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[Opinion] “Old Blood?”

Posted August. 28, 2003 18:10,   


“Young Blood” is one of the most frequently used terms in the political arena, especially around election periods. Each political party refers to its new figure in that way. Certainly the term itself gives us some impetus, courage and energy. Voters get to have high expectations about the new political figures. So far, so many young bloods have been transfused into politics, but we have not seen much change or improvement in the current politics. We have observed, on so many occasions, those young bloods gradually become incorporated into the existent “old bloods.”

Huh In-hoi, who was touted as a young blood for the New Politics National Party back in 1995 confessed his behind-the-scenes political stories through Donga`s special feature series. His reflections about himself and the 2000 general election remind us once again of our backward political reality. He confessed that he could find himself tinged with corruptive political scenes when he tried to get the nomination as a candidate from higher figures. He deplored his deterioration to the “old blood.”

He also remembered his ugly fight with his own colleagues vying for the final nomination saying, “I felt so miserable about myself becoming one of those old-generation politicians, who would abandon friends and colleagues for their own political interest.”

With the 17th general election only seven months away, many “young bloods” are running for candidacy nationwide. Each political party is also scrambling to get them. However, as long as the current political environment marked by local prejudice and illegal political money does not change, even the young bloods will not be able to do much about corrupt politics.

On the contrary, many of them are already being colored by undesirable political practices. They believe that holding on to regionalism and favoritism is still the easiest way to enter the political stage while voicing out loud for “new politics.”

They are just like the old bloods with the guise of new blood.

The difference between the “young” and “old” bloods should come not from a politician`s age but from his or her viewpoints, thinking and behavioral patterns. Regardless of one’s age, innovative politicians should be called “young bloods” while backward politicians should be categorized as “old blood.” Nevertheless, our society seems to be trying to seek young bloods only based on age. However much the world has changed, we still need a right balance between the young and old to achieve a better and brighter society.

By Song Young-eon (Editorial), youngeon@donga.com