The silly sessionThe fiasco at the National Assembly yesterday over approving the supplementary budget bill creates doubt about the ruling Grand National Party’s ability to deal with state affairs. The special budget committee convened with one lawmaker less than what it took to form a quorum. The GNP quickly switched a missing GNP committee member with another GNP lawmaker. It is as if the GNP thinks that special committee member is like a Lego block that can be replaced at anytime. Moreover, they started voting even before the committee member swap was finished. The ruling party, with its majority, violated the laws and nullified the bill.
The ruling party tried to cover up the controversy over the nullification of the voting and asked the Assembly speaker to use his authority to present the bill to the plenary session as a shortcut. The speaker refused, and the plenary session was not held. The ruling party tried to monkey with the rules of order to get its desired result and everything blew up in its face. The supplementary budget of 4.3 trillion won ($3.9 billion), which includes subsidies for low-income households, never rose to the surface before the Chuseok holiday begins today.
Looking at the past chaos shown by the ruling party, the fiasco could have been anticipated. The ruling party’s heads were dragged down by those who opposed imports of American beef when protestors took to the streets to hold the candlelight vigils. There was commotion from the GNP chairman’s comment over sending a special envoy to North Korea. Some lawmakers insisted on resignation of the National Policy Agency commissioner recently without serious thought about the consequences.
The GNP floor leader suddenly suggested a political talk between the two Koreas. Most recently, the floor leader talked about reshuffling the government and ruling party later this year. The party holds frequent study meetings but they are in disarray. The ruling party promoted the budget bill saying it is for public welfare but they could not even make a quorum.
The GNP floor leader expressed his intention to resign but the party held him back. The party may have something to say but we are worried that with such leadership, the party with as many as 172 seats will just create more confusion. The main opposition Democratic Party delayed, and now it is blaming the GNP for rushing the bill to a vote. The DP should respect the principle of majority, and the GNP as the ruling party with a majority should maturely run the Assembly.