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[Opinion] Election Debt

Posted September. 25, 2004 21:39,   


There once was a family that had not obtained a governmental position for a long time. When they finally achieved one, new anxiety arose that there was not a son to succeed the family title. The family wanted to adopt a man as the husband for the family’s heiress. Having searched everywhere, they found it hard to choose one in their hometown. Besides, most men, who already knew the family was no longer like they were in the “good old days,” rarely wanted to be a family member. Finally, the family brought someone from the outside, but the newly brought in son-in-law put up the family’s property as a mortgage and sold the land and farms to start a new business. For a while, the business looked to be going well, but then suddenly, it started going downhill. Relatives became furious and worried that if this problem continued unsolved, the entire family would go broke. Some even argued that a replacement might be a solution since the wedding had not taken place yet.

In the meantime, the son-in-law had finally encountered a supportive partner. Soon, though, he left his partner to go independently and had great success. After this, the son-in-law’s attitude started to change. He even complained about the past, pointing out that when he had no one to turn to, no relatives came forward to help him. Claiming the declining family would not be any help to him, the son-in-law left the family. After moving out, he invested everything he had on a business and accomplished great success. Now he is a member of a different family, and the son-in-law looks to have no interest in helping the family pay back the loans.

The story might be a metaphor to the current situation surrounding the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), President Roh Moo-hyun, and the ruling Uri party. Presently, the MDP is not able to provide monthly payments to its party executives. Due to the debt from the last presidential election, the government subsidy is placed under constraint. From a moral point of view, President Roh Moo-hyun and the ruling Uri party are responsible for the debt. On one instance, people who had helped his election campaign stood in front of the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae, holding picket signs saying, “President Roh and the Uri Party! Pay the debt!” The scene looked sad but also comical.

The total amount of debt the MDP has claimed might be exaggerated to some degree. The expenses include publication costs of party bulletins and postal fees that the party spent to spread the collections of campaign promise, and the rent for the MDP building is also included in the total amount, which may make their claim look pleading. The irritation is understandable, but it would be better to sit down and talk about it first. In the very least, the MDP is responsible for choosing the man who would leave home in the beginning.

Hwang Ho-taek, Editorial writer, hthwang@donga.com