Change from withinThe opening of the September National Assembly session ended again in an embarrassment. Although the session began on Tuesday, the ruling and opposition parties failed to even create a legislative timetable, as the Democrats insist that the schedule must follow their wishes.
In his opening speech, Speaker Kim Hyong-o said, “The paradigm of the era has changed. President Obama was elected in the United States, and the Democratic Party won power in Japan in its first victory in 54 years. China is becoming an ultra superpower. However, Korea’s legislature is repeating [older] practices such as the speaker’s direct introduction of a bill for voting, physical fights and boycotts.”
Professor Choi Jang-jip, a famous liberal critic, has raised his voice against the opposition parties, and it is worth listening to his remarks. Choi spoke before a research group, created by four opposition party lawmakers, called the Liberal Reform Legislation Alliance. The opposition lawmakers must pay attention to the outside criticism and change their actions.
“The current Democratic Party is doing nothing but busily coming up with a plan to succeed former presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun,” Choi pointed out. Competing to win the relics of the old era in a changing world is no different from what the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan has been doing.
The past liberal governments are not all about examples. The view of the past used to separate everything between democracy and anti-democracy, and such a view cannot resolve the problems of today. It is also undesirable to plan the nation’s future. Demanding flexible thinking, Choi has pointed out such shortcomings.
Because the opposition parties lack philosophies and vision, they are obsessed with “emotional extremism” and pursue sensationalism. The opposition parties only complain about the current administration, which won the election, and fail to see why the voters turned against them.
It is, therefore, no wonder that they fail to see new alternatives. “I have never seen them thoroughly evaluating the achievements and shortcomings of the past government and discussing convincing alternatives,” Choi said.
The National Assembly has become an arena of mudslinging fights. Lawmakers are only calculating what will benefit them for the next elections, instead of thinking about this nation’s future. The physical fights and blunt verbal attacks are not enough to win the presidency.
Choi said the liberals are often irresponsible. He questioned what they have done after democratization.
If they want the power to run an administration, they at the very least must have a vision. But it is even more urgent for the opposition lawmakers to end their obsolete political behavior that has irritated the people.