[EDITORIALS]Bad politics begin 2006At the start of the year, the country is in a mess. The origin of the problem was President Roh Moo-hyun’s cabinet reshuffle. The country is in a ruckus because he was not able to appoint a single appropriate person to take control of major administrative posts. A man who was arrested for mishandling campaign funds was appointed as labor minister, and a person shunned even by his own party was selected as health minister. These appointments stirred controversy, which is why Mr. Roh is responsible for the commotion. There is a saying that a good start accomplishes half the task, but since circumstances stand as they are, we are worried about the nation’s condition for the rest of the year.
Appointing and changing ministers is one of the core functions of the administrative power that the president holds. However, for the cabinet changes, Mr. Roh postponed announcing the next health minister for the sake of Rhyu Si-min. The Blue House explained that it was because the presidential office wanted to discuss the matter with the leaders of the party as a courtesy, since some Uri Party members raised objections to Mr. Rhyu’s appointment. But then when opposition within the party began to spread, it went ahead and announced Mr. Rhyu’s appointment before meeting with the leaders of the party. That action implies that the Blue House never meant to discuss its decision with the party in the first place.
Younger lawmakers made a statement expressing their regret and leaders of the Uri Party postponed a dinner at the Blue House. In fact, the ruling party is refusing to meet with the president. This is quite an epochal event. The president cannot even take care of things that go on in his own house ― can we expect that kind of person to display administrative leadership? It is no wonder that people are saying he has already become a lame duck. The hissing and clawing may be an internal problem of the Uri Party, but it is diverting time and attention away from the government’s tasks.
If chosen by the people to run the country, the president has the duty to do it well. First he ostracized the opposition party and did things on his own, such as passing the budget bill. Now that the members of the governing party are bickering among themselves, the public and businesses are anxious. Politicians are not leading the nation, but only clutching at it by its ankles. Politics should help people live comfortable, affluent lives.
Don’t politicians hear the cries of the people screaming how hard it is to make a living?