[EDITORIALS]Determining the nation’s futureOn the issue of moving the capital depends the nation’s future in the coming 100 years. It is not an issue that can be decided by the political logic of a certain time. Approaching it in terms of social class, ideology or emotion is also not appropriate. In this sense, the attitude and approach of both the ruling and opposition parties toward it are mistaken.
The ruling camp claims that there is no need to examine the plan further since a related law passed the National Assembly. On the other hand, the opposition, including the Grand National Party, demands to hold a national referendum since President Roh Moo-hyun promised it during his election campaign. But it is not a matter that can be decided in a single stroke. The process of hearing public opinion, through which in-depth studies on the appropriateness of the plan will be made, should precede such a decision.
The ruling camp’s assertion that there is no procedural problem because it was a major issue during the election campaign and a special law on the new capital passed the Assembly, has a logical basis. But, at that time, no in-depth examinations were made of the detailed plan from political, economic, social, cultural and other aspects.
Matters focused on which party would win the race and whether the plan would contribute to getting more votes. Without knowing where the new capital will be, what government offices will be included, and how much it will cost, it is absurd to claim after the election that “Since it was the winner’s election pledge, it is endorsed by the people.” It is not persuasive to claim that “it is decided,” after a five-year-term presidential candidate included the plan, on which the nation’s future in the coming 100 years depends, among a couple of hundred election pledges.
People need detailed information. There are no data with which we can judge the situation of each province and the aftermath when the capital is moved. The government must present more detailed plans and politicians should gather public opinion. Expert debate is necessary. Whether to push the plan or cancel it, and whether to hold a national referendum or not, should be decided after that. President Roh shouldn’t see it as a scheme to “undermine the presidency.” We all have to worry about the future of our nation.