailed proudly through enormous icebergs in the North Atlantic, boasting an arrogant nickname, “the Unsinkable.”
In the last two presidential elections, the Grand National Party received 9.9 million and 11.4 million votes, respectively. Politically, the party essentially had the support of nearly half the citizens.
The gigantic party is in chaos because of arrogance, which makes people lazy and insensitive to crises. When it failed to win the 2002 presidential election, its second consecutive loss, the Grand National Party should have realized that it was in the same position as the Titanic in the last minutes after it hit an iceberg.
It should have stopped the journey and taken some time to understand the “sea” of furious citizens. The Grand National Party should have come up with a contingency plan then to overhaul the organization and sever the ties to the corrupt past.
The party should have striven to launch a long-term campaign to shift the current of popular opinion to the “healthy conservative.”
Many warning signs were given to the Grand National Party in the last year.
But the opposition leaders were vying for the position of captain of a sinking ship.
While voters who supported the Grand National Party were wandering away, the party was filled with self-complacency that the voters would remain on its side.
The Grand National Party is seeking a belated plan to rebuild the party from scratch.
If it has decided to be born again, the Grand National Party should not only revamp the party organization, but also envision the ambition to redirect the current of the times.
by Chun Young-gi
The writer is deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.