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[Opinion] Impeachment Tempest

Posted March. 28, 2004 23:03,   


Elections ride on a political tempest. In election season, politicians look for a recipe for raising popularity. After the presidential elections of 1997, two scandals which were dubbed the “North tempest” and the “taxation tempest,” following prosecution probes, shook the country.

The North tempest blew when the intelligence agency implemented operations to use North Korea to ensure candidate Kim Dae-jung’s defeat. The taxation tempest blew when the then-ruling Grand National Party used the national taxation office to raise slush funds. In the presidential elections of 2002, the yellow tempest caused by candidate Roh Moo-hyun ruled the roost. The coming National Assembly elections are being driven by the impeachment tempest. The ruling party, which currently commands a minority of seats in the National Assembly, is pleasantly surprised. However, it will remain as anxious as the opposition party because about 18 days are left before the elections.

These days, pollsters, who are almost alone in enjoying the boom in this economic downturn thanks to the elections, have a completely new type of concern. Whatever there is accuracy in their poll, the outcome is completely inconsistent with the pattern set by past elections. The beauty of elections is head-to-head competition. However, recent polls show the absolute victory of parties with margins of victory that are too large to reverse. This is the first of its kind in the past 20 years, a polltaker said. It is worth wondering how these extremely skewed findings will materialize as votes

In 16 National Assembly elections since the constitutional assembly in 1948, the winning party has won 40 percent of the vote three times. Since 1973, the winning party has won a plurality less than 40 percent. In the three-way elections, any party could hardly win 40 percent. As long as the impeachment tempest does not dwindle, the 40 percent barrier is bound to be broken.

Whether or not this barrier will be broken will depend on whether there will be another wind that will counter the impeachment tempest. By moving into a temporary canopy headquarters, the Grand National Party (GNP) has begun to use the same “mendicancy tactics” as the Uri Party. They appear to have come short. With Park Gun-hye, a daughter of the former President Park Chung-hee, at the helm of the GNP, it is thirstily expecting a “divine tempest” to blow. Meanwhile, the ruling party still has to keep the impeachment tempest blowing. In times of election, a day amounts to three years. It is curious what new tempest will blow during the 18 days leading to the elections.