[EDITORIALS]Content or just form?

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[EDITORIALS]Content or just form?

Political parties have suddenly moved into shabby buildings. One does not even qualify as a building. Our Open Party has moved to a warehouse in the middle of a wholesale fruit and vegetable market, and the Grand National Party moved to a new party headquarters made up of tents and containers.
These parties bid farewell to their modern buildings in Yeouido because they understand constituent anger.
The change of attitude among political parties strikes us as positive. But we wonder whether the parties had to go so far.
Fancy buildings, oversized party organizations and campaign funds flowing like water are targets of mockery at the backwardness of our political culture. Thus, we want to accept the moves to a wholesale market and a canvas headquarters as an attempt at self-cleansing; to wash out the corruption and the irrationalities in our politics.
Something nags, though: suspicions about whether the parties were attempting to turn Korean politics into a crude political show. Wearing yellow jackets over formal suits, getting into luxury sedans after a meeting at the miserable-looking headquarters -- these scenes are indeed comic. If the voters were to change their minds and look favorably on the politicians, just because of the yellow jackets and because of the shabby buildings, they would be a pitiable bunch.
As the claim goes, form shapes content, so the shabby party buildings could be the first step toward clean politics. But merely sitting around in tents and visiting markets will not automatically lead to cleaner politics.
Politicians should not hope to regain the voters’ attention by blinding their views with shallow images. Political staging of “one-time events” will relegate Korean politics to a low-level form.
Perfume and fancy coats cannot completely veil a dirty body nor make it clean. If Korean politics were to pay attention only to the cameras, that would just be another deception. Politicians should focus their attention on policies and pledges. Voters will be picking legislators, members of the National Assembly who will be in charge of government affairs in the next four years.
They are not looking for actors.

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