President Roh has lost his cool, again. Roh was apparently upset that the Grand National Party (GNP) not only rejected his offer of a coalition government, but rejected it almost as soon as the offer had been revealed. So Roh hastily took the mike on Friday to share his wisdom gave a truly fisk-worthy speech:
"The Grand National Party appears to have made too hasty and too flat a decision," Mr. Roh said. "I wonder whether the Grand National Party has made the decision after properly deliberating over the political situation of the country."
Yes, they have. With Roh's approval rating below 30 percent again, his Our Open Party (OOP) suffering from factional disputes and unsteady leadership and the coalition idea unpopular with the public, why should the GNP tie themselves to Roh's sinking ship and deny the Korean people an alternative voice in the government?
Yes, Roh doesn't like Korea's current electoral structure, but Korea is not at war nor facing a major natural disaster. If Roh really thinks that the system should be changed, he should take his case to the Korean people rather than trying to circumvent the results of legislative elections.
Appearing agitated, Mr. Roh said, "If the Grand National Party does not want power, at least it has to cooperate in the election system reform. The proposal is not a simple political game."
Yes, it is. More on that later.
Mr. Roh said he is pushing hard for the coalition because "I don't think people elected me because they expected me to handle diplomatic and economic affairs well....
The truth will set you free, brother! But really, even if you don't think the people elected you to handle diplomatic and economic affairs well, don't you think you should at least try?
I believe that they elected me for a change, a reform."
And for what did they elect the GNP, to be a doormat?
Mr. Roh then described the most pending issue of the year for him is to "break down the regionalism-based political structure," as he stressed in Thursday's letter. Mr. Roh has defined regionalism as the core problem of Korean politics, where election results depend largely on the region where the candidate is from or where a political party is based. "Only after breaking down regionalism can Korean politics be rebuilt," Mr. Roh said.
First of all, has anyone in the Cheongwandae considered that regional voting might actually reflect regional differences? For a variety of reasons, the Eastern half of the ROK might actually be more conservative and the South-Western corner much more progressive. This phenomenon is not limited to Korea. For example, many people are well aware of America's over-hyped blue state/red state divide.
According to the Chosun Ilbo, two 'reforms' that Roh is considering are District Proportional Representation (DPR) or the Tricky German System (TGS, AKA: Mixed Member Proportional). If I have time, I'll talk about those two systems tomorrow.