Presidential visionsAfter a tiresome negative campaign streak, the rivalling presidential candidates Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and Yoon Seok-youl of the opposition People Power Party (PPP) finally got around to a contest of policies. During a forum hosted by the JoongAng Ilbo on Wednesday, both presented governing visions.
Lee argued for an increase in the “quota of opportunities to fight the ongoing crisis.” Growth recovery and sustainable growth is the way to bolster opportunity capacity, he said. He explained that through fairness from eased disparities, community members can have the will and passion. And by turning the challenges in global transitional period into opportunities, Korea can find the momentum of new growth. He proposed to reform education to groom future talent, as well as investment in basic science and high tech.
Yoon claimed the key to the future lies in individual freedom and creativity whereas forcing a collective mindset would be a lock to cut off the future for the country. He vowed to change all the practices and laws that constrain liberalism and imagination. “Korea so far has been oriented in national goals, but the future should be led by individuals,” he said. Yoon promised to promote global citizenship where laws are applied fairly to all.
Such a vision contest should be the center of the presidential race. The theme on Wednesday was the economy, where a myriad of challenges awaits the two contenders. They must be able to present visions and action plans on jobs, welfare, real estate issues as well as the digital evolution, climate change and carbon neutrality challenges and diplomatic and security affairs amid a hegemonic struggle between the U.S. and China. They should challenge one another for a serious contest on policies.
The race turned into a contest of who is better at slander. Public hostility toward the candidates has never been so high in a presidential election. Some say they would choose to emigrate if the candidate they dislike is elected. Whoever wins, he will have the support from just half of the population, which is a misfortune not just for the individual but for the nation. They must leave legal affairs to the judiciary authorities and concentrate on vision and policies.
The presidential race has been wobbly since both camps have yet to set up their election campaign committee. Lee is working on the organization while Yoon is wrestling over whether to include former kingmaker Kim Chong-in. Apart from the formalities, the two must detail their vision and policies. The people have the right to know how they envision the future of the country.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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