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Incumbent Parliament Rated Least Reliable Public Institution

Incumbent Parliament Rated Least Reliable Public Institution

Posted June. 08, 2009 08:38,   


The 18th National Assembly has received a harsh report card for its first-year performance.

The Center for Free Enterprise, a think tank specializing in the free market and economy, released the results of a survey yesterday saying the Korean people consider the incumbent National Assembly the least reliable public institution.

The majority of 800 adults polled nationwide (60.5 percent) blasted parliament as unreliable, while only four percent said the opposite.

The center commissioned polling agency R&R to conduct the survey, which found that 49.6 percent chose the National Assembly “the least reliable institution,” followed by the executive branch with 7.7 percent, media with 7.4 percent, the judiciary with 7.2 percent, and civic organizations with 3.9 percent.

On the question, “Which economic participant is doing its job the most poorly amid the economic crisis,” the National Assembly and politicians received the highest combined percentage of 53.4 percent, far higher than that of the runner-up, the administration, with 32.7 percent.

Only 0.2 percent rated this parliament’s first-year performance “very good” and 3.8 percent “good.” The overwhelming majority responded “bad (32.9 percent)" or “very bad (27.6 percent).”

On what should be done to lawmakers who commit illegal acts as occupying the parliamentary building or resorting to violence, almost half (49.3 percent) suggested dismissal while 22.9 percent said strict punishment such as prosecution.

“The number of bills proposed by lawmakers in the first year of the 18th National Assembly was 4,026, higher than the annual average of 1,597 of the 17th and 478 of the 16th” the center said.

“Their chances of approval, however, was only 9.3 percent, which is significantly lower than 21.1 percent of the 17th and 26.8 percent of 16th.”

The study also showed just how inefficient the 18th National Assembly was in its first year. In outlay per lawmaker, 320 million won (260,000 U.S. dollars) was needed for a lawmaker’s bill to pass.

In addition, the number of public hearings and seminars to gather public opinion before a bill’s proposal was 51, down 41.4% from that of the 17th National Assembly’s first year (87).

A business source said, “The National Assembly strongly asked the government and the administration to communicate with the public, but it seems parliament was the one with the weak commitment to communication.”