For the common people?The special session of the 17th National Assembly will close on May 24. It basically means that five days are left for the United Democratic Party to enjoy having the greatest number of seats. It now has 136 seats. But starting next month, it will have 81 seats — almost half after five years of work. As the party lost in the presidential and legislative elections, it should have reconsidered its stance and expressed a broader view for the country at its last session.
The United Democratic Party’s last days in majority, however, have been quite regrettable. It was their administration that concluded the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Thus, it is responsible politics for them to take care of the agreement’s ratification before the 17th Assembly ends.
However, when the U.S. beef import crisis exploded, the United Democratic Party turned to dark politicking.
What it represented had changed. It led the opposition forces’ struggle against the beef imports and supported the candlelight vigils and helped fuel insecurity about mad cow disease.
This is not all. The party has revealed a strategy to link the beef import problem with the opening of the 18th Assembly. There was even talk that the spokesperson would put up a battle outside the Assembly hall. We should simply watch the government correct the defects and solve the problem of beef imports. What does the opening of the 18th Assembly have to do with U.S. beef imports? Is the United Democratic Party intent on creating confusion by taking advantage of the declining support for the ruling party?
Powerful candidates of the United Democratic Party are competing to make proclamations about beef imports in view of the upcoming party’s national convention.
It is worrisome that the 18th Assembly’s opening, public welfare legislation and the FTA ratification will again be adrift in the midst of such politicking and emotion.
The last presidential and legislative elections gave important lessons to the United Democratic Party.
The lessons were that they should strive for pragmatic solutions that would actually help the common people and the middle class, instead of resorting to ideologies and populism.
The Korea-U.S. FTA would bring jobs to the common people and the middle class and allow them to eat beef more easily. If the United Democratic Party stands for the common people and the middle class, why are they ignoring such common sense?