[EDITORIALS]Straighten things outVoters gave 152 seats to Our Open Party in this year’s legislative elections, making it the majority party in the National Assembly. Less than a month after the elections, however, we have started to wonder: “Do we have a ruling party?”
The fact that Korea’s international competitiveness is falling was recently confirmed by an international research institute. The fact that businesses are not making investments was also confirmed by reliable bank data. Still, Our Open Party does not seem to care about those things. Where has the party’s promise gone that “the party will first take care of the people’s livelihood”?
The party is now engaged in an internal conflict. The party is divided on the issue of troops dispatch to Iraq; some say it should be cancelled, others say that its timing and scale should be changed, or that new security measures should be devised. Also, the party is discussing who should be the next prime minister when the president is still waiting for a decision on his impeachment, and the possibility of reshuffling the unification minister when the minister is taking part in important inter-Korean ministerial talks. The party is raising such unfiltered voices about changing the nation’s political system to a parliamentary government or to a two-term four-year presidential system. Its opinion on the legisture reform like easying conditions for forming a negotiating body in the Assembly are not focused.
The party’s internal struggle between those who support pragmatism and those who argue for reform are now evolving into a factional conflict. That’s why the party has not yet taken care of its organizational changes and leadership appointments. To top it off, the leaders of the party recently rushed into a courtroom where a colleague who received illegal money was being tried, as if they were trying to influence the trial. Of course, Our Open Party does not have to be in perfect order like past ruling parties of the nation’s military regimes had been. But the confusion within the party will result in national confusion.
Our Open Party has a responsibility to relieve people’s concerns. Only when politics becomes stable will the economy revive. This is why we hear voices calling for party order. The party should not make the public uneasy anymore.