Don’t fool the publicA group dubbed Political Reform Alliance comprised of figures from civic groups registered to form a new party with the National Election Commission. The founding members include former Unification Minister Han Wan-sang, democracy-activist and Catholic priest Ham Se-woong, liberal actor Moon Sung-keun and outspoken food columnist Hwang Kyo-ik. The ruling Democratic Party (DP) and left-wing Justice Party have been invited to send candidates for proportional representation to the fledgling party and recall them once they get elected. The DP is said to be studying the offer.
The ruling party has opted for the coalition idea after its attempt to create a satellite party for proportional representation came under fire. But that is a contradictory move — and betraying to the people — if it resorts to such scheming in order to add a few more seats in the National Assembly.
The DP denounced the main opposition United Future Party (UFP) for creating the Future Korea Party (FKP) — a sort of satellite party for the UFP — because it “shames” our politics through the establishment of a “scam, ghost and fake party.” One senior DP member called the FKP simply “trash.” The DP even filed a complaint against the UFP Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn with the prosecution. But now it is creating its own. Does it think it can fool the public by establishing a coalition instead of a satellite party?
Justice Party (JP) Chairwoman Sim Sang-jung — who had collaborated with the ruling party to pass the new electoral law to benefit the splinter opposition — also condemned the DP for scheming to capitalize on the proportional representation system. Yoon So-ha, floor leader of the JP, warned that if the DP uses the same trick as the conservatives, it would bring about a tragic doom for the entire progressive front. The Political Reform Joint Action comprising of 580 civilian NGOs, including the DP-backing the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, also warned the DP was self-contradicting if it aims to use foul play against the foul play of the UFP for creating a satellite party.
The entire country is under a virus scare. Yet the DP is seeking ways to add a few more legislative seats. If it wants to win, it must win public confidence. Political scheming never works. It must look back on how it ended up losing public confidence in the first place. It must be humble and do some deep soul-searching.