Zigzag politics

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Zigzag politics

Current laws governing the National Assembly require more than 20 lawmakers at each floor negotiating group.

But the Liberty Forward Party, which currently has 18 seats at the National Assembly, is seeking to amend the laws and lower the requirement to 17 seats or less.

The Grand National Party’s floor leader Hong Joon-pyo indicated support for the proposal, which is likely to become a reality once the GNP, which holds a majority in the National Assembly, agrees.

The United Democratic Party, however, is opposing the amendment, saying it will strengthen the presence of the conservative LFP and will eventually weaken the position of the liberal UDP in the National Assembly.

The rule to require more than 20 seats for each floor negotiating group is aimed at preventing too many negotiating groups from disrupting political processes and unsettling productive bipartisan politics.

But LFP is not the first party to try to amend the law. The Democratic Liberal Party, whose seats at the National Assembly shrank to 17 after the 2000 general elections, attempted to lower the requirement to 10 seats.

But the Grand National Party, back then led by Lee Hoi-chang, now leading the LFP, flatly rebuffed the attempt.

The GNP called the rebuttal a convenience-oriented opinion that ignored fundamental parliamentary rules.

In the end, the GNP successfully blocked the DLP’s plans.

Interestingly, Lee is now on the exact opposite side of his own argument eight years ago. By conspiring with the minority Creative Korea Party, he has failed to form a floor negotiating group.

His attempt to ease the requirement to form the floor negotiating group is completely self-contradictory given his argument in 2000.

But the Grand National Party is also as guilty as Lee on this issue since it opposes the proposal, but eight years ago the party conspired with the DLP to try to ease the disputed requirement.

Such political zigzagging not only tarnishes appropriate processes at the National Assembly, it also undermines the credibility of our political parties.

Even elementary school students do not behave like this when they change classroom rules.

If there is an appropriate reason for the amendment, do it ahead of the next general elections.
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