Go to contents

[Opinion] Price for Words

Posted January. 05, 2003 22:53,   


In the early years when a horse was an important means of transportation, riding a horse was a big thing. In a time of war, riding a horse meant that a person was going to join a battle. Now riding a horse means running for office, which is not quite different from its earlier definition. In the U.S., candidates used to use horses to campaign. When Lincoln ran for a seat in a state parliament, he canvassed the state riding a horse. Having spent little money, therefore, he was able to give a $200 contribution back to the donor.

▷We wonder how much money the presidential candidates spent riding horses during this year’s election. To begin with, they had to make a down payment of 500 million won to run for presidency. Many gave up running after failing to raise the money. Then, there was much more to come. Lincoln said that it is no easy job to get vehicles for campaigning. The Grand National Party and the Millennium Democratic Party reported at the end of the campaign period that they spent 2.1 billion out of the total 25.4 billion and 2.3 billion out of the total 31.2 billion won respectively on `mobilizing horses.`

▷The most expensive part is, however, advertising. The two parties poured 17 billion and 18.3 billion won each into advertising. Words were 8 to 9 times more expensive than horses. With the huge amount of money, you can buy a lot of fine horses. It is no wonder, however, given all the mass media such as the Internet, TV that travel at the speed of light and newspapers reaching every each corner of the country.

▷Price for words becomes far more expensive sometimes. Roh paid a high price for some of his words – he said that he would move things of little help to a new administrative capital and also told the Chung camp to take it easy during the single candidacy negotiations. Yet, he might have to pay a lot more for the next five years for the pledges he made during the campaign. He promised things like achieving a 7% economic growth rate, creating 2.5 million new jobs and offering 500,000 jobs for the senior. He cannot make an excuse by saying that they were more like symbolic figures than details. We just hope that we don’t need to urge the new government to deliver on its promises.

Park In-je, Guest Editorial Writer and Lawyer, ijpark2356@hanmail.net