[EDITORIALS]What’s the starting point?The Grand National Party is taking a hard-line posture toward the ruling camp. Park Geun-hye, chairwoman of the party, said, “If the government continues to adopt policies that make the identity of the nation confused, I think that the time for the opposition to declare an all-out war will arrive soon.” She concentrated criticism on security and economic policies.
We think that her grasp of reality is based on ample grounds. At the moment, people feel uneasy over the direction in which the nation is heading. They don’t know whether there is a destination where we are heading or whether the nation is adrift with the winds and the currents. They even worry about whether liberal democracy and a market economy will survive. As the deputy prime minister for finance and economy himself said, “It is questionable whether we can manage a genuine market economy,” so nobody can say that there is nothing to worry about. If the opposition is silent during such a crisis, it would be evading its responsibility.
But Ms. Park and the party should first do some reflecting. The opposition is also responsible for the confusion we face now. They closed their eyes and kept their lips shut in the face of such a confused state of state affairs. The party just tried to curry favor with the public. It beat around the bush, keeping silent on major security and economic issues.
There are many important issues on which the Grand National Party’s position is unclear. It is not clear what the party wants to do about the National Security Law, or what position it will take on issues raised by the intrusion of North Korean boats across the Northern Limit Line. The same applies to its position on Kim Jong-il’s return visit. On the additional troop dispatch to Iraq and the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Korea, there are some unclear points as well. On the transfer of the capital, which divides national opinion seriously, the party insists that it would rather keep an attitude of “strategic ambiguity.”
Opposition without alternatives is a mere political struggle. It is the order of the day that the Grand National Party clarify its own position on pending issues first. Then it is up to the party whether to start an all-out war or an ideological struggle. Now that the party has said it would change its posture, we hope it will speak out where it has to, and present its own ideas together with alternative policies.