[EDITORIALS]Take it easy at the AssemblyThe Grand National Party has decided to return to the National Assembly floor, accepting Prime Minister Lee Hai-chan’s apology; the legislature will now resume operations. It is time for politicians to restrain their abusive and provocative verbal attacks such as “hardheaded reactionary,” and “pro-North, anti-U.S. forces.” It is time for lawmakers to deliberate bills and next year’s budget.
At this point, we are worried that the Uri Party will again drive the National Assembly into ideological confrontation by pushing its four reform initiatives.
The four bills are extremely sensitive matters, and that is shown by how the bills are referred to by each party. The Uri Party calls them “four reform bills,” while the Grand National Party calls them “four bills splitting the nation.” The people are divided; rallies supporting and protesting the bills take place every day.
Constitutionality debates arose over the bills to revise the laws governing private schools and print media. These are not matters to be pushed forward forcibly by setting a deadline.
Recently, some Uri lawmakers proposed to delay voting on the four bills, a promising sign. “If the mountain is too high, we should detour a bit. If the waters are too deep, we should cross by searching for a shallow stream,” Lee Bu-young, chairman of Uri Party, said yesterday in his party’s first anniversary address. He also said, “I hope we can take things easy so that people say that we are slow.”
The Uri Party once said it would not forget that the opposition party is a strong political force that had won more than 120 seats at the Assembly. If the Uri Party still remembers that admission, it is possible that the two parties will respect each other politically.
The Grand Nationals should not ignore the four bills. Ignoring all policies initiated by the majority party and backed by the president is wayward. The opposition party should at least come up with alternatives to persuade the public. If the governing and opposition parties can reach some compromise on some of the four bills, they should do so. Constitutionally controversial bills should be held over until the next session. Struggling to find common ground over the bills will only trigger more confrontation. Lawmakers should vote on other bills directly linked to the people’s livelihood. The four bills can be addressed when the public is ready.