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The ways to restore people’s trust

Posted March. 11, 2022 07:50,   

Updated March. 11, 2022 07:50


Democratic ruling party candidate Lee Jae-myung accepted defeat in presidential election. “I failed to close the gap of 0.7 percent. All responsibility lies with me,” said Lee at the campaign office disbanding ceremony. DP chairman Song Young-gil also expressed regrets for having fallen short of the efforts. The members of the party released statements one after another, saying that they take the people’s reproach humbly. The ruling Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung fought a close battle with Yoon by a narrow 0.7 percentage point, but he accepted defeat eventually.

The Democratic Party’s defeat is attributable to no one but itself. For the past five years, the ruling party generated numerous real estate policies in complete disregard of the market principle, which led to a spike in home prices. It fueled divide in sentiment in its response to the “Cho Kuk scandal,” engendering persistent criticism of its hypocrisy. By taking advantage of majority seats in the National Assembly, the ruling Democratic Party cut off the opposition and continued to peremptorily pass legislation. Even criticism within the party, which called for renovation, was frequently blocked by tyranny of a majority like “text bombs.” Outdated and authoritarian political system led to the formation of public opinion for change in the nation’s political leadership, and Lee Jae-myung’s campaign slogan to become “the president who revives the economy” was not strong enough to win back the hearts of the people.

The change of government in five years is order of the South Koreans who want the complete overhaul of the Democratic Party. The DP has sowed the seeds of public distrust by constantly reneging on its promises to the people. It pushed ahead with nominating mayoral candidates for Seoul and Busan even at the price of revising the party constitution and regulation. Furthermore, the Democratic Party set up a satellite political party, contrary to its promise, thereby abandoning political faith. During election campaign, Lee Jae-myung and the DP made several campaign promises for political transformation, such as introducing a two-round system in presidential election and increasing the number of electoral districts for local elected representatives. However, people remained doubtful about whether the Democratic Party would keep its promises due to its past behavior. It should not scrap the renovation plan simply because the election is over.

The Democratic Party will face the Yoon Seok-youl administration as the opposition party with majority seats (172 seats) in the National Assembly. The opposition party should maintain a healthy yet tense relationship with the government and the ruling party. It should keep check and balance with the government and verify government policies. However, the opposition party should take a bold move to “cooperate” with the ruling party, without political calculation, on matters closely related to national interests or livelihood of people. The Democratic Party can recover the trust and support of the people only by continuing its efforts to renew itself and cooperate.