Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Korean Vs. French Presidential Elections

Some 12 campaigners stood in the presidential election. Asked on the Eve of the election how he will project his ballot, a elector replied, "Because none of them is quite appropriate, I have got yet to do up my mind." That was a quotation mark from the Gallic presidential election respective calendar months ago.

While the U.S. chosens its president done an electoral college, French Republic takes him or her through a direct election. Outwardly, its presidential system resembles Korea¡¯s.

With the presidential term shortened to five old age from seven, French Republic have since 2002 conducted its presidential election in the same twelvemonth as we do. A major difference is the smasher system whereby the frontrunner and runner-up in the first ballot vie with each other in a 2nd and concluding round.

So I carefully watched the Gallic presidential election in May. Astatine the beginning, I felt there was small difference, no substance that French Republic is a developed country.

In the past 26 years, French Republic produced only two caputs of state. The late socialistic president Francois Mitterrand ruled A sum of 14 years, and president Jacques Chirac, a center-rightist, a sum of 12. Under the drawn-out Mitterrand-Chirac administration, which lasted about as long as the presence of the three Kims -- Kim Young-sam, Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-pil -- inch Korean politics, people¡¯s restlessness with politicians was at its peak.

Voters complained about a deficiency of qualified rivals and floating electors were at a record high until the Eve of the election. Francois Bayrou, an insignificant campaigner who professed to stand for neither the Left nor the Right rose like a shooting star to capture 3rd topographic point in ballots.

However violently the subdivisions shook, however, French Republic restored bipartizan stableness on business relationship of two solid alkalis which are lacking in Korea.

The first alkali is the tradition of political party politics, which we miss almost entirely. Unlike our politicking by assortment crews of carpetbaggers who frequently travel from one political political party to another and whose political parties unify and vanish so often that electors can hardly retrieve their name calling and understand their identities, Gallic politicians remain with the party they take and seldom thunderbolt from it.

The 2nd is the press. French Republic differs from Korean Peninsula in that each newspaper have its clear-cut political colour and publicly back ups a peculiar candidate. But what is really impressive is that Gallic newspapers apportion more than space to a comprehensive diagnosing of Gallic society than to telling their readers which campaigner to support.

Le Monde, for one, printed a series of pieces on a subject a twenty-four hours examining Gallic society by contrasting the positions of specializers with different perspectives. Lupus Erythematosus Figaro, in a separate section, reviewed the international standing of Gallic society and jobs in politics, the economy, society and welfare. Hundreds of books were published during the presidential election period, analyzing Gallic society and public pledges made by the contenders.

Thanks to all of them, I was able to understand Gallic society more deeply during the few calendar months preceding the political campaign than during the full three old age I have got been assigned to Paris.

Even for a foreign correspondent, then, and much more than so for the voters, a presidential election is an of import chance to do an in-depth study of the state they dwell in. Everyone believes carefully about what the state have done, what the jobs are and which way it should prosecute in the future. These are not the undertakings of presidential campaigners or politicians alone; they are the undertakings of every voter.

The Gallic fourth estate offered plenty of such as survey materials. Using them as reference, electors were able to enrich their political apprehension by diagnosing their state and thought difficult which leader will decide France's problems.

Little can be expected from politicking by assortment crews of carpetbaggers; but wouldn¡¯t it be fantastic to see the fourth estate execute the function of assessing the cardinal tendencies and developments? It's a commiseration that our fourth estate looks too much bemused with dirts and unmaskings to move as a compass.

The column was contributed by Kang Kyung-hee, the Chosun Ilbo's letter writer in Paris.

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