Pushing lawmakers in the right direction
As a journalist, I get to meet people in various fields. I may not be the most sought-after person, but I have so many places to go to and so many people to meet.
It is a pleasure I get to enjoy, thanks to my career in journalism. My experiences have taught me that people leave different impressions after encounters. Some make me deeply moved and some refresh me. There are people who leave gloomy, depressing feelings. Rarely, I get to meet people who have strong spirits. I am energized and inspired to meet someone who is not willing to compromise and is pursuing his dreams courageously and speaking up about his vision proudly.
Not so long ago, I had a completely new experience when I visited the National Assembly. I was walking down the corridor in the Members’ Hall and felt a strong force. The Assembly members, the secretaries and aides, the officials and the citizens visiting to file complaints projected a certain energy. Their eyes were different. Only 10 years ago, I was a political correspondent. I frequented the National Assembly everyday and did not notice this strange energy, partly because I was a part of it. The National Assembly is a site where all different kinds of interests and opinions collide.
The superstitious belief in Yeouido, Seoul, is that one needs to be born with the vital force of nature to become elected as a member of the National Assembly. I cannot agree more. The legislators are not normal people, in good and bad ways.
When I was a rookie reporter covering the National Assembly, I had been skeptical about politics. But my cynicism diminished as I realized that my job was very important. My duty was too serious and grave to stay sarcastic and skeptical. Just like the classic western movies, there are the good, the bad and the ugly in the National Assembly. We need to encourage the good, get rid of the bad and gentrify the ugly.
The Korea Democracy Federation has taken up the task and held the Republic of Korea Citizen’s Assembly at the Seoul Youth Hostel in Namsan, central Seoul. The 100 members of the Citizens’ Assembly, 60 district representatives and 40 proportional representatives, met for two days and delivered the outcome to the newly convened 19th National Assembly. The Citizens’ Assembly is made up of members with four political tendencies: conservative, moderate, progressive and green.
Whether you like it or not, the National Assembly is the legislative branch of Korea. The 19th National Assembly term will begin on June 5. Instead of criticizing the lawmakers and regretting voting for them, let’s push them to the right direction.
*The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
By Noh Jae-hyun