[EDITORIALS]Logic begins to be seenPark Geun-hye, head of the Grand National Party, held a press conference yesterday. She did not have any new proposals. For the most part, she organized and restated positions that have already been publicized. But compared to President Roh Moo-hyun’s press conference a day earlier, Ms. Park held conversations on specific topics. Instead of stimulating regional sentiments or fancy footwork, she showed prospects of developing press appearances into productive discussions.
Yesterday, Ms. Park dedicated about half of her speech to explaining the need for a tax reduction and a small government. It was, in a sense, a response to a topic that President Roh had opened the day before. In addition, she spoke on economic policies in general, such as the basis of economic policies, methods of creating jobs and establishing a social safety network. In all areas, she showed a clear difference in her position and President Roh’s. It was the same with the North Korean nuclear issues.
In particular, if she is going to take positions opposite those of Mr. Roh’s, we hope she will do more than just make direct pleas to the people but develop her ideas into National Assembly debate. That way, her words will not be just empty propaganda, but productive dialogue that could create rational alternatives.
Fortunately, the possibilities for the National Assembly’s normalization have recently gone up. Yesterday, Ms. Park suggested that the National Assembly should be normalized by revising the private school bill, which brought about the conflict in the first place. She said there was no reason to refuse discussing revisions of the law. Although the promise was to “discuss revising the bill” and not necessarily to revise it, that showed she has become more flexible than her previous stance; we could see a hope that the National Assembly might be able to get back to work normally. Even Kim Han-gil, the new floor leader of the Uri Party said that the private school bill was “not the Bible,” adding that some small changes could be made.
To discuss these issues, the floor leaders of the two opposing parties will meet on a mountain during the Lunar New Year’s holiday.
The National Assembly has postponed a number of agenda items, including the ministerial hearings. We hope that the parties will be able to find a compromise that they both can live with so that the people can start off the new year with hope.