[EDITORIALS]Campaign financing reform

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[EDITORIALS]Campaign financing reform

The Uri Party intends to revise laws related to political activities. It aims to revise the Act on the Election of Public Officials, the Political Parties Act and the Political Fund Act. The reason is that current ones are restrictive.
The party proposes to revise current election law to broaden chances of voter participation and to facilitate the entry of young people into politics. The revision of the Political Parties Act will allow parties to have district offices that will play the role district party chapters assumed earlier. The National Election Commission presented its own revision bills, proposing to ease some restrictions on the election law and the Political Parties Act.
There is a problem in the Political Fund Act. According to reports, the governing party plans to keep the ceiling on political fund parties are allowed to raise at the current level, but it plans to accommodate some new fund-raising methods.
It plans to allow meetings for fund-raising purposes, allow donations from corporations and institutions and is studying whether to double the donation limits. Fund-raising activities by heads of local governments and local council members will be allowed too.
The current Political Fund Act, that was revised early last year, controls the flow of money more strictly compared to any other previous law. Consequently, legislators complain that they can’t manage their legislative as well as local district activities with the money they are paid by the government. Some even express financial difficulties in their family life.
But compared to the amount of money paid to lawmakers in advanced countries and taking into account Korea’s competitiveness and per capita income, Korean lawmakers are not underpaid.
Rather, there are many things to spend money on and the amount they spend each time is too big. This is because current political practices have problems. It is reasonable, then, that we should find a solution by establishing a new political practice that does not require money.
Changing fund-raising methods or allowing more donations from corporations means lawmakers will collect more money from organizations attempting to curry their influence. Will such an idea be acceptable to the people? If politicians ask to change the law only one year after they pledged to clean up campaign financing, will it appeal to the people?
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