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[Editorial] Dec. 19, the Day We Decide Our Future

Posted November. 26, 2007 03:14,   


Today, all presidential contenders finish registration, starting the official 22-day campaign. Their future and the future of South Korea depend on voters. Each of us as voter determines the future of ourselves. We will choose the leader who will lead the country for the next five years and can fill this country with happiness.

To make that happen, each voter should have her own criteria. According to opinion polls, 7 to 8 out of 10 Koreans consider credentials of each candidate first, along with their visions. When selecting our president, we have to sleep on important issues such as who has what policies and visions, and whether or not the candidate has to ability to realize them. As the election day gets closer, to our dismay, most candidates are spitting out more negative campaigns. Our voters should base their judgments not on emotion but on reasonable consideration.

The last election attests to the importance of reasonable choice. False accusations such as Kim Dae-up scandal blurred the clearness of voters’ thinking, and emotions flared up, for example, on death of two middle school girls by a US military vehicle. There was no reasonable campaign and decision. Emotions and political schemes manipulated our choice. Candidates did not produce any vision or policy for our future. As a result, we mourned for the past five years.

Roh Moo-hyun told reporters Saturday, “I have done what I wanted to do for our country.” His remarks clearly show to us how isolated and unremorseful Roh is. He does not understand the reality. Let’s say what Roh said is true. Then, why do less than 30 percent of Koreans support him? The Uri party he created has changed its names to wipe out Roh’s legacy. Despite the disguising efforts, Chung Dong-young, candidate of New Democratic Party that has succeeded Uri, polls a little over 10 percent in surveys.

It’s the privilege of voters in democratic society to punish, by means of election, those who harm the nation. To ask for our support again, those who failed us have to confess their wrongdoings and offer new visions. But the reality is the opposite. Chung and his party are waging an all-out negative war, and driving people against the others in the black and white frame, looking for some political magic to turn the losing battle for them. We don’t know Chung’s visions. Chung and his party seem to not have looked back, and have a long way to go.

The ultimate responsibility, however, belongs to us. The buck stops with voters, and we entrusted the unqualified politicians with power. We should not repeat our past. We don’t have the luxury for the same mistake. Candidates themselves should learn from Roh’s failure. To avoid the same path and demonstrate their abilities, they have to show us their visions and abilities.