[EDITORIALS]A demand for true leadershipThroughout this year, the political arena has been in turmoil. The aftermath has left deep scars on the people’s hearts. This year’s political chaos was marred with hatred and enmity, too serious to label as growing pains for development. If we fail to mend the ruptures and overcome the disorder, people’s livelihoods will be pushed aside again next year and political fights and ideological conflicts will devastate our society again.
President Roh Moo-hyun promised at the beginning of the year that he would do everything for economy. That promise ended in vain. The obsession to win the majority at the 17th legislative election ruined all national agendas. The president appealed to the nation to show support for the Uri Party, and his partisan remarks aroused a fierce reaction from opposition parties.
The National Election Commission ruled that the president had violated the responsibility to remain politically neutral during the election. The opposition lawmakers, holding a majority of seats at the time, went extreme and approved the presidential impeachment. At the legislative elections, the voters judged the arrogance of the majority opposition party.
At this National Assembly, 180 first-term lawmakers promised a new political attitude, but they completely ignored the lesson from the election. The Assembly was flooded with fist fights and insults. We begin to worry that the new evils are more serious than the old evils. Politicians attacked, calling each other “reactionists,” and “pro-North left-wingers.”
On top of such ideological confrontations, conflicts arose over the Uri Party’s four reform bills, including the attempt to end the National Security Law. The conflicts deepened the spilt in our society. Dialogues and compromises were abandoned.
We see problems with the opposition party’s stubborn rejection of change, but the problems are even more serious when it comes to the political incompetence of the governing party. Despite its majority in the National Assembly, the party failed to forge any internal unity. The Uri Party moved about in utter confusion and demanded concessions from the opposition Grand Nationals. The people’s rage against the politics of hatred and arrogance has reached a new height, and the lawmakers must remember that. Only then, can we find a glimpse of hope in Korea’s politics next year.