Think, vote, make historyToday, voters will make two important decisions. They need to decide which candidate and which political party they will vote for in the legislative elections. This may be a small decision for one person, but when all the decisions are combined, it creates history. These decisions democratized Korea and achieved a power shift between the ruling and the opposition party, between the Yeongnam area and the Honam area and between the older and the younger generations. Last year, voters replaced the liberal administration after 10 years.
What should Koreans think about today? First, let’s look at President Lee Myung-bak and the Grand National Party. One and a half months have passed since the new administration took office. Voters must examine carefully whether the wrongs and discord created during this period were simple mistakes that the administration made. Voters must look carefully at whether the GNP and the administration are prepared to fix their wrongs and pursue advancement, pragmatism and to restore the economy as promised.
Let’s next look at the United Democratic Party. Voters will consider whether the UDP members are busy criticizing the new administration after they misruled for the past five years, and if they will listen to what voters say while begging for votes.
The Liberty Forward Party used to claim that it preserves the values of neo-conservatism, but as the legislative elections near, the party has been claiming to be the party for the Chungcheong provinces. Voters should think seriously about how the LFP’s conservatism differs from the GNP stance, and if a political party for the Chungcheong provinces is needed in Korea. The Pro-Park alliance and the alliance of independent candidates supporting Park Geun-hye are also on the list to look into. Important questions are why these alliances were created, whether having a bond with Park will contribute to the development of Korean politics and what relations these alliances will have with the GNP after the elections.
The Democratic Labor Party failed to meet voter expectations for the past four years and now has been split into two parties. How much support should voters give these minor parties to let them play the role of salt in Korean politics?
Lastly, voters need to look carefully at candidates. Voters have booklets for the elections. They need to check into candidates’ pasts, their volunteer works, and their military, tax and criminal records, if any. The legislative elections are like a work of art that candidates, the political parties and voters make together. Voters complete the work with their final touch.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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