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[Editorial] No More Demanding Voters in the Future

Posted November. 05, 2003 23:04,   


Every party is competitively presenting its’ own political reform plan. According to the plan, transparency of political funds is likely to be advanced and the parties’ high-cost, low-performance constituency chapters are expected to disappear. These are the good news although some concerns still exist. It is doubtful whether they conducted a careful review on the feasibility of the plans in advance. A good example is the case of Grand National Party (GNP), who announced that it would abolish the sponsor groups of constituency chapters and those for individuals, but however changed its’ decision the next day and suspended it. Political reform is definitely the needs of the times, but we should not be too hasty on it.

The bottom line of the political reform plan for both the ruling and the opposition parties can be summarized into a cost-saving election. Whenever an election season approaches, it is tough for any candidates to turn a deaf ear to an allurement of slush money in front of the real situation, in which an exorbitant amount of money that apparently exceeds the allowed limitation of money is required. A vicious circle of close tie between politics and economics, unlawfulness and corruption may be originated from it.

This is a correct diagnosis and prescription. What can we do for a cost-saving election? There should be no politician who offers money, but also the voters should not receive it. Not only are the politicians to blame. If there is a demand, then there is a supply. During election campaign season, we are used to seeing a series of group tour buses and some abundant requests to candidates for their support on every kind of events. What do these stories mean?

10 senior representatives who had received money during the Daegu Apple Cooperative Association election were placed under restraint. Those restrained had received three to five million won from a candidate and were found to have voted for him. It is an unprecedented case that the prosecutors bound not only the candidate who offered money but also the involved voters who received it. The prosecutors said they are ready for a massive restraint of voters in a bid to root out a “money election” in the General Election next year. And it should be like that.

It is time for those teasing voters to change their thought. The scandal of illegal funds for presidential election last year is driving the nation to the corner, and if those voters are still thinking of trade on conscience with money, it cannot but make both the individual and the nation miserable. There is a saying that the political level of a nation depends on that of the citizen. As long as voters demand something from the candidates, one might as well wait 100 years for a political reform. If voters change their mind, politics will be changed as well.