Grow up, get organizedDismay is the word to describe what we see before the party nomination for general elections in April. The Grand National Party, which will soon be the ruling party, addressed dissidence in party principles to the extent that it allowed abnormal measures. The United New Democratic Party also is gradually showing signs of internal discontent. Less than two months after the presidential election, one losing candidate is cruising between parties, offering his support. A stunt like this starkly displays the backwardness of Korean politics. It is true that Korean politics has advanced a lot, with elections influenced by illegal money rarely found these days. However, party nominations are still worlds apart from the so-called global standard for transparent democracy.
Party nominations hold tremendous significance for the state and the citizens. The legislative branch of Korea consists mostly of those who have been nominated by their parties. They are the people who audit national policies and legislate laws. We must select those community members of such importance with an objective and precise institution for the public interest. But Korea has loose laws for that. As a consequence, unofficial ties, such as the influence of a political faction, have more clout than the candidate’s personality or the trust he gained from citizens. Before every election, political parties assert that they will reform for a transparent nomination. Nonetheless, what happens in reality is that the same people who committed the same wrongs are repeatedly nominated. A fresh, capable personality is hard to find under these circumstances.
This is because underlying political institutions are not scientific. The review process for nominations should abide by minute and scientific criteria. Those criteria can include the response of voters on the policy activities of incumbent assemblymen and what voters want changed.
We can quantify one’s career achievements, community service, moral integrity, conformity to law and plans for policy activities. A review committee can assess the general aspects of a candidate by conducting an interview or test based on such criteria. You can find model examples of a review institution for party nomination in local branches of parties in Britain. Practically speaking, the central party committee is unlikely to understand the situation of 240 local branches or the capacity of each candidate. One feels aggrieved to see the hubbub over nominations repeated every four years. Voters want an organized, mature system for nomination.