[EDITORIALS]Vote wisely

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[EDITORIALS]Vote wisely

We have one week to go before the May 31 local elections. We will choose the workers who will labor for our communities for four years. Since local governments use half of our tax money, these are very important elections.
But the results of the elections seem to be already decided, and they are drawing less and less attention as the time to vote approaches.
Since Park Geun-hye, the Grand National Party chairwoman, was attacked last weekend, the elections have lost much of their meaning. There is not much of an evaluation of candidates but there are a lot of debates over the assault. Feeling sorry for Ms. Park is natural and the circumstances and the perpetrators must be investigated. But the meaning of the local elections should not be forgotten because of this incident.
Fortunately, neither the Uri nad Grand National parties are trying to use the incident in their campaigns. Ms. Park wisely told her party members not to overreact to the attack.
But the incident is not the only reason that these elections seem to be focusing more on the national political parties than local issues. Even before the official campaigns started, Uri maintained that local governments should be punished, while the opposition parties claimed that the Roh administration should be censured. In doing so, both failed to keep their promise to focus on election pledges in running their campaigns.
One cannot look at a candidate without thinking of his party, because in party politics parties take responsibility for managing the administration. But forgetting a candidate’s personality and pledges, as is done these days, does no good at all for the development of local autonomy.
We hope the candidates who are behind in the polls will fight on. No matter how large the polling gap may be, spectators applaud sportsmen who do their best until the final buzzer sounds.
The National Election Commission is scheduled to release election handouts by May 26. These documents will include voting information, candidate profiles and their pledges.
We should read this material carefully before we vote. The Web site of the JoongAng Ilbo has a section that displays information on each candidate.
We need to compare candidates to choose the right person. We might regret our decisions for four years should we cast our votes based on mass psychology and without thorough consideration of each candidate.
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