Luck and the lady
Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye are quarreling over the rules for the Grand National Party primary election.
Former mayor Lee asserts that the two must follow the demands of the day. The former party leader, Park, retorts that one is bound to abide by the rules even when playing poker, and is talking about giving up running in the primary. Sohn Hak-kyu, the former provincial governor, left the party because of the primary election rules.
Fights like these occur when the candidates feel they are winning, because the presidential chair is right in front of them. But no one wins games like these.
Having witnessed the passionate aspiration for democracy in June of 1987, both opposition party candidates, Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung, turned down proposal after proposal to unite for every reason they could think of. Kim Dae-jung even thought that running separately from Kim Young-sam would help him because it would divide the votes in the Gyeongsang Provinces. The same thing happened in 1980 when people mistakenly believed the “spring of Seoul” had arrived. Kim Dae-jung asked Kim Young-sam to run separately, and they’d take the ruling or opposition parties based on the result.
Blame is usually placed on the one who makes an issue of things or the one who goes back on a promise, like former candidate Rhee In-je, who chose to run even though he was defeated in the 1997 party primary. What is more problematic are the Grand National Party National assemblymen who are only calculating their personal interests. Those who boast that they should lead the country do not seem much different in their cravings from ordinary men buying lotto tickets.
*The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
By Kim Jin-kook [firstname.lastname@example.org]