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Genuine Local Policies Missing From “Winds” of Central Parties

Genuine Local Policies Missing From “Winds” of Central Parties

Posted April. 04, 2004 22:08,   


Local policies close to voters’ hearts have been missed, while all kinds of so-called windblown policies have been prominent in the general election to be held on April 15.

Candidates have shown an attitude of trying to take the election relying on an “impeachment wind” offense and defense at the central party level, a “Park wind” of candidate Park Geun-hye led by popular support, a “Roh wind” triggered by the “senior degrading remarks” of the head of the Uri party Chung Dong Young, rather than using concrete policies.

Accordingly, there have been many voter complaints saying that it is hard to find “politics of reason” inquiring into each parties’ public pledges or all sides of candidates.

In fact, it is hard to compare policy visions with each other because even most parties’ pledges at the local level rehash again and again projects carried out by local self-governing bodies.

The Grand National Party (GNP) presented pledges in Busan, such as its promotion to making it a marine special city and construction of its new aviation and new airport facilities while the Uri party presented pledges of early construction of a new international airport and new harbors in the area, and the building up of a citizen’s park in a place where the Hayaria unit left.

On this, an official in Busan city pointed out that “most pledges by each party were main projects already being carried out by the city or decided as focused policies this year.

In Incheon, the GNP and the Uri party suggested an expansion of educational cultural infrastructure as policies in common. However, an official in Incheon said that those policies, such as establishing theme museums like a poor area museum and a modern life history museum, were just a patchwork composed of what Incheon city had recently announced.

In the case of North Chungcheong province, it is the same as pledges by each party, which are fostering bio-industry through the Osong Life Science Industrial Complex, the early opening of Osong station for the Kyoungbu high-speed train, and the attracting of the Osong junction station for the Honam high speed train, which are all already under way or planned.

In Gangwon province, most candidates gave mention to previously-announced pledges in various elections such as “protection of a clean natural environment” and a “measure for an abandoned mine.”

Professor of politics Park Chan-wook of Seoul National University said, “Electors should vote based on practical policies and personal ability. They should exercise their voting rights with rational judgment rather than being swept by those “winds” because the vote is an event for electing the nation’s representatives of the people.”

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com