[EDITORIALS]A chance for shame or gloryWith the National Assembly’s inspection of the administration starting Sunday, all parties have vowed to show a different attitude than in the past. While we probably won’t see a high-quality inspection, we hope that this year the inspections will at least provide alternatives and result in policies.
Moreover, this is the first inspection to be held by the 17th Assembly. First impressions are important in human encounters.
Even more so is the first inspection by a new group of lawmakers. In the last general elections, the voters, frustrated and angry at the old politics, filled more than two-thirds of the National Assembly with new faces.
The people are now watching to see what kind of a political culture these new faces will now create. Most people have seen their hopes dashed so far, more than 100 days into the new session. If the legislators fail in this inspection, there will be even less hope.
The legislators must make sure that the inspection does not turn into a battleground of ideologies and politics, but the signs are gloomy. The governing party and the opposition are already caterwauling over the selection of witnesses on issues such as the abolition of the National Security Act, the reinvestigation of Japanese colonial history and the transfer of the capital city. The parties are already showing signs of trying to use the inspection for their political advantage. There is a good possibility that the inspection could turn into a catfight between the parties.
This should not be allowed to take place. One way to stop it would be to exclude the most contentious political issues from the inspection. These issues could be set aside for separate debates between the parties while the legislators concentrate on their proper job of overseeing government operations.
Every year we’ve seen one legislator or another grabbing the spotlight with sensational stories and distorted analyses. With civic group and media oversight higher now, such legislators are going to pay the price of their ambitions one day. Remarks designed to humiliate agencies and official witnesses should be banned. The agencies, in turn, must participate in good faith. They should not provide evasive answers or stubbornly resist providing the materials asked for. The legislators are conducting the inspection as representatives of the people.
The Uri Party has declared that it would suggest alternatives instead of taking the government’s side all the time. The Grand National Party has sworn to concentrate on evaluating policy rather than disclosing wrongdoings. Let the parties please live up to their words.