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[Editorial] Though not loud, refreshing voice!

Posted July. 19, 2000 15:29,   


The voice may not have sounded loud but was certainly refreshing. Albeit the voice of protest produced only a big echo and could not resound as it hit the thick walls of our political realities, the declaration by seven rookie lawmakers to refuse to assume the role of a henchman for their party leaders shows some meaningful signs that we are, though in a slow pace, extricating ourselves from our old politics.

For the time being, though, their protest may meet, or be ridiculed by, their old guard`s harsh criticism as a mere political stunt to draw people`s attention to them, and to show as if they only represented the few righteous `outsiders` to the old political forces. But, our hope is that it will eventually make a threshold for budding and blossoming of our much needed political reforms.

What makes fresh this little and low sound of protest has a simple and clear reason. People are genuinely tired of today`s parliamentary standoff and the uncompromising partisan tug of war, no matter what is behind their partisan strategy. For that reason, we feel it inspiringly fresh that the seven young bipartisan lawmakers made a move to criticize their respective party caucus and to urge immediate normalization of parliament so as to resume its plenary session abruptly adjourned, sine die.

What draws our particular attention here is the fact that their move represents a revolt within the parliament against sickening features of political behavior and inertia of our old politicians. These lawmakers were elected in the last general election in the wake of the civic organizations` desperate campaign and agony to revolt and protest against the `old stagnant water` long accumulated in our political pond, so-to-speak. We read into their move the mission of our times to reform our old political climate and behavior.

In their declaration, they demanded that their party caucus should not, against their will and for an unjustifiable cause, assign them with an unsavory task to play the role of a henchman against their respective opposition parties. There have been so many instances that such henchmen have littered our political circles and derailed our parliamentary agendas. There were no small number of first or second time lawmakers who exacerbated our political repugnance by acting merely as political surrogates and cheering backbenchers for their party leadership, and by engaging in base muckraking, emotional bickering and impulsive behavior at the party`s instruction. They were merely a political agent and front for the party leadership. Thus, the protest against such politics of `party fronts or agents` will certainly be viewed as a meaningful political reform.

Hardly more than fifty legislators were present at the ceremony to observe the 17th anniversary of the Constitution Day. What was particularly noteworthy here is the fact that Vice Speaker of the Assembly Kim Chong-Ho and his Liberal Democrats` caucus members were at a golf club. Inter-party bickering and partisan wranggling have seriously interrupted proper conduct of state affairs and many lawmakers were just enjoying their leisure by idling away their times at a golf club on none other than the parliament`s greatest day of the Constitution Day anniversary. In the wake of our lamentable politics, today, the seven rookie lawmakers` voice, though not loud, may herald a ray of hope for us. Let us keep a vigileant eye on them.