[EDITORIALS]Welcome words from the GNPThe Grand National Party has announced it will send a letter of encouragement to President Roh Moo-hyun, who is beginning his second year in office. The party will set up special mailboxes around the country as well as online mailboxes to collect letters and messages from its members and the public to the president. The messages will be then sent to the Blue House in form of one long letter. In our political history dotted with conflict and strife, this is a rare case of the opposition encouraging the president. The Grand National Party’s idea shows originality.
Of course, the letter may contain criticism in the guise of encouragement and that the whole thing may end up as a publicity stunt. However, because party leaders such as Chairwoman Park Geun-hye and the floor leader, Kim Deog-ryong, intend to write messages to go along with the letter, it appears that the Grand National Party is sincere. We hope the party will voluntarily refrain from including any inflammatory criticism or tough language in the letter. Any heartfelt advice or encouragement would be gladly accepted by the receiver. While it might be too much to hope for a complete peace between the parties, this letter might serve as a stepping stone to creating an alternative culture of co-existence and depart from the atmosphere of confrontation that we now face.
The Grand National Party also made an unprecedented move when it announced the 10 biggest mistakes and 10 biggest achievements of President Roh. While there have always been words on mistakes, it is almost exceptional that the opposition party conducted a survey asking its members to name president’s achievements so far. Some of the achievements of the Roh administration as answered by Grand National Party members were: changing the authoritarian government culture, the president’s visit to Korean troops in Iraq, the administration’s practical mind, its efforts to promote women’s rights and controlling real estate speculation. The answers were similar to those given by the general public. While there were some cynical answers and refusals to name any achievements, most Grand National legislators gave a relatively objective evaluation of the Roh administration.
We need politics that give hope and that makes people feel good. We hope this new attempt by the Grand National Party will serve to change the party and ultimately the relations between the parties.