UDP makeoverThe new leadership of the United Democratic Party should work hard to completely remake the party.
The party is as rigid as a fossil and public perception is cold. Even when the support rate for the Grand National Party dropped from 50 to 30 percent in a few months, those who withdrew their GNP support did not go to the UDP. Its support rate is still in the mid-10 percent range. Even if UDP lawmakers stand at the very front of rallies, demonstrators are not moved. The party is missing its precious position as the alternate force, the opposition party to check the ruling party.
The UDP decided to change its name to the Democratic Party. It is to make use of the symbolic advantage of the name. The Democratic Party had fought against the conservative ruling parties, including the GNP.
However, no matter how it makes itself over, as long as the real content does not change, it will be difficult to revive the past glory of the UDP.
The UDP lost at the presidential and legislative elections. Its seats at the National Assembly shrank to 81. It is because it was so caught up in ideological deception that it forgot about the welfare of people’s lives. After the presidential election, the UDP shouted for progressive pragmatism, with Sohn Hak-kyu at its center. As it opposed the ratification of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement and the U.S. beef import crisis, however, it went back to ideological populism. Resolutions last no more than three days.
Its past nature resurfaced and the party has refused for more than a month its sacred responsibility to open the session of the 18th National Assembly.
It has gone to the streets. Where the ideological 386 generation (age 30s, went to university in the 1980s, born in the 1960s) has departed, UDP’s president and chairman are shouting slogans of populism. The party that has a long history has itself lowered to the level of a meeting that lasts a few days.
If it tries to bargain a return to the National Assembly by holding onto various small gains, the new leadership’s path is complicated. Is there a better reason than the beginning of a new leadership to start afresh?
Just as they claim that there should be a national inquiry to investigate the U.S. beef import negotiations, the new leadership should investigate within the party to find a complete makeover solution for the party.
It should shy away from worn-out ideologies or populist politicking and instead seek solutions that have relevance to people’s lives. People are suffering from the third oil shock.