Be rationalThe National Assembly finally resumed normal functions again yesterday, 82 days after it started its term on May 30. It was the worst standoff since committee formation was delayed for 125 days in 1992.
Under the National Assembly Law, standing committees need to be formed at least 10 days after starting a new term.
The fact that the National Assembly, which is responsible for legislation, is habitually breaking laws, could shake the pillars on which the state rests.
It is unforgivable considering livelihoods are at stake. There are 588 legislative proposals still pending in the Assembly. Ninety proposals are related to the everyday lives of the people, including 33 tax-related proposals. There is also a proposal to create a supplementary budget.
The main opposition Democratic Party is largely responsible for the National Assembly standoff. During the candlelight vigils against the resumption of U.S. beef imports, the Democrats chose to take part in demonstrations in front of Seoul City Hall instead of working at the National Assembly.
Some DP lawmakers stood on the front lines during certain illegal and violent protests.
Most recently, the DP tried to limit a deal between Korea and the United States to resume imports of American beef through the amendment of a law on livestock diseases. This created a deadlock in the National Assembly.
The ruling Grand National Party, for its part, let itself be bossed about by the demonstrators. It failed to prevent the Assembly standoff, instead wasting time under the name of negotiation and compromise.
Negotiation is important and necessary. The National Assembly needs to be run in the spirit and tradition of negotiation between different blocs.
However, this has to be carried out in a framework of rational arguments and conditions. If a certain force makes excessive demands for political maneuvering, the majority rule should come before compromise.
The unreasonable standstill at the National Assembly should end from now on. The Assembly should instead adhere to the principle of a rational majority.