[EDITORIALS]Rule should be pragmaticWe think it desirable that Our Open Party, which transformed itself through the 17th legislative elections into a ruling party with a majority of seats, set its direction on consolidation and practicality instead of ideology. At the first conference of the elected lawmakers since the election, they reportedly agreed that their priority is to reform politics and stabilize the livelihood of the people, not time-wasting ideological arguments.
This is still a beginning stage of setting up the identity of the party, and thus it is too early to get a clear idea, but it at least allows us to have confidence and a sense of relief.
Through the last elections, Our Open Party, which is relatively liberal, took a majority of the seats at the National Assembly; the Democratic Labor Party, which represents the working class, entered into the legislature. It is naturally expected that there must be changes in the ideological geography of the National Assembly. So there were concerns that if the reforms they lead became extreme, they could collide with the conservative Grand National Party and increase political instability.
But the attitude that Our Open Party shows as the opening of the 17th National Assembly nears, at least as of now, seems to reduce such concerns.
“We must not be confined by the fence of ideology,” said Chung Dong-young, head of Our Open Party, supporting pragmatism, implying that the party could switch between liberal and conservative positions according to the national interest.
We agree with Mr. Chung. In situations where various groups of society are divided, it will be a sure road to fission and disruption if the ruling party goes extreme while championing an ideology.
The ruling party must ask for cooperation from the people. The real reform would be taking care of the things that people want instead of putting zeal into ideological arguments. As a ruling party, Our Open Party has the responsibility to help President Roh Moo-hyun lead a stable administration. It must be aware of priorities, which for Korea now are to address livelihood issues. Give jobs to the young people. We hope the party maintains its initial position to administer a politics of consolidation and coexistence with main focuses on the livelihood of the people and the national interest.