A trivial tonsorial tantrum

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A trivial tonsorial tantrum

There are only two weeks to go before the end of the National Assembly’s special February session. Lawmakers only have until tomorrow to work with their standing committees before the plenary session begins on March 5. However, many bills are stalled and the Assembly’s reputation as a body that helps the people has been tarnished.
Kim Hyong-o, the Grand Nationals’ floor leader, has been promising since late last year that he would ensure the passage of a private schools law, but the bill is now unlikely to be passed. Other bills that the Grand National Party placed alongside the schools law will probably not be passed either.
In the light of this gloomy prospect, senior members of the Grand National Party shaved their heads yesterday at the entrance to the plenary session room at the National Assembly, urging that the private schools law revision be passed. But it is disappointing that this tonsorial nonsense was the best idea they could come up with. Shaving one’s head is a tactic for powerless people who have no other way to attract attention, so it’s hard to understand why the lawmakers had to do it. Headshaving is no substitute for getting their jobs done.
Lawmakers are supposed to establish, abolish and correct laws. What do these legislators hope to achieve by shaving their heads while failing to do their jobs? The Grand National Party has become the largest party in Parliament. President Roh Moo-hyun is deserting his party. De facto, there is now no ruling or opposition party. The Grand National Party has the responsibility to lead the National Assembly. It is pathetic that senior members of the party chose this moment to shave their heads, a moment when they should have been showing some leadership to pass bills and improve life for the people.
The people are tired of politics in which dialogue has been replaced with confrontation. Politics is about conversation and compromise. The people do not support the incumbent administration because its leadership has been arrogant. Now the Grand National Party is behaving in the same way. It’s as if arrogance is a virus that has affected all our politicians, leaving them impotent when it comes to their jobs.
The Grand National floor leader and his counterpart in the Uri Party are to meet today. We hope that they will use their political expertise to establish ways to coexist. There is much to be done. They should put away their razors and start working in the interest of the people ― bad haircuts are for children.

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