Shared power

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Shared power

Since the recent meeting between President Lee Myung-bak and the Liberty Forward Party Chairman Lee Hoi-chang, the possibility of a conservative grand coalition or alliance is being talked about. Some are suggesting that Sim Dae-pyung, head of the Liberty Forward Party, could become the next prime minister. The GNP’s Park Geun-hye has also been mentioned for the post.

However, what’s more important than nominating a certain person for a certain post is the change in President Lee’s way of thinking.

The president should consider sharing the concentrated power and responsibility that has been focused on him by his supporters.

President Lee seems to have tried to monopolize power. One example is what happened during the April general elections. He kicked the pro-Park Geun-hye faction out of the party by not giving them party nominations.

His party got enough votes to win just over half of the National Assembly seats. Nevertheless he did not see this as a warning from the people. Even if the leader is prone to self-flattery, the consequences would not have been as bad if his administration was competent. But watching it cope with a series of incidents, shows this administration clearly has its limits when it comes to controlling a situation.

By selecting people from both inside and outside his party to be cabinet ministers or prime minister, he can win people’s hearts.

As for the problem with the beef deal, the Liberty Forward Party decided to cooperate with regards to opening the National Assembly, while the United Democrats and the Democratic Labor Party still oppose doing so. The Liberty Forward Party does not want the administration to wobble lest the entire conservative force break down.

If President Lee shares the power he has now with the forces that he can create alliances with, he will also gain the power to overcome the crisis that his administration is now facing.

Former President Kim Dae-jung realized his limits and aligned with Kim Jong-pil of the United Liberal Democrats. Later, Kim Dae-jung broke his promise and pushed aside the United Liberal Democrats, but the alliance between the two contributed to stability at the beginning of his administration. Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-pil stood at opposite ends of the political spectrum but they made an alliance anyway.

Power can be bigger and stronger when it is shared rather than being monopolized.
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