[FOUNTAIN]For politics, as in war, plans are keyElections are similar to orchestra performances: 70 percent of the outcome is already determined before the show begins. The remaining 30 percent is determined during the show.
The results are not accidental; the outcome reflects what you have prepared. The most important factor in an orchestra’s preparation is the conductor’s selection of music and his or her interpretation.
In the same way, the outcome of elections is 70 percent determined by the politicians’ campaign strategies. In Korea, such strategies are determined by the political desire of the voters in the past couple of years: what they lack and what they demand.
Competitive campaign plans cannot be made up in haste. Candidates start to draw them up six months to three years in advance of the election, by canvassing voters and gaining a consensus, and then the plans start picking up momentum as the election day draws near. So by examining the campaign strategy, the outcome of the election can be predicted with 70-percent probability.
Kim Heon-tae, the head of the Korea Society Opinion Institute, analyzed the Uri Party’s image of the past year and found that people saw the governing party as incompetent, negligent and chaotic. If this trend continues, some of the people with power, who once said the Uri Party could guarantee an election victory, would scorn themselves, saying the party will be sure to lose the presidential election in 2007.
Meanwhile, the presidential hopefuls in the Grand National Party have already begun forming a campaign strategy, exchanging ideas among themselves on how to advance the nation to a $30,000-per-capita income and to create a more secure social security net. These ideas reflect the desire of eligible voters. If the Grand Nationals’ plan incorporates these ideas, the party has a very good chance of winning the presidency in two years.
In the beginning of this year, the Uri Party had also proposed the concept of becoming “advanced,” but their plan lacked seriousness. Empty ideas and debates won in the end, which is why the Grand National Party has taken the lead in preparing for the show.
by Chun Young-gi
The writer is a deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.