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Democratic Party turns to be moderate only during election seasons

Democratic Party turns to be moderate only during election seasons

Updated January. 17, 2014 06:10

한국어

As resigning as the head of the strategy and PR department of the Democratic Party on Wednesday, Rep. Min Byung-doo argued that we “should be able to place the front lines resolutely in the central right.” He said in his personal blog, “The portion of Chungcheong voters has exceeded that of Jeolla voters, the ideological composition ratio of ‘Conservative 40, Central 30, Liberal 30’ is not likely to change, and the aging of population including people in the 50’s is accelerating.” Thus, he argued that (the Democratic Party) should pursue an alliance with sound large corporations as well as with the middle class and lower income people, reflecting the “tilted playground,” and economic policies should be designed accordingly. Regarding the North Korea policy based on national integration that Democratic Party leader Kim Han-gil stated in his New Year remarks, Min said, “(We) should not afraid of pointing out the reality of human rights issues in North Korea,” emphasizing the need for “new sunshine policy.”

However, such analysis is not new. The problem was raised when the Democratic Party was defeated at the 2012 general and presidential elections as well. Given that Min said this only after resigning from the party position, he deserves to be criticized for “what he has done so far.”

Kim expressed his will for the “secondary founding of the party” in the New Year press conference. The fact that pro-Roh Moo-hyun faction composed of leftist hardliners was ruled out from the party’s reshuffling also reflects its recognition of such a problem. Kim admitted that the party had drifted away from the people because of its left leaning and pledged for “painstaking renovation” when he was elected head of the Democratic Party. But the promise failed to be put into action. Whenever the party was driven by hard liners, the leadership including Kim and Min was only reluctant to take an action.

Behind the party’s strategy to target the middle ground are the local elections on June 4. Taking voters from the new party led Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo may also be a reason. According to a poll, the new party’s approval rating is twice higher than that of the main opposition Democratic Party. Whatever the motivation is, if this can put Korean politics on the right track as the people aspires to, it should be deemed desirable.

Although the Democratic Party sought “practical” politics based on the “new Democratic Party plan” when it was led by Sohn Hak-kyu and Chung Se-kyun in 2008 and 2010 respectively, all the efforts ended up in vain due to resistance from the pro-Roh Moo-hyun hardliners. If the party returns to where it was this time again, voters will see it as the “shepherd’s boy.”