Who’s bizarre?On Monday, the United New Democratic Party held a convention of the party’s election committees across the country and members of the party made some strong remarks. Those attending the convention condemned the fact that the approval ratings for Lee Myung-bak, the Grand National Party’s presidential candidate, do not drop despite their expectations. Kim Geun-tae, the chairman of the party’s overall election committee, said that his heart sank when he saw the polls and added that he was worried that South Koreans, having achieved democracy and economic growth, have become “senile.” Campaign manager Sohn Hak-kyu said that Korea has become a “bizarre” country in which a liar has been the leading presidential contender for the last three years. Chung Dong-young, the UNDP candidate, said if a president who has manipulated stock prices in the past orders others to punish those who manipulate stock prices, that would not work. Of course Chung conveniently failed to mention that the prosecution has not revealed the results of its investigation into manipulation charges against Lee.
UNDP members must surely be upset that Lee’s support remains steady despite the scandals touching him over false addresses, illegal hiring of his children and the BBK stock fraud case.
But anyone can see the reason. Many suspect that there are problems with Lee’s ethics, but they cannot support those who have created chaos in office for the past five years by fighting and splitting their parties. The people cannot leave the future of the country to these politicians. This is why the GNP has enjoyed high approval ratings despite its flaws, while the new liberal party’s support hovers around 10 percent.
Kim Geun-tae used to be health and welfare minister and chairman of the Uri Party, the group of amateurs who ran things for the past five years. The people felt sorry because he had been tortured under military rule so they elected him a lawmaker and a presidential hopeful. But now he says the people may be senile. Sohn was a lawmaker, a cabinet minister and Gyeonggi governor in the same country he calls bizarre. He betrayed the GNP that had nurtured him. Now he blames the people as he loses his political gamble. That is what is truly bizarre.
The senior members of the largest party in the National Assembly are pointing their fingers at the people instead of covering their own faces in shame.
The “senile” people in the “bizarre” country could only look on in silence.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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