[EDITORIALS]A time for deliberationThe Uri Party has been pushing forward four bills of grave importance, which may decide this nation’s past, present and future. The Uri legislation aimed at abolishing the National Security Law, investigating Korea’s modern history and reforming the private school system will define the country’s identity and historical legitimacy as well as the nation’s plans for the next century. The legislation on controlling the media is expected to have a bipartisan consensus.
Because of the burdens, responsbilities and after-effects that would follow if the bills are decided by the logic of numbers, they must be decided through agreement between the ruling and opposition parties.
The four bills are not urgent matters. Even if the bills are not voted on before the end of the current Assembly session, there will be no serious influence on national governance or people’s everyday life. In contrast, if the bills are passed without enough discussion, our society will have to suffer extreme discord and conflict. Therefore, it is the lawmakers’ duty, as representatives of the people, to take enough time to hold serious discussions on the bills and reach agreements. The legislators must reach a national consensus for the sake of this nation’s future by putting aside their political interests this time.
And yet, the Uri Party made a decision yesterday that it will vote on the four bills before the end of this session. Party floor leader Chun Jung-bae’s plan to separate discussion on the abolition of the National Security Law was turned down by the hardliners in the party. We are extremely disappointed to hear that. We wonder if the party has a leadership.
Mr. Chun said, “We will vote on the four bills [before the end of this session] at all cost by employing all means stipulated under the National Assembly Act.” His statement revealed the atmosphere inside the Uri Party, dominated by the hardliners.
The Grand National Party said it would not mind “physical wrangling” to stop the voting, threatening a boycott. It is inappropriate to criticize the Uri Party without presenting an alternative for the National Security Law. The governing and opposition parties must resume talks. Lawmakers must reach agreements on such matters and exercise flexibility by postponing the vote on extremely controversial issues, such as the bill to end the National Security Law.