[VIEWPOINT]Sinking Uri Party’s defeat is inevitable

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[VIEWPOINT]Sinking Uri Party’s defeat is inevitable

The Uri Party is deeply depressed. It seems to have given up on the May 31 local elections.
During the period of election campaigning in the past, it was unimaginable to see lawmakers wandering in and out of golf courses.
The legislators are now focused on the politics of what will happen in the days after the local election.
“Holding the power once again,” sounds like a good slogan.
But if you gave lawmakers a choice, they would overwhelmingly choose to become a legislator of the opposition party rather than a defeated candidate of the ruling party.
Due to this, it is a fait accompli that the Uri Party lawmakers who hail from the Jeolla provinces will merge with the Democratic Party.
The uneasiness of first-time elected lawmakers who were elected from the Seoul metropolitan area and its vicinity is even worse.
The next presidential election will be held in December 2007 and the new president will be inaugurated Jan. 25, 2008. The legislative elections will be held in April 2008, two months after the new president is inaugurated.
The new president will present a bundle of reform policies. The general election will be held at a time when the presidential approval rating generally hovers around 90 percent.
Moreover, if a favorable political environment is in place for the president to carry out his reform policies, the governing party’s candidates will win a sweeping victory in almost all of the electoral districts in the Seoul metropolitan area.
What is worse is that the Uri Party lawmakers from the Seoul metropolitan area have been elected easily riding on the tide of presidential impeachment that created a sympathetic atmosphere for the president and the Uri Party during the last legislative elections.
They could not train themselves to survive in a wild field during the cold winter season.
Aren’t they feeling uneasy out of concern that their political life will end if they fail to line up with the president-elect?
There is an old saying that a well-to-do family will survive at least three generations, even if it goes bankrupt. It is unbelievable that the governing party, which took the majority of the seats in the 2004 general elections, is in such a dire situation after only two years.
There is a reason for that: It has made too many enemies. Among Korean people, there is hardly a person who was not fingered as a “conservative nut.”
How can the approval ratings of the Grand National Party go up gradually, even though its lawmakers accepted bribes from candidates in exchange for the party’s ticket in the local elections and its secretary-general sexually harassed a female reporter?
It is because the minds of the people have left the Uri Party irrevocably. There is scarcely anything that the Grand National Party did right.
The governing party and the present government have indulged in the politics of hatred. They enjoyed benefits from it, but failed to recognize that they themselves could suddenly become the targets of the hatred they have spreaded so eagerly. Why do they place their political preferences ahead of the administration’s responsibility, and thus create a terrible conflict?
After the police failed to prevent demonstrators from marching onto the site where the U.S. military bases will relocate, the Defense Ministry designated it as an area for military facility protection.
How can we call it a normal government when the military and the police do not share the same view on an important national policy? Does Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-woong, who left unarmed soldiers exposed to violent demonstrators, have sound judgment?
It will be difficult to find another country, other than South Korea, that deserts soldiers who cherish honor in such a dishonorable way.
Didn’t the government employ a brother of Kim Dae-eop, who made false testimony that former GNP presidential candidate Lee Hoi-chang’s son dodged military service?
I don’t mean to apply the system of guilt by association, but the government should avoid taking action that can be misunderstood and that looks foolish.
The same applies to the measures the government has taken on the investigation of the attack on Park Geun-hye, chairwoman of the Grand National Party. The government should have recognized that the head of Seoul’s Western District Public Prosecutors Office, who would head the joint investigation headquarters, was the one the Grand National Party would challenge.
The excuse that the Western District Public Prosecutors Office has jurisdiction over the case because the crime was committed in the Sinchon area in Seoul, and that the principle on jurisdiction must be observed, only sounds lame.
If the prosecutors sum up the investigation by concluding that it was a crime committed by “a sole offender” and that there was no political background behind the crime, will the Grand National Party accept it silently?
Apparently, there will be more commotion, because the Grand National Party distrusts the result of the investigation and there is also a possibility of reinvestigation.
In the evening of the day when the president said it was desirable for the governing party to have a dialogue with the opposition and to try to make a compromise rather than incessant fighting, the Uri Party lawmakers called an emergency meeting and decided to refuse the president’s suggestion.
The behavior of the Uri Party legislators was hard to understand. If they don’t honor the words of the president, the people will follow suit. I dare to give advice to the Uri Party lawmakers: Please unfold politics that are befitting to the governing party and worthy of being called politics, and give up the politics of hatred.
If you don’t start again from the beginning with sincerity, no remedy can cure the present catastrophe.

* The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Kim Du-woo
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