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The DP must respect the public

Apr 17,2019
A recent Realmeter poll showed more than half of respondents feel that Lee Mi-sun, President Moon Jae-in’s nominee for Constitutional Court justice, is unfit for the job. She had a disapproval rate of 54.6 percent, overwhelming positive responses were at 28.8 percent.

The negative rate was highest in Seoul at 69.2 percent. Even in the Gwangju and Jeolla areas, a traditional stronghold for the Democratic Party (DP), the negative response was higher than the positive one, at 42.8 percent to 40.4 percent.

The disapproval rate hit 91.4 percent among respondents who support the conservative Liberty Korea Party and 64.3 percent among those who do not favor a particular party.

Even among supporters of the left-wing Justice Party, the negative view, at 42 percent, outpaced positive responses at 35.4 percent. Lee’s nomination is also opposed across age groups. Among those in their 30s, the negative rate was at 44.9 percent versus positive rate of 29.4 percent, while 51.4 percent of those in their 40s did not think she was qualified for the job.

The president must take the poll seriously, as no group besides supporters of the ruling DP and those in their 20s found Lee capable. Her and her husband’s stock riches are not the primary issue. The strangeness of their opportune stock trading is the cause of the public’s distrust.

The Blue House appears not to care about public sentiment. Oh Choong-jin, Lee’s husband, defended the stock trade through broadcasts and internet media platforms.

The presidential office seems to think she is cleared because she has sold off all the questionable stocks. The DP and other liberal parties have become more understanding of Lee.

Park Jie-won of the Party for Democracy and Peace said Lee, a barber’s daughter, should become a Constitutional Court justice. He is wrong to use the glass ceiling theory in this case to draw public sympathy by painting Lee as a self-made woman who has overcome prejudice and hardship to become a judge.

A year from now, the people will go to the polls to elect their legislators. Votes reflect public sentiment.

Another new Realmeter poll showed that the approval rate for the DP fell 2.1 percentage points from a week ago to 36.8 percent. The DP will face backlash if it disregards public sentiment.

JoongAng Ilbo, April 16, Page 30