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[Opinion] Fox and Crane

Posted August. 27, 2007 07:26,   


Yesterday, the United New Democratic Party launched an online personal identity verification system for the electoral college. When the number of electoral college members willing to participate in the poll for the “cut-off competitive election,” through which 5 out of 9 future candidates will be selected, surpassed 500,000 on August 24, voices were raised suspecting an organized ‘mass proxy registration’ by a certain candidate camp. This led the party to quickly adopt the verification system. The problem is that this electoral college will also vote in the primary which begins on September 15 in Ulsan and Jeju and that ends on October14 in Seoul to choose the party’s presidential candidate.

That is why the pro-Roh Moo-hyun group, which include Lee Hae-chan and Rhyu Si-min, is concerned of the verification system. The pro-Roh group suspects that candidates Sohn Hak-kyu and Chung Dong-young “planned” the large scale online proxy registration in order to secure more than 2 million people as electoral college members. (The bigger the electoral college, the better for Sohn and Chung, who are ahead in the polls.) On the other hand, it will be less beneficial for Lee and Rhyu who rely on a small number of passionate supporters. But it seems even the pro-Roh group is not entirely free from proxy registration suspicions either.

This resembles the story of the “Fox and Crane.” It’s better when the milk is poured into a wide dish (nationwide approval) for some, while a bottle with a narrow opening (passionate supporters) is more beneficial for others. This was the case in Aesop´s Fables, but another story, told in ‘La Fontaine Fables Re-written by Decard’ (Chung Sang-wan), may be applicable. When the fox only cares for its own good with a 100cm width * 10cm breadth * 1cm high dish, and the crane did the same with a 4cm x 5cm x 50cm bottle, the cat criticized them both for their narrow-mindedness by giving them a bowl with 10cm measurements. All three of the containers can contain 1L of milk.

The United New Democratic Party is unable to decide the right ratio of party members, representatives, and general public in the primary’s electoral college. Instead it only expects the Inter-Korean summit slated for some time amid its primary schedule, to do the job for them. This is no better than the deceptive street Chinese chess games in which decoys help one side to cheat.

Editorial Writer, Kim Chang-hyuk, chang@donga.com