The show must stopRecruiting by rivaling campaign camps has been boisterous. Thirty-something outspoken anti-government SNS political commentator Noh Jae-seung who came into the limelight for his open support for Seoul mayor candidate Oh Se-hoon in the April by-election joined the leadership at the People Power Party’s (PPP) campaign camp for Yoon Suk-yeol.
In a YouTube video about the May 18 Gwangju democratization movement, he challenged what the ruling party wished to hide by enacting a special law to ban public discussion on the historical incident. He also wrote that he hoped “a normal person could be the next leader” and “abhorred” those who boast about poor and difficult family backgrounds. The comments display bias toward a certain group and make him ineligible to represent a mainstream political party. The PPP said Noh apologized for his past comments, but that does not mean he qualifies to become a political leader.
The PPP previously had to withdraw the recruitment of popular dermatologist Ham Ik-byung as a co-head of the campaign camp over controversy about his past improper comments about women.
The ruling Democratic Party (DP) which has been criticizing the PPP’s choices of civilian recruits for its campaign team is no better. Cho Dong-yeon, a professor touted as the first choice by presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung as an expert in aerospace, had to bow out due to questions over her expertise and a family scandal. Kim Yoonyi, founder and CEO of Neuro Associates, is said to have considered joining the PPP before she was recruited by DP.
The showy civilian recruitment of young faces is a ritual during the election season. Some choices have been meaningful. But most contribute little during the campaign season and become forgotten after the election. Since their service is temporary, the parties do not make efforts to double-check their credentials and backgrounds.
Since they have not made that much of an effort, parties act irresponsibly for causing controversies. The figures were simply replaced. Because civilian experts are easily dumped, few would be motivated to go into politics. Lee Jun-seok makes a rare case for surviving in politics for 10 years upon recruitment in 2011 and became the head of the conservative party.
People have become weary of the noise from both parties. The rivalling parities must be more discreet in choosing the people for their camp. The exhibitionist show must stop.