Bridling the new powerThe atmosphere seems to have changed two months before the general elections in April.
Public support for President-elect Lee Myung-bak and his aides is falling, whereas the view that their power should be deterred is on the rise. According to the Joins opinion poll conducted by the JoongAng Ilbo, a positive understanding of the transition committee’s projects recorded 65.7 percent on Jan. 9; 63.9 percent on Jan. 16; 62.9 percent on Jan. 24 and 58.8 percent on Jan. 30. This clearly shows a downward tendency. When the Munwha Ilbo conducted research on Feb. 4 with The Opinion, the conservative view scored 55.6 percent that the coming ruling power should receive more support in the elections, which is a 5.1 percent drop from the numbers on Dec. 28 of last year.
Arguments for deterring that the go-it-alone tendency of the government and ruling party, on the other hand, have risen by 7.5 percentage points to 40.8 percent.
Disagreement with the ruling power is gaining support because the transition committee has been rushing into unilateral and immature policies. The president-elect and the transition committee appear to feel pressures to show tangible results immediately.
Thus they wanted to push forward the canal construction idea and instigated unrest among the people due to an incomplete English education policy. They also attempted to intervene in the market for the purpose of reducing mobile phone charges, contrary to what they said previously.
Because of one remark from the president-elect, the VIP room at Incheon International Airport had to change its rules on who can use its facility. Hundreds of people who do not actually work for the transition team hold prestigious tags as advisers of the committee.
No wonder people think they should check the growing power of the transition committee.
Despite the increasing discontent with the ruling power, however, support for the United New Democratic Party still remains somewhere near 10 percent. Other small parties are even worse.
It means that even though citizens want to check the Grand National Party, they cannot find an effective alternative to support. Indeed, party Chairman Sohn Hak-kyu upholds the slogan of a new progressive party for the United New Democrats, trying to incorporate pragmatism. The subtle change in public opinion is alarming to the president-elect and his party, and to all opposition against the GNP, including the UNDP.