Six Member of National Assembly Had Fierce but Faithful Discussion
Role of National Assembly to Resolve Inequality and Polarization
Kim Hyeon-kon, President of the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI) announced that the 3rd National Assembly Futures Forum was successfully held under the theme of “Role of National Assembly to Resolve Inequality and Polarization” on November 25.
Panelists were Kim Ju-yeong of the Democratic Party of Korea; Yu Gyeong-jun of the People Power Party; Jang Hye-yeong of the Justice Party; Gwon Eun-hee of the People’s Party; Yong Hye-in of the Basic Income Party; and Cho Jeong-hun of the Transition Korea.
Part Hyeon-seok, head of NAFI’s Innovative Growth Group, gave a presentation regarding results of the national mid- to long-term policy preference survey and mid- to long-term national agenda planning of the National Assembly on the topic of “Inequality, Polarization and the Role of Parliamentary Politics”. He also suggested active communication between leaderships of the ruling and opposition parties, and strengthened policy capacity of parties to build up mid- to long-term plans, as solutions to alleviate political polarization,
In the comprehensive discussion, with Park Myung-kwang (Chairperson of the NAFI Board of Directors) as a moderator, panelists actively exchanged their opinions on several measures to resolve inequality and polarization.
Kim Ju-yeong proposed to introduce the National Futures Commission as an operating body by which the ruling and opposition parties lay out and implement practical goals with the top priority on resolving income polarization and inequality.
Yu Gyeong-jun argued that social consensus on the definition of inequality and polarization is necessary, pointing out income polarization has been defined using a relative criterion only without consideration of absolute poverty.
Jang Hye-yeong criticized the National Assembly for failing to properly represent the people due to bias in wealth, gender, age, and educational background. She pointed out that the National Assembly’s efforts are more important than ever, such as enactment of the Anti-Discrimination Act.
Gwon Eun-hee argued that our top priority we must address is to resolve wealth inequality arising out of complex conflicts on taxation and real estate in our society, and emphasized that the National Assembly has to secure tax legitimacy that people agree on with social capital serving as a monitor in the process of parliamentary debate.
Yong Hye-in emphasized that the basic income is the most reliable solution for ameliorating inequality, projecting the effects of improving inequality and polarization in all areas of society which are expected from a basic income framework, such as maintaining a certain standard of living and addressing the uncommonly high elderly poverty rate in South Korea.
Cho Jeong-hun explained that developing a polarization index would help improve inequality and polarization as an indicator showing the polarity of a proposed bill with the enactment of the Basic Act on Resolving Polarization.
“Members may have different political orientations, but they share the common intention to resolve and alleviate inequality and polarization,” said the NAFI President Kim. “NAFI will do our best efforts to make specific study results by reflecting this forum’s discussions in our projects.”
This forum was designed to discuss various perspectives, prospects and alternatives focusing on the role of the National Assembly, referring to the NAFI’s survey conducted on staffs working for the 21st National Assembly. The answer ranked first in the survey was that the most urgent agenda is “resolving economic inequality and political/social polarization”, regardless of parties, position and age.
The National Assembly Futures Forum is initiated from this year by NAFI as a forum for discussion on major future issues, where members of the National Assembly, political parties, and organizations under the National Assembly, can exchange opinions and alternatives with each other. This event can be viewed again from the NAFI YouTube channel.