[EDITORIALS]Uri in despairThe ruling Uri Party, which was completely routed in by-elections Wednesday, is in turmoil. Despite President Roh Moo-hyun’s gesture of taking the blame for the loss in order to protect the leadership of the Uri Party, he failed to stop his critics. At a conference of senior party leaders and lawmakers, calls for the resignation of all cabinet members and a makeover of the staff at the Blue House were voiced, not comments you would hear on a normal day.So the party’s leadership, including its chairman, Moon Hee-sang, handed in their resignations.
Voices of critics and of self-reflection are coming out of the ruling party. That’s not only proper; it’s also something to cheer about.
If a party that suffered a miserable defeat in an election does not feel responsible and does not take any actions to change what went wrong, then the party is dead.
The problem is that these voices were not raised when public support hit rock bottom and the party was dancing to the Blue House’s tune, not knowing where to go. Nevertheless, if the relationship between the party, the administration and the Blue House is re-established and the party begins to reform itself, then it can survive and the people will also benefit.
This matter should not be closed with the resignation of a few leaders in the party.
One has to ask why five party chairmen have had no choice but to resign since the party’s establishment only 21 months ago. If the political culture of the party does not change, these things will only repeat themselves.
What is important is that the lawmakers’ criticism is focused on the president and the Blue House.
Representative Jeong Jang-sun said that the president should no longer mingle in political matters as he called for the resignation of the cabinet. Other lawmakers urged the Blue House to stop employing people that only toady to the president and replace them with people that can convey the will and position of the people. Another lawmaker pointed out that those who only nodded at the president’s opinions should take responsibility.
The fact that ruling party lawmakers have issued endless criticism toward the president and Blue House is also worrisome.
President Roh needs to take the critics humbly to his heart. He needs to focus on the livelihood of the people while the ruling party needs to reflect the will of the people in politics in order to gain support.
This is what the public sentiment of the people has taught us in the by-elections.