[EDITORIALS]Slow the breakneck paceWithin the Uri Party, talk has surfaced about delaying its plans to push the four major bills it has recently put forward. Uri Party’s Representative Yoo Jay-kun, who formed a group of party lawmakers interested in a more stable legislative process, is standing at the forefront. It’s very positive that healthy criticism and opinion regarding the management of the country has come from within. Considering Korea’s political norms, the fact that someone who opposes the president and the party leadership is at a disadvantage when party positions are handed out makes this action a brave one that deserves praise.
Mr. Yoo said that the four bills do not have to be acted on during the regular session of the National Assembly. He added that pushing forward without consensus would not look too good to the public. “Even if delayed by a month or two, the process has to be in step with the people. It cannot be a one-way process.”
He added that the repeal of the National Security Law should not be done single-handedly by the governing party alone. He also said that Prime Minister Lee Hai-chan should apologize to the Grand National Party for his derogatory remarks as soon as possible so that the National Assembly can function properly.
Mr. Yoo’s remarks are in line with the sentiment of the people. Let’s hope that such a rational opinion will act as a balancing factor to the ruling party that has, under the pretext of “reform,” acted preemptorily.
Recently, voices of reflection have been raised inside the Uri Party. There was a call that President Roh Moo-hyun should take a step back from ideological issues and, instead of pushing forward hastily with reforms, consult with the opposition party and take public opinion. Former President Kim Dae-jung advised that when there isn’t enough public support, waiting is appropriate. When one pushes forward just because he thinks the direction is right, there can be unforeseen side effects.
There are no people around who have been punished unjustly under the National Security Law, and there are no third-generation descendants of Japanese collaborators who are living the good life because of that collaboration. To push the reforms raises suspicion that the motive is political. Process is important in a democracy. The people’s anxiety has to be calmed; they have to be convinced to go along.