Let the bills in

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Let the bills in

On April 9, the Democratic Party adopted a revision to National Assembly law drawn up by Park Sang-cheon as its party platform. The amendment is aimed at stopping irregularities in the National Assembly. It is even more welcomed because it was the opposition Democratic Party that made the move.

The key to Park’s bill is to make it compulsory to submit a bill, even when it causes controversy. The simple and natural process of submitting a bill has been a cause for irregularities in the National Assembly. From late last year until February this year, the National Assembly was in disarray. The trouble began when the opposition party resorted to violence in order to stop the ruling party from submitting its bills. As the ruling party usually jammed bills through with its majority vote, the opposition tried to stop the initial submission process. As a result, important bills failed to be presented.

Thus, a revision to make it mandatory to submit a bill has been impossible because the opposition refused it, not trusting the ruling party. The opposition party suspects that once a bill is submitted, the governing party will push it through without any decent deliberation.

Park presented measures to calm the suspicion as well - a process of mediation and filibuster, a legal form of obstruction in a legislature. A filibuster is to be allowed in order to ensure sufficient negotiations. The purpose of the new bill is to make it obligatory for the opposition and ruling party to compromise, which they have so far neglected to do due to distrust and hostility.

Park’s efforts represent a good model in the political community. Park is a 72-year-old veteran politician who has been elected five times and served as party chairman. Early this year he maintained the necessity of the revision of the law in the National Assembly inquiry into the administration, but many were skeptical.

Most opposition party members opposed the idea, saying it was well-intentioned, but that it would be abused by the governing party. Park visited other younger National Assemblymen and persuaded them. As a result, in the general meeting of National Assemblymen on April 2, the bill was confirmed and on April 9, in a senior members’ policy meeting, the decision was made to present it.

Minbon 21, a group of progressive-minded members inside the ruling party, is also preparing a revision of the National Assembly law. We hope that not only the Grand National Party but also other parties will collaborate and pass Park’s law as soon as possible.

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