A party that ignores its own crossroads

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A party that ignores its own crossroads

 The Democratic Party (DP) is in disarray. Youthful interim co-head Park Ji-hyun gave a teary apology for misdeeds of the party and urged the old guard to retire and make way for younger figures to overcome the so-called fandom and tribal politics.
Leaders of the party unanimously lambasted Park for her unilateral ways. The DP is faced with internal strife amid sagging popularity ahead of the June 1 local elections, following its presidential election defeat.
Park is not wrong in admitting that the party has failed to live up to expectations. The DP has governed over the last five years and commanded around 170 seats in the legislature. It swept the last local elections of four years ago to dominate local governments and local councils.
Despite overwhelming support, the DP has hardly repaid voters, worsening lives due to spiking real estate prices caused by its own failed policies. It overly appeased its political supporters and railroaded policies that only pleased its die-hard supporters. As the result, its winning streak in elections stopped with the last presidential election.
Park bowed and vowed to apology 100 or 1,000 times if necessary for the stubborn ways of the DP and pleaded to the public for a second chance. “We will be stricter on ourselves and won’t speak for politicians who have betrayed the public,” she said. “We won’t imprison ourselves in blind support and will reinvent ourselves as a popular party.”
Her attempt at atonement, however, drew fiery criticism from DP hard-line supporters and most DP leaders. The party has not changed a little even though it has attempted to change since the presidential election defeat. Hard-line lawmakers forced their way to pass controversial bills stripping the prosecution of investigative powers.
Lee Jae-myung, defeated presidential candidate and former governor of Gyeonggi Province, is running for a legislative seat in Incheon through by-election instead of taking some time to reflect on his defeat in the last presidential election.
The party must pay heed to the desperate urgings of the 26-year-old politician who was recruited just ahead of the presidential election. None of the mainstream figures in the DP have shown a remorseful attitude. They demeaned the plea from their young leader as her “private opinion” and brushed aside her suggestions.
The public does not wait patiently. They judge with their ballots if the elected power does not carry out its duties. The DP must ruminate hard on the words of Park if it wishes to recover public trust. 
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