Go to contents

[Editorial] Voters’ Scale of Trust

Posted May. 11, 2007 07:54,   


Former Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye rejected Chairman Kang Jae-sup’s compromise proposal, saying, “If the party does things in this way, there will be no primary." Although Park immediately denied the possibility of boycotting the primaries or bolting from the party amid mounting criticism, concerns about the GNP’s breakup still linger. A party split is certainly not what the party or its supporters would like to see.

The GNP, which was formed under the name of the Democratic Liberal Party in 1990, has established considerable legitimacy with the help of its 17-year-old history and two victories in the presidential elections. The GNP, which introduced the presidential primary in 1992, will hold the third primary this year. The GNP is also the largest parliamentary force with 127 seats. However, it hasn’t been even able to reach an agreement over primary rules.

Though belated, former Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak and Park must start to think about the voters. There is still plenty of time left before the August primary and no-one knows how public sentiment will change. This is why we call politics a “living organism.” If the two presidential contenders stubbornly insist on the primary rules, they may lose both the primary and the public’s trust.

People have been closely watching every move of the two presidential hopefuls. The behavior they show in the process of the primary is, of course, representative of their leadership and qualification which will eventually be put to the test by voters. Although the GNP, formerly known as the New Korea Party, has held three primaries so far, each one of them turned ugly. Contenders either left the party in the midst of the primaries once the chance of winning the race became slim or left the party once they lost the primary to run for president without party support; the GNP lost a presidential election because of it. Although the public are hoping to see the GNP primary held in a democratic and mature manner, the two are turning their backs on each other and the public.

Winning the GNP primary is not a guarantee of a presidential election victory. Although there seemed to be no major competitors to the two GNP candidates, sooner or later, strong rivals will emerge. It is silly to mudsling at each other and be obsessed with winning the intra-party primary. The total approval ratings of the two presidential aspirants are between 60 and 70 percent. This figure reflects how strongly the public desire the administration to be changed. Whether to fulfill the wishes of the people is totally up to them. The voters’ scale of trust is objective.