Posted December. 26, 2004 22:44,
Some Uri Party members efforts to abolish the national security law are going to extremes. They seem to be willing to do whatever it takes to repeal the law this year. Following their sit-in strike in the National Assembly building, they declared they would go to great lengths to stage a campaign to summon its leadership, a signature-collecting campaign, or gather its 100,000 members to protest. The sight of young Uri Party members chanting abolition with red headbands on is a far cry from a genuine representative democracy.
When its leaders agreed on principles on the four controversial reform bills with the Grand National Party, or GNP, the Uri Party should duly follow them. In fact, they decided to believe in the party leadership and closely look at the result of the four-member meeting with the GNP until December 30, after a heated debate in its general assembly. When party leaders strive to find common ground on the issue, the least one can do as a member of a democratic political party is to support them and calmly observe the proceedings regardless of ones position in the party.
However, some groups outside the Uri Party passed out forms asking people to agree with their efforts to abolish the national security law within the year to all party members, and now are threatening to publish a list of members who refused to sign. What is happening right now is quite familiar to us, as it is similar to Uri Party coercion tactics used to make members confess their vote when their bill for arrest of Park Chang-dal, a GNP member, was rejected, and a scene that would be imaginable only in a dictatorial party.
Facing severe opposition from hawkish minority members, Uri Party leaders havent mentioned some members proposal to re-schedule the timing to deal with the national security law or consider alternative bills. Indeed, the partys planning committee head touched on the potential review of an alternative bill and ran into serious criticism in the party, making his idea a distant mirage.
When the ruling partys direction is determined by its hawkish minority, the countrys national governance and politics cannot work well. If that happens, not only the opposition parties but the public as a whole will not place hopes on their government however wonderful policies they come out with. Once the ruling party sets its basic principles and plans based on the publics support and democratic procedures in the party, it should go with them. What it should be afraid of is the public, not opposition from its hard-liners. If it keeps letting them control the party for the upcoming three years, all the country will see is a bleak future ahead.