Every local election plays an important role in evaluating the current regime. Park Geun-hye’s government and the ruling Saenuri Party pay particular attention to the 2014 Local Elections because they suffer from difficulties as a result of its senseless government management and unimplemented election promises. If they win the election, they will keep their policy directions. If not, the change will be inevitable. For civil society and the opposite Minjoo Party, the elections are great opportunities to take the political initiative away from Saenuri. In addition, the Ahn’s new party, “the New Political Vision Party”, hopes their political debut will be the first step on the road to dismantle the old-fashioned political ideas.
The winner of the 2014 local elections will make it a priority to manage the political situation, so the win is indeed needed for every political circle. For that reason, every party seems to take any action in order to win the elections. However, in the process, the voice of the people has been excluded and isolated again. The government and the political parties have just concentrated on suggesting short-range policies and exaggerating themselves, rather than designing innovative and useful ideas. In the case of candidate nomination, nominators are likely to set aside candidates’ competitiveness and capabilities to lead local societies and pay attention only if the candidates satisfy their political greed. Furthermore, inventive and dedicated efforts to improve the quality of local society have disappeared.
As local governments have broader authority and more responsibilities than ever, the 2014 local elections have become more important than the presidential and the general elections. The policy of the local government has a direct effect on its citizen’s life, and the vision and ideas of the local leaders are essential keys to build a healthy and livable community. So, every candidate should stand on the people's side, carefully listen to their voice, and think out a remedy for social problems. The government and parties must be reminded of the original purpose of the elections and give better attention to the process of them.
By Ki Byeong-su, Senior, Dept. of English Language & Literature