Last year, more than ever, the “Ahn Cheolsoo Fever” that swept South Korea incited people’s hopes for political reform. For this reason, most of the candidates for president made promises to the effect that they would surrender their privileges as president and as members of the National Assembly if they won, so that the people would vote for them. These promises, however, are gradually being forgotten after the election of such candidates. The promise of political reform, which the candidates for president repetitively mentioned, is an empty promise after all. The elected officials are now showing signs of returning to the old ways of politicians.
Saenuri Party resolved the need for political reform. This reform included cutting down the number of party members, cutting back their annual allowance, abandoning their privilege of exemption from apprehension, reducing their privilege of exemption from liability, prohibiting occupying concurrent offices, and abolishing the pension system. The bill of political renovation proposed on January 21, though, excluded major core contents, such as the 30% annual allowance cutback, abandonment of the privilege of exemption from apprehension, and reducing the number of party members. Moreover, the law applies only to some members and not to all. What’s most surprising is that the members themselves are deciding on a bill regarding themselves. After all, no one willingly gives up his/her privileges. The National Assembly, however, was made for the whole country and not for the politicians. The term “political reform” was coined because the structural fault of authority directly influences our society.
Who wouldn’t make promises if need be? The leader of a country, however, shouldn’t deliberately lie. The concern is already spreading among people that the government and the ruling party pretend not to have made the promises, which they had indeed made. People who are indifferent to politics make the politicians corrupt. Thus, we should develop an interest in politics and raise this issue in the proper forum. The Soongsilians should do this for the new president.