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People’s first wish from the politics

Posted October. 12, 2015 10:23,   


Having watched professional golf matches as a spectator several times, the Presidents Cup 2015 held in Incheon was a special experience for me. It was more like a festival where the game was played between the world’s strongest U.S. and International Teams, not as an individual match. The game was also thrilling in that each and every hole has produced losers and winners. There were also a lot of galleries who have built a human wall that could have prevented me from watching the match if I had not been diligent enough to occupy the front line. Jordan Spieth and Jason Day, the top two players in the world, and Korea’s “strategic player” Bae Sang-moon have attracted a cloud-like spectators. They deserve most of the credit for successful event.

Success in any event or occasion means that it has captured people’s attention and interest. The success in an election is possible only when it has successfully attracted voters’ attention as well. For that matter, various means that could contribute to producing a big success have to be utilized. At the general election in 1996, the New Korea Party was joined by a large number of famous figures from all walks of life such as Lee Hoi-chang, Jeong Ui-hwa, Hwang Woo-yea, Hong Joon-pyo, Kim Moon-soo and Lee Jae-oh. The Millennium Democratic Party first introduced open primaries for candidate nomination for the 2002 presidential election. The Grand National Party made a complete overhaul on its policy and platform in the 2012 general elections. Even though the means were all different, they all succeeded in gaining people’s interest along with the victory in the target election.

A survey conducted by Gallup Korea showed that 47 percent of Koreans want new lawmakers for their constituencies from the general elections scheduled for next April. It was twice the response rate (24 percents) that wanted the same lawmakers to be elected for the second time. That might have been caused by multiple factors such as disappointment or complaints for a particular lawmaker, party or what the 19th National Assembly has done so far. Korea is one of the rarest nations where incumbent lawmakers are less likely to be re-elected for the next election. The election rate for a newly-elected lawmaker was 62.5 percent for 17th general elections, 45.8 percent for the 18th and 49.7 percent for the 19th.

It is an irony that the Korean politics remains all but same even though nearly half of lawmakers are replaced in every general election. That may explain why Koreans have such a high desire to make a thorough reshuffle of lawmakers. What a mystery it is. The ongoing conflict involved in the nomination process in the ruling and opposition parties was caused not for the general public, but for their own interest, which is even more disappointing. What matters for successful reshuffle is quality, not quantity. It shouldn’t be mistaken that the reshuffle is the only means that could attract people’s attention. Our first wish is to see good politics.