[EDITORIALS]Rational political debate

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[EDITORIALS]Rational political debate

Intellectuals have now started voicing opinions based on rationality and pragmatism, excluding extremely leftist and rightist options. The “Constitutional Forum” proposed by 21 specialists in the legal, academic and business circles and the “21st century Global Net,” a diplomacy and security forum composed of 80 scholars, were recently formed.
When ideological and regional conflicts over the four bills proposed by the governing party and the Constitution Court’s decision on the capital move get even more acute, it is worth paying attention to them.
The new Constitutional Forum said in its founding declaration, “Now we have an non-constitutional situation in which liberal democracy, free market principles and the legal order of the nation are infringed upon by a political catchword that the vested interests should be removed.”
Such an evaluation of the current situation, of course, would hardly be accepted by the administration. But look at the current situation: The governing party’s private school and media reform bills are causing continuous controversy and facing criticism by experts. Also, some in the party and administration say that the laws governing the Constitutional Court should be revised because the court was so conservative as to rule the capital relocation plan unconstitutional.
The opinions of the professors in the diplomacy and security forum that diplomatic and security issues will not be solved by a 20th-century perspective based on ideology is something that administration officials should listen to. Indeed, there have been concerns that society is dominated by ideologies and emotions, as demonstrated in such cases as the candlelight rallies and the reduction of U.S. troops here.
Security policies, in particular, determine the fate of the nation. As Tjeng Eui-chai, a Roman Catholic priest, said, the nation should not be a place where former student activists, who are now politically power-oriented but ignorant, inexperienced and incapable, can experiment with their wrong ideals and vent their spleen.
Reform and change are necessary for the advancement of society. But if they are promoted in the form of liberals vs. conservatives and friend vs. enemy, national conflicts will be aggravated. True reform and change should be pragmatic and unite the people. Rational voices should be the mainstream of society.
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