2007 Election - predicting what the outcome will beWith presidential aspirants acknowledging their intentions to run for presidency, people are already starting to make casual predictions about who the winner will be. But so far, the general conclusions seem to be that it's too early to accurately predict the winning candidate, especially since there's no knowing what will happen between now and the actual election.
This book, however, makes a brave attempt to predict who will be the winner of the next presidential election.
The author, a political reporter at the Joongang Ilbo, analyses the political state surrounding the 2007 presidential election and predicts the results by evaluating 21 contributing factors that can influence the outcome. As the subtitle "The Odyssey for Power" suggests, the author views the process from now until December 2007 when the presidential election take place, as a long, perilous journey involiving a series of 21 "harbors."
This journey involves passing by all 21 harbors, bounded by the "sea of strategy", "sea of humans" and the "sea of environment". The 21 harbors represent planning, performance, time, will to power, content, deliverance,
political agenda and other predicting factors that could effect the election results.
By designating these predicting factors as harbors that need to be stopped at in this grueling journey, the author defines an interesting point; the order of passage through each harbor may not be important, but a single rainstorm or a reef encountered midway could terminate the whole journey.
Unlike many other books, this one deviates from the conventional theoretical approach or excessive attention to foreign cases. Instead, as if to prove he is a true "political reporter," the author revolves the book around "fresh and alive" politicians preparing to run for candidacy like Lee Myung-bak,Park Geun-hye and Goh Kun. He also demonstrates how regional, ideological, and generational factors have influenced presidential outcomes in the past,
and forecasts how they will affect election henceforth.
Through analyzing the causes for the actual success or failure of politicians in the past, he enables the readers to follow his arguments with more ease.
The author also ranks the probability of each predicted candidate winning the presidential election according to a range of factors.
He points to certain periods when Park Geun-hye, the former Chairman of the Grand National Party will be the most likely candidate, and some others where Lee Myung-bak, the former Mayor of Seoul is ranked as the most probable. He also
observes that, in the process, the rankings will continue to change.
For the general public, this book may be used to help observe crucial points, strengths and weaknesses of each candidate, and the dynamics of a major political exercise like the election.
On the other hand, for the future candidates, this may prove to be a useful reference manual in nailing down that presidential seat next year.
by Kang Won-taek, professor in Soongsil University
*The book comes with a CD that contains the writer's lectures, which he delivered at the Korea Human Development Institute on the theme "Who will be the winner of the 2007 election?"