[EDITORIALS]Public will is dismissedPresident Roh Moo-hyun’s remarks about the results of the local elections were simple at first. “I accept it as a trend of public opinion,” he said.
His constituents who have been longing for a sincere self-examination and appropriate change of policy by Mr. Roh, however, once again felt disappointment.
The next day he said that the government would do its best to “faithfully implement the policies it has been pursuing.”
Two days later, he delivered a lecture on democracy. “Democracy is something that does not make a country prosper or collapse as a result of one or two elections, nor does it raise up a political party or throw it to the ground in a couple of elections.”
He cited the case of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada as an example.
The Mulroney government was defeated in the 1993 election because of its election pledge to raise the consumption tax. But that very policy was attributed by Mr. Roh as the reason the party returned to power 13 years later.
Mr. Roh seems to think that he is pushing policies for the future of the country but that people just don’t appreciate them.
This reminds us of some other remarks he made last autumn, including his observation that “people’s opinions of history have nothing to do with the opinion stemming from emotional interests.”
Is that a clue to understanding the origin of his self-righteousness and arrogance?
Mr. Roh’s perceptions of the results of these elections is a problem. Voters did not try to take personal advantage of this election. They shared the common understanding that with this administration, there is no future for this country and the life of the people will be ruined.
Voters have sent warning signals many times already. But the ruling party simply disregarded them. Now the red card comes out. Elections are the the way people express their opinions in a democracy.
In a parliamentary system, the administration would have been out the door immediately after election results like these, but Mr. Roh still tries to avoid reading the people’s mandate.
Mr. Roh is an elected president. There is an obvious reason why the voters, who gave a legislative majority to the Roh administration in the 2004 elections, withdrew their support this time.
A fundamental re-examination of national policy is the message that the people of this country have sent to the Roh administration.