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[Editorial] GNP Actions, Not Words

Posted November. 09, 2006 07:09,   


Grand National Party Chairman Kang Jae-sup made a speech on his party’s position on national affairs before the National Assembly yesterday. His speech covered intolerance of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, a renegotiation of the transfer of wartime operational control, job creation, tax reduction, and deregulation.

His speech included relevant diagnoses of current problems on the national level and prescriptions to resolve the issues. But what matters is implementation. If the suggested alternatives are not implemented through legislation and institutionalization, they are of no use. I wonder whether Grand National Party has the will and capacity to carry out what it suggested.

Let’s have a look at tax reduction, which Chairman Kang proposed as one of the five projects to revitalize the livelihood of the general public. A revised corporation tax bill submitted in February 2005 and a revised income tax bill in October 2005 are still pending in the subcommittee of the National Assembly. The same holds true for the local tax revision bill and the revised comprehensive real estate bill submitted this year. The fair trade revision bill introduced in April 2005 to lift the shareholding cap is not an exception.

The National Assembly still has not amended the private school law, which was already found to be partially unconstitutional, and one year has passed since the so-called “three laws for advanced education” designed to reveal education information and liberalize college entrance exam were submitted, but they are still pending in the Standing Committee of the National Assembly.

The GNP may complain about its limited capacity as an opposition party. But it should reflect on its insufficient strategies and efforts as the main opposition party. Given that the people are suffering from increased taxes and burdens of tuition fees, if it does not act, its very existence should be called in question.

Kang said in his speech, “The public does not trust what President Roh says in regard to the real estate issue.” But in fact, the public does not trust the GNP either. What has GNP done so far to address the real estate issue while the public has suffered a lot? It takes 127 seats in the National Assembly, which is not a small figure. Some opposition parties in the past dominated national affairs through strong political power, outperforming the then ruling party with fewer seats than GNP now has.

If GNP’s inaction and inability was caused by its optimistic prediction that it will have a positive result in the presidential election scheduled next year, it should change its mind. The public is not stupid enough to elect a party that does not play its role as an opposition party well. If it fails to separate itself from its bad name of “a party seeking personal well-being,” its future will not be bright.