These days many South Korean have suggested the necessity of the Constitution Amendment. The reason is that the current political system has not been changed since 1987 in spite of the social changes. As these supporters of political reform asserted, if the system of Korean politics was different from now, the result of elections and the policy toward North Korea might have been changed considerably.
1. A two-round system
What if South Korea had a two round system in the presidential election? From the 13th Presidential election, South Korean focused on and adopted a direct election system after a long-time military dictatorship. Therefore, although a winner of the candidate received a low polling rate, they did not have a secondary voting system because each people’s vote was valuable in itself. However, this system has been controversial issue about democratic legitimacy, because if the required percentage of the winner was 50%, South Korea should have held a second round five times (13th~17th). Among them, at least, three election results might be different, so we can guess other situations below, in a point of Daejoong Kim’s Sunshine Policy which was the most friendly and modest policy toward North Korea.
First, Sunshine Policy could start earlier than 1997. At the 13th election in 1987, Taewoo Rho (36.6%) could not be the President; rather Youngsam Kim (28%) or Daejoong Kim (27%) could change the military regime. Even though people disappointed about dissonance between two civilian candidates, one of two Kims might win instead of a former General Rho. In that situation, a two round system could have the same effect as a single candidate agreement. Also, at the 14th election in 1992, if Daejoong Kim (34%) had a second ro...
... middle of paper ...
...-term policy consistency beyond each President.
As a result, from the 2000s, the Constitutional Amendment was often discussed for more advanced political environment. Even current President Park suggested its necessity last month. Basically, South Korean will not abandon a direct presidential election system because it was the most significant result of democratization in 1987. In this condition, a two-round system is able to provide more democratic legitimacy to the President. Also, a two-term presidential system and the same cycle of the Presidential and General/Local elections can strengthen the political responsibility as well as policy coherence. With these changes, public will judge the candidates and the parties based on not a personal popularity, but the policies about social issues. Also, South Korea will be able to enforce a consistent unification policy.
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