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Upcoming Presidential Election

November 6, 2012

“Man is by nature a political animal.”

Aristotle

 

December 19 is but a few short weeks away. On this day is a chance for all Koreans to fulfill their democratic duty and vote in just the six presidential election since democratization. Becoming an informed voter is an essential role for all citizens, but particularly for the educated. This week’s assignment will involve brainstorming and discussing political issues, which should hopefully stimulate further discussion on important political issues amongst you and your classmates with the goal of better understanding these complicated issues.

 

Students: Choose one of the following and write a paragraph. (Note: Be sure to read other students ideas and opinions. Also, try to choose topics that have not been written about. Variety would be nice, even if it requires you to write on a difficult topic.)

1. Describe the qualities of the ‘ideal’ president. Conclude your paragraph with who you feel most closely matches the qualities you have chosen?

2. Make a list of the three most important issues facing Korea. Briefly explain your list.

3. Choose one important problem and describe how you would solve it if you were president.

4. Tell about the most important political issue facing you personally. How confident are you that this issue will be properly dealt with by the new president?

5. Write about the causes of voter apathy, particulary among students. In other words, what causes students to be indifferent to politics?

6. Do business leaders make good presidents? Explain.

7. What are your predictions for winners and losers? Explain.

8. Compare Korean women’s participation in politics with other advanced countries.

9. Is Korea ready for a female president? Discuss.

10. If you were a teacher and President Lee were your student, what grade would you give him for his efforts as president so far? Explain.

11. Winston Churchill said, “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” Discuss.

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52 Comments leave one →
  1. handcream permalink
    November 7, 2012 12:52 pm

    Professor Todd
    5. Write about the causes of voter apathy, particulary among students. In other words, what causes students to be indifferent to politics?

    These days, a turnout of 20s voters is only 37.9%, the lowest percent of an age group, which 49%.1 in their 30s, 62.4% in their 40s, 68.6% in their 50s, respectively. Then, why many students are indifferent to politics? There are many reasons of voter apathy. First, maybe they would answer that it’s not interesting. They can’t learn about the importance of politics because they are trapped in fixed education system. Many students are just imposed to get good grade and learned by rote. Another reason of apathy is that students have lots of things to do. TOEIC, TOEFL, school grade, voluntary service, part-time job and so on. Because these activities would get students benefits immediately, students do these rather than politics. Finally, sometimes students think that it would not be better or worse if they might play their part in voting. In other words, they think although they didn’t participate in vote, others would join. This idea makes them to be indifferent to politics. However, good society is made from active politics participation of many people. Therefore, we should find solutions to encourage students to have interest in politics

    • We-ro permalink
      November 7, 2012 9:13 pm

      Um…I agree with you. Because of immediate benfits’s sweetness such as rest, part- time job and so on, we opt out voter.

    • We-ro permalink
      November 7, 2012 9:14 pm

      I’m going to take part in this voter on December 19 🙂

    • Tank permalink
      November 8, 2012 11:34 pm

      I agree this phenomenon, but I think it doesn’t correct to political uninterest. Rather than, today many students are concentrated on politics, and they show their political interst to SNS services. So it doesn’t fit uninterest. I want to tell it need more detail reason.

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      November 10, 2012 11:33 am

      I agree with your opinions mostly. However, personally, I do not think people are not interested in politics because they did not learn about it. Lots of people learn about the importance of politics and votes when they learn the politics in middle, high school and even in university, but they are not likely to participate in votes anyway. Therefore, I think it is not the matter of learning that makes people disinterested to the politics. Also, I think student`s negative mind toward social change with vote is one of the problems why they are not willing to vote. To be more specific, some students near me said that they do not think they can change the society by voting because the older generation already dominates the whole society in Korea.

      • Woopia permalink
        November 10, 2012 6:24 pm

        I agree this opinion too. I have heard most students very busy for their future. And some politician’s attitude make indifferent about election. I was surprised your in tuition.

  2. We-ro permalink
    November 7, 2012 8:58 pm

    (Professor Todd)

    3. Choose one important problem and describe how you would solve it if you were president.

    Student’s Suicide Problem and the Solution

    Now, suicide is the leading cause of death for teenagers. In Daegu, the seven suicide cases occurred for only four months from this January to April. Furthermore, on the 30th last month, three girl students jumped to their death from the roof of a apartment in Busan. If you were president, how do you solve it?

    Many experts think the cause of this problem is some excessive stress. They say that many stress from studying, school violence and relationship with parents can bring about the extreme measure. Government and local authorities are searching for a solution, but promising countermeasures are not yet within reach of a solution. Despite they are very smart, why don’t they find a solution? It is because that they focus on ‘stress’. This stress is just a result appearing on the surface of the students and not really cause. The real problem is not stress but student’s mind, which can’t deal with the stress.

    Most people of the Third World are under stress of many situations such as a labor, human right and poverty. Of these, there even are people who are under stress more than the students. They, however, do not commit suicide. They try to overcome the situations or accept the conditions and to deal with their stress. This attitude makes a difference of acting between life of the people and the students. If so, how can they develop a personality?

    According to Freud, human charter is built from five to six years old, and It can form in the course of your lifetime. But It becomes harder to change their personality as getting older. So, if I were president, first of all, I will make a psychology lecture in all elementary schools to let the students treat their stresses. This lecture consist developing ways of self-regard, self-confidence and self-reliance to overcome their situations and stresses and live an independent life. It also include voluntary service making the kids considerate-hearted. The students will study in the lecture by the sixth grader and will study about a career exploration in the middle school. If they had something to live for, they wouldn’t finish their lives. In the exploration, they will become to have diverse experiences and the purpose of life.

    Now experts is focusing on the phenomenon of the student’s suicide. They do achieve a fleeting reputation in a hurry. In addition, the government, far from looking at what they did wrong, is trying to shield their mistaken education policies by placing the blame on someone and something such as teachers. As I have told, a matter of great importance is taking the focus on the causes and students. I believe that the students’ suicide problems can be solved by studying a fundamental cause and solutions of suicide as above.

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      November 10, 2012 11:45 am

      It is true that teenagers get too much stress on their studies and have no special solutions to relieve their stress. I have a question about your opinion. You said you are going to implement voluntary service to kids to make them considerated-hearted. Actually, students have been sentenced to do community services in their schools from old times. Even I was forced to volunteer when I was a middle and high school student. What is different between your opinion and current volunteer systems?

  3. Zhansaya +C permalink
    November 8, 2012 1:53 am

    Do business leaders make good presidents? Explain.

    Business leaders can make good presidents for several reasons. Characteristics of a business leader are similar to the characteristics of a good president. First of all, business leaders are decisive and competitive. A good president also have to be able to make decisions quickly and being ambitious. Secondly, business leaders are enthusiastic, as well as a good president has to motivate citizens of the country with a positive attitude. Furthermore, a business leader understands his/her strengths and weaknesses clearly; otherwise he/she won’t be a leader. A good president also has to be able to see both the big picture and small details at the same time. Both of honesty and follow-through are essential for a company’s success and a good president’s leadership. As a business leader determined of a success a good president also must be certain of success. Both of them have to be good-oriented and have the energy and drive to follow through initial successes with later ones. Clearly, political leaders are not just politicians, as they have to be able to lead the country to its growth.

    • We-ro permalink
      November 8, 2012 9:33 am

      The current president, so called the economic president, has focused on the economic growth. I think the economic growth is important. As a result, however, the gap between the rich and poor has deepened. What do you think about it?

      • Zhansaya +C permalink
        November 8, 2012 1:17 pm

        A business leader thinks about all the members in his team! However I was talking about characteristics of a business leader in a whole. I didn’t mean that business leaders focus only on economic growth!
        Answering to your question, I’m not sure….I’m not Korean…but I think the gap between the rich and poor in Korea is still ok, if we compare with other countries like Indonesia, or Kazakhstan.

    • We-ro permalink
      November 8, 2012 5:18 pm

      Thanks for your answer. I’m slightly suprised to hear that you’re not Koeran. I thought you’re Korean naturally. Then, how about your president? Is he a good president by your standard?

      • Zhansaya +C permalink
        November 9, 2012 5:40 am

        In my opinion, the current president of my country is the best president ever. When my country got the independence, in 1991, the country was in a great economic crisis, but our president did a great job to overcome difficulties in political, economic and social spheres. You can search in the internet and read more about Kazakhstan and its first and current president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

    • Tank permalink
      November 8, 2012 11:27 pm

      I’m studing the politics in this semester. As you mentioned, business ability is important. But in my opinion, the president need more variety but good abilities also important. Not just business skill.

      • Zhansaya +C permalink
        November 9, 2012 5:44 am

        Definetely you’re right, but I mentioned only business skills because I’m answering the questions about business leaders and good presidents!
        P.S. I’ve never taken any courses on politics.

    • Ronie permalink
      November 9, 2012 11:06 pm

      I agree with your opinion in some measure. But, the purpose of politics and business is quite different. The purpose of politics is to make citizens live like a human being and acqusition of power. It is not selling products or investing as a business leader wants. There are strict restrictions or procedures based on the constitution. i think that would make a business leader hard to do as he or she want contrast to managing own company. The president is not a king. But a business leader can be a king in his or her rules.

      • Zhansaya+C permalink
        November 11, 2012 1:06 am

        It’s obvious that the purpose of business and politics is different. However I gave just one example why business leaders can be good presidents. Of course, there are some contradictions, but it’s not the main point of my paragraph.

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      November 10, 2012 12:00 pm

      Above qualities of good business leaders and good presidents are stated finely. However, I do not think those are qualities of good business leaders but just good leaders. Almost every good leaders are decisive, competitive, enthusiastic, and understand their strength and weakness clearly. I think it would be better if you put more focus on specific business leader`s characteristics which are distinguishing.

      • Zhansaya+C permalink
        November 11, 2012 1:20 am

        I didn’t get your points clearly. In my opinion, if you are a business leader it means that you are already a good leader. You cannot run your own business if you are not competent in your field. Therefore, if you are a leader you can be a good president. That’s why I don’t think that it is necessary to focus on specific characteristics.
        P.S. If you disagree with me, please give me an example.

  4. Tank permalink
    November 8, 2012 11:14 pm

    Prof. Todd

    10. If you were a teacher and President Lee were your student, what grade would you give him for his efforts as president so far? Explain.

    If I am teacher, I’ll give d⁻ degree to the President, Lee. Firstly, he didn’t concentrate on the class. He have oblige to gather a variety of teacher’s opinion. But he didn’t try to understand and pushed his opinion obviously fault. Second, he didn’t pursue right goal of curriculum. He also tried to many efforts something. However, it didn’t fit at least our class, Korea. Final, the expectation to him has decreased for about 4 years. At first, he was smart student who is attended from many teachers. But, his report started to decrease, and now his report is full of bad grade in many sections. Only he was good is attendance. He was diligent person, and tried to something. In sum, his effort was good but the result is not good. So I’ll give him to d⁻grade.

    • We-ro permalink
      November 9, 2012 3:10 pm

      I’m laughing for you to give d-gread to this president. If we do our duties about a class participation, we can usually get B. What a pity! I think he have to over B grade. His effort of a economic development have made our national competitiveness get ahead China.

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      November 10, 2012 12:04 pm

      Your satire makes me laugh. I like your points but they seem to need more details to support your assertion.

  5. Olivia Min permalink
    November 9, 2012 1:53 am

    Prof. Todd

    2. Make a list of the three most important issues facing Korea. Briefly explain your list.

    In my opinion, there are too many problems that we are facing these days. It’s really hard to choose just three, but an aging, price, and welfare problem may be the top three. First of all, Korea already became an aging society in 2000 and it is heading to a super aging society. Usually, low birth and life extension create this problem. Most women these days want to keep their job career and the companies don’t like them to stop their work because of their babies, so women are reluctant to have a baby not to lose their jobs. Plus, scientific techniques had been developed and it helped human to dream longer lasting life. As a consequence, the number of old people who can’t afford themselves get increased, which means new generations are required to support them. But it is not always easy to provide for them so what I mean is that the government should take an action to solve this out. Next social problem is about price problem. Our parent’s generation may think this as most important issue we need to handle. They are very sensitive to rise in prices and it always leads them to eager new president who can stabilize prices. The most bad effects from boost in price is that some people go broke or suicide in the end. Certainly, the government may need to do something not to lose their nation. Finally, welfare is the key factor that most presidents focus. However, it is not easy to succeed in their tenure. Actually, I’ve watched EBS video a week ago, and I saw Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, doing his best to practice welfare policy by imposing new system. As a result, Brazil became 8th powerful country in the world and most Korean might want something like this from our presidents. To sum up, whoever the president will be, I hope that he or she could solve these big issues.

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      November 10, 2012 12:14 pm

      It is true that aging is one of the most significant issues that Korea faces. This is very tricky problem because it is closely related to infant care and childbirth which are more sensitive problems. For the price, I thinks it is quite impossible to reduce the price of products in the principle of the market economy. However, I believe that we could slow down the price rise if our economy grows. I totally agree with your opinion about welfare.

  6. christine permalink
    November 9, 2012 7:45 pm

    ((Prof: Todd))
    1. Describe the qualities of the ‘ideal’ president. Conclude your paragraph with who you feel most closely matches the qualities you have chosen?
    As we see many presidents in history, they have their own unique characteristics. In my opinion, three qualities must be required to be a good president : sincerity, empathy and intelligence. Firstly, the president must have sincerity. One people must say truth and not deceive others, and this quality is sincerity. Person who is in the place of president must sincere to all nation, in terms of tax, private life, policies and so on. Next, empathy is required to president. Presidents are the people who decide direction of policies. And they must consider not their own benifits of policies but nation’s thought and need. Therefore, they must have empathy with citizen’s lives. Lastly, they must intelligent. When they decide policy, they have to know effects of that plan. How the people’s life will be, and how they feel, what society would be occur. They must think about many complex thing, so intelligence is needed to presidents. In sum, sincerity, empathy and intelligence is needed to the person who is in the place of president. And I think President 김대중 is most closely matches the qualities I have chosen. He is the first korean who won the nobel peace prize. He worked for democracy and human rights from febrary, 1998 to febrary, 2003.

    • Ronie permalink
      November 9, 2012 10:47 pm

      If there were a president who suits your qualities, it would be the God. Anyway, it depends on many opinions, I am not sure the President 김대중 is mostly closely matches the qualities you chose. He betrayed 김종필 after being elected president.

  7. Ronie permalink
    November 9, 2012 10:29 pm

    Prof: Todd
    6. Do business leaders make good presidents?
    Smoe people anticipate business leaders would be good presidents. I think that is because those leaders are successful figures in certain groups, so people consider them to be good presidents. However, does it make sense tasks and skills of business are similar to affairs of politics? I do not think so. I am going to concentrate on the power of leaders who are in both politics and business.
    The authority the president has is different from that of a business leader. Especially, Republic of Korea adopted the presidental system. The president has various rights to control his or her followers and institutions. The president is center of the admistration. Though the president has many powers to order, there are many systems to restrict the president powers to keep a balance between the president and some organizations. It means the president need to be very careful to do his or her own affairs. Futhermore, It is based on supporting influence and if the president lose the leadership againt the opposition party, the president would have many obstacles. All of them is established by the constitution. Altough, I do not know well affairs going in business, business leaders(CEO) may have more powerful rights in their companies than that of the president in politics. I want to describe them as the lord of a kingdom. Most workers and employees have to follow the company, CEO’s policies and sometimes workers who do not want to follow that quit the job or raise objections. Whatever the objections are fair or not, CEO can do as he or she want in most cases I have herad about. Usually, a nation controls and restricts ways of companies but under some restrictions by the nation, most things depend on a leader.
    Ways to manage a country and a company is quite different from each other. Though, the president is a leader of a nation, but there are another powerful oppositions and obstacles. However, if a business leader do not break rules of the central government, he or she can do whatever he or she wants. Charteristics in controlling need to ne different according to circumstances of groups. For this reason, I do not agree with that “Business leaders make good presidents.”

  8. Niles permalink
    November 9, 2012 11:11 pm

    (Todd)

    1. Describe the qualities of the ‘ideal’ president. Conclude your paragraph with who you feel most closely matches the qualities you have chosen?

    Have you erver seen the movie ‘Gwang-Hae’? I come across my mind a fake ‘Gwang-hae’ in the movie. as soon as I saw the first question. Recently, Gwang-Hae was hit Krean box office. Actually, Gwang-Hae is known as the king of Chosun age. Strangely, during king Gwanghae’s age on throne, there was no entry in the records for 15 days. “Secrets should not be recorded” were written in king Gwanghae’s journal. This absence of documentation motivated a screenwriter. He comes to remembrance a hypothetical tale.
    This movie is record about disappearing of 15 days.

    In the movie, Gwang-hae is finding someone. Because, he constant assassination threats. Then, Ha-seon, was chosen. He looks just like Gwang-hae. Ha-seon becomes Gwang-hae for the 15 days. The film portrays Ha-seon(Gwang-hae) as a caring leader. In addition, he genuinely is concerned for the people and leads the country for 15days and moved by the love of his people. When king Gwan-hae returns to after 15 days, he learns valuable lessons from Ha-seon.

    The movie sends a message that compassion should be an essential value of a ruler. It seems a relevant message of the present now. Also, when I saw the movie, I felt very sad. In reality, the reason is because I can’t find this king. So I think that Gwang-hae is a ideal of a president. In addition, I wish that such as the king appears in reality.

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      November 10, 2012 12:24 pm

      I did not see the movie ‘Gwang-Hae’ yet, but I can catch the whole plot thanks to your descriptive story. However, I cannot know how ‘Ha-seon’ governed the country for 15 days, so it is quite abstract to imagine the ideal president. I mean only love and compassion cannot make everything goes round. I want you to add more information that why you think him as the ideal leader such as abilities.

  9. kelly permalink
    November 9, 2012 11:23 pm

    To. Pro Todd.

    8. Compare Korean women’s participation in politics with other advanced countries.

    Korean women have more interest in politics than before, and increase participation in politics. But, Korean women’s participation in politics is a restrictive level until now. The rate of women elected to parliament in Korea is 14.5% that is much lower than other advanced countries. Because the average rate of women elected to parliament in the world is 19.1%. Especially, The rate Between Korea and politically advanced nations is much more enormous difference. The rate of assemblywomen in Sweden is 45%. Sweden is the most vigorous and active nation in participation of politics in the world. Similarly, the rate of assemblywomen in Denmark is 38%, in Finland is 36.5%, in Netherlands is 34%. These politically advance nations are made from women’s movement. Women in politically advance nations are interested in politics and lead women’s education. And these nations ensure a gender quota system. This system is a regime that distribute a certain number of position to women. In my opinion, to raise Korean women’s participation in politics, women should have more interest in politics, and government have to introduce a gender quota system.

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      November 10, 2012 12:35 pm

      I think it is not the problem of women`s less interest toward politics that makes low participation in politics. There are tons of women who are eager to participate in politics. Also, women are not fall behind at all in education. Actually, according to one research, women get higher score than men in almost every studies. I think it is the matter of male chauvinism society which interrupt the participation of women in politics in Korea. Our country is still a male-dominated society compared to other advanced countries. I want you to see Hanna Rosin`s lecture on TED. Then, you could understand better what I tried to tell you.

  10. yuji+c permalink
    November 9, 2012 11:26 pm

    2. Make a list of the three most important issues facing Korea. Briefly explain your list.

    I think there are many issuees in korea more than three. I think following those problem are more serious than others. First, korea is facing unemployment crisis. Many koreans struggle to find a job. Because of that, many people committed suicide.So i think this problem is important issue. Second, korea is rapidly becoming an aging society. Korea society’s aging speed is most fastest in the world. Korea was penetrate aging society in 2002, in 2026 korea will become a super-aged society that ageing population over 20%, and in 2050 ageing population that over 65 years old will be occupy 34% of the total population. The last one is low birthrate. It’s a reason of aging society. Low birthrate occurs financial crisis. It can cause a decreasing of a saving ratio, and invesment. Finally korea loses our competitiveness. And low birthrate cause a shortage of manpower.
    There are many issues in korea nowadays, but i think those three problem is most important issues that have to discover a solution as much as possible.

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      November 10, 2012 12:42 pm

      I agree that Korea has serious unemployment crisis. Lots of university graduates near me are out of work for more than 1 year. Therefore, I can feel how serious it is and afraid about it. Decrease in birthrate is also a big problem. I want the government to bring about suitable and practical solutions, not armchair arguments.

  11. Ourabi + C permalink
    November 9, 2012 11:46 pm

    10. If you were a teacher and President Lee were your student, what grade would you give him for his efforts as president so far? Explain.

    If I were a teacher of President Lee, I would give him B grade…

    I think he is a very smart student. he has excellent ability to study and learn about the regular course. But he don’t have ability to get along with other student who is weak or who has low learning ability. For past 4 years, he has tried to get economical growth .. fortunately, he could get some economical growth and outgrowth. But he failed to construct relationship with the public who he has to serve. He didn’t try to communicate with the public and he only said what he want to say.

    Neverthless, the reason why I give him B grade is that he makes relationship with other advanced country through G20 and other something” It makes Korea’s global position improve”

  12. Shirley+C permalink
    November 10, 2012 12:04 am

    2. Make a list of the three most important issues facing Korea. Briefly explain your list.

    Currently, welfare, economic democratization and relation with North Korea are the most important issues. First of all, welfare is very controversial. Korea is standing at a crossroad. The government of Korea haven’t decided yet whether universal welfare is better or selective welfare is better. Politicians have different opinions on that issue according to their parties. People who support universal welfare said there must be no discrimination. On the other hand, people who insist selective welfare criticized that universal welfare is just populism. Second, presidential candidates are claiming economic democratization. Distribution of wealth is focused on one side now. Also, small businesses is going through economic problems. Finally, relation with North Korea is still a big problem which we have to solve someday. During the term of president Lee, there was many incidents such as shooting of Cheonan ship and yeonpyeongdo affair. At that time, many people insisted that our government should take a strong position. So, whether a strong position to North Korea is necessary or not is very important to our diplomacy.

  13. May (Prof. Todd.) permalink
    November 10, 2012 12:26 am

    1.Describe the qualities of the ‘ideal’ president. Conclude your paragraph with who you feel most closely matches the qualities you have chosen?

    I think the ideal President is to be honest while doing well. First, To be become president, candidate must show their ability. To be specific, Myself in the past, was a big success sure. If the President of the Korea will be become, the president should be the nation to develop and to lead. but When members of the community which had been succeeded from the field, people have no choice but to doubt presidential qualification. Second, the most important is honest. For example, Nowadays, Lee Myung-Bak come out guilty. His political life was busy filling their greed. TO be become president will have tremendous power. The tremendous power of our country for giving people who are not honest, the future will be dark.
    For these reasons, I think Ahn Cheol-soo a real presidential candidate because He is a man of success in several areas. public no longer believe that the existing political thought. so people set him in the world of politics. I consider him to be honest. because the other candidates had been looking for his flaws but he was not. The presidential election is coming up in a month. Who will be chosen, but the people will not regret this choice.

  14. hehe + C permalink
    November 10, 2012 1:21 am

    2. Make a list of the three most important issues facing Korea. Briefly explain your list.

    The candidates of Korea president now usually prefer to use the word ‘reform and innovative’ when they are political speeching. I think it means Korean government has many problems now and citizen want to make change existing policy. So I make the three most important issues facing Korea I think.
    First, strengthen the punishment of sex offenders and intensify public order. Recently, Korea is more and more increasing sex crime. However, punishment for the criminals is very weak. Even offenders cruelly kill the victim, they are not punished death penalty or life imprisonment. So second conviction rate is high. The old law of sex criminal need to be revised.
    Second, reduce tuition fee of universities. In many cases, tuition fee of university is almost over 10000 thousand won in just one year. It’s so burden for students. They borrow money for their parents or took out a student loan from the bank or private loan. When they graduate, they fall into debt before they get a job.
    Last, create regular jobs. Increasing the unemployment rate has been troublesome problem in Korea many years. Although there are many highly educated people, they didn’t get a certain job. Many company hire less regular employee compared to temporary employee such as intern or part-time job because they don’t want burden. However, the temporary employees are placed in economically and mentally unstable when the term of an employment contract is over.
    Also, human life span is longer and longer. Lots of fifty to sixty people want to get a second job after they retired to make a living. But there left only the a day laborer or low-paid job.
    In these reasons, I think it is most important issues in Korea, and I hope our new president could solve these problems.

  15. Fresh permalink
    November 10, 2012 1:24 am

    Is Korea ready for a female president?
    professor Todd.

    The election is right around the corner. I was indifferent to politics in the past, but since I attend lectures on civil rights, I have interest in politics. In my mind, Korea isn’t ready for a female president in my mind. Few years ago, President Roh Moo-hyun nominated Han Myung-sook to become the first female Prime Minister of South Korea. Nowadays, the participation of women in society is more prevalent than ever. And, women have started getting attention in the sphere of politics. But I think we are still not ready for a female president. Because Korea is a conservative country which emphasizes the teaching of Confucianism. For years women’s role in economic and politic development has been overlooked and their potential underestimated. People sometimes tend to ignore women by the reason of women. If female candidate be a president, people will start yelling and swearing harder when she made a mistake than male president made a mistake. In conclusion, It is premature to talk about female president at this stage in my mind.

    • Dalin(T) permalink
      November 10, 2012 12:52 pm

      Sadly, I think you are quite true. Korea is still too conservative and a male-dominated society. However, it is also true that women`s power have been increased rapidly in short time compared to other countries. Therefore, I believe that we are ready for a female president someday. I do not want to let go my hope yet.

  16. marlcocoro permalink
    November 10, 2012 2:16 am

    6. Do business leaders make good presidents? Explain.

    Actually, I think that there is no political qualification. Anyone who want to be a preisdent and ‘Ready’ to be a president can participate in presedential election race. President Lee myung bak was enterpreneur too. And he had also career as politician. He was one of the most remarkable the Mayor of Seoul. These abundant experience made him proud and competent president. However In 18th presidential election there is a candidate who ‘only’ business and professor career and don’t ready to be the president of Korea. President is -as you know- most important person because they lead whole country 5 years. It need enormous experience. Political base is also very important. President nominate all ministers and administration’s important post like prime minister. So This seat is not for the person who is not tested and have not political base. If he want to be a mayor of prime minister, I don’t think it is matter. however he want to be a president and even appeal with experience of ‘only’ professor and business career. It is very serious problem because ‘Someone who join presidential election race’ don’t understand about how important the president is.

  17. JIN permalink
    November 10, 2012 6:25 am

    2. Make a list of the three most important issues facing Korea. Briefly explain your list.

    What do you think about korean the most significant issues? Of course very diverse opinion are brought because these day, in korea, there are too many issues exist. But, among other things, I think this three issues facing korea are most important : economy, education, welfare. These issues are so related to our lives that many people pay sharp attention to them.
    First of all, economy always has been an issue. Economy stands for country’s power and position in the world and regards as number-one concern. Among them, many people point out industrial structure that is mainly operated by major enterprises. This structure often leads a major enterprises often brings small and medium enterprises. If things come to this stage, fewer and fewer people are in work and then domestic economy collapse.
    Secondly, education is big issue. Because education plays important role in life to every children, all parents are sensitive to government’s education policy. Among them, there are several issue about education. The latest issue is concerned about college tuition. This issue comes out as most university charge student an exorbitant price for college fee. These huge price sometimes go into debt many students who live in poor.
    Finally, Issues that are now being faced in korea are related to welfare. Welfare is possible to multilateral approach. Firstly, while senior citizen’s number grow more and more, government’s hasn’t appropriate solutions untill this day. Another approach is concerned about disabled people. Number of welfare facilities for disabled people is small in number. So we have a dispute of increase or decease of number of facilities.
    In conclusion, in korea, we have a lot of these sensitive issues. So, majority of people will be selecting a candidate who solve these issues well.

  18. Dalin(T) permalink
    November 10, 2012 11:13 am

    Make a list of the three most important issues facing Korea. Briefly explain your list.

    (Professor Todd)

    First of all, growth and distribution is one of the most three important issues facing Korea. Growth and distribution are like two sides of a coin. The government in Korea promoted the policies that emphasize growth rather than distribution of wealth. Due to circumstance, Korean major companies gain the penalty of fame globally, while small and medium-sized enterprises were degenerated to become subcontractors. In the process of this, small and medium businesses suffer from cost cutting which is forced by major companies. If small and medium businesses are invigorated, the middle class increases, which results in stable society. As a result, Korea needs several policies that consider small and medium-sized enterprises.

    Another issue that Korea faces is that job creation. Mostly, major companies implement indigenization strategies, which creates more jobs in foreign countries rather than in domestic country. In order to create jobs in Korea, the government should put more focus on small and medium businesses now. In addition to this problem, temporary position is serious. The current trend is an increase in hiring irregular workers because it is more profitable to companies in that they can put less attention to them and give less benefits and welfare. Consequently, the Korean government ought to construct proper working environment that lessens temporary employees and transfer them into permanent workers.

    Finally, strengthening welfare programs are important in Korea. We carry out a policy that guarantees free meals to almost every student. Once, lots of arguments have been heated until recently because some people insisted that we should offer free meals to financially disadvantaged students, whereas others claimed that we should to it to entire students. Eventually, all students are decided to get free meals because of the opinion that it is reverse discrimination to low-income students if we permit free meals only to them. Moreover, providing nests for the homeless masses and low-income group is conducted now. Day nursery for 24 hours system is also running for working moms. Like these, Korea society pays lots of attention to the welfare more than ever before.

  19. Sally permalink
    November 10, 2012 5:20 pm

    9. Is Korea ready for a female president? Discuss.
    (Professor. Todd)
    I think Korea ready for a female president. Although Korea still have been based on Confucianism and had patriarchy(male-dominated), our society ready for a female president. The first reason is increase in female employment. More and more woman are becoming part of the business. Anymore woman aren’t typically housewives. Korea’s woman can prove their real worth within a few years. So I think our society start to appreciate the value and ability of the woman. The another reason is Korea’s education encourage gender equality. Of course, the older generation educated a male-centered thought can resist about a female president. However, the 21 century already have been effected to gender equality education and new generation will be effected. So I think the conflicts between older and new generation exist, but the conflicts will moderated as time goes on. Finally, the female student’s level of academic achievement is higher than male’s. That’s not mean that the female’s performance is superior to male’s, but it means our society likely to produce outstanding individuals in female group. The possibility of successful female production will be increased. Thus, the right of female in Korea becoming higher, and our society will receive the female president.

    • Sally permalink
      November 10, 2012 5:25 pm

      Oh, I made a mistake, I want to edit.
      Korea ready for->Korea is ready for(First line)

      • Woopia permalink
        November 10, 2012 11:02 pm

        (Professor: Todd)
        2.Make a list of the three most important issues facing Korea. Briefly explain your list.
        In this year 2012, We have seen many issues facing korea. In these days, we already know important issues. First, one of the important news is ‘Gangnam style’ by ‘Psy’. This tsunami is sweeping all of the world. And ‘Gangnam style’ was occurred ‘Billboard’ chart No.2 a few weeks. And ‘Psy’ receive the medal from ‘Korea Creative Content Agency’.
        http://www.consumernews.co.kr/news/view.html?gid=main&bid=news&pid=352481
        (Korean article about ‘PSY’)
        Second, We have a presidential election this year. This election is very hot issue I think. In particular, three big candidates will suffer fierce competition. And this presidential election has possibility birth of first woman president in Korea. Moreover, this vote will decide direction of Korea.
        Finally, The entrance-exam of Korea for university will change. Surprisingly the exam has type.(Hard, Easy things) And some subjects were disappearing or get together. And students will confuse about this.
        This year of Korea has many issues which will change their nation.

  20. yoon +c permalink
    November 10, 2012 10:21 pm

    3. Choose one important problem and describe how you would solve it if you were president.

    Nowadays, korea has many social problems. Chief of all, sexual violence has climbed sharply in recent years. So I think that we should solve sexual violence. If I were president, I inflict severe punishment on those who commit a sexual crime. Now, the prison sentences of sexual violence are too short. So criminals of it may think that they don’t have to worry about punishment so they can commit sexual violence. Punishment is too weak to force the criminals to stop sexual violence. Even when they are released, they commit sexual crime again. So if I were president, I prepare a bill that criminals should serve a life sentence and face chemical castration. I think that this bill can force the criminals to stop crimes and examine themselves. And I crack down on adult entertainment venues that offfers illicit sex services. Although adult entertainment venue is made to satisfy one’s desires, it makes people more wicked. Therefore, it should be eliminated and I make legal facilities that offer sex services to solve one’s desires of sex. That is,it can fulfill a filter of sex desires. If I were pre president, I make these solutions to eliminate the sexual violence and establish right codification.

  21. harry permalink
    November 11, 2012 3:06 am

    11. Winston Churchill said, “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” Discuss.

    professor Todd.

    In Korea, it is said that people want to elect excellent president for nation but they think candidates don’t have enough qualifications for being president. why people think like that and what kinds of qualification candidates have to have? It is related that Winston Churchill’s words: “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” What does that mean? at first, let’s check why people are disappointed with candidates. In Korea, people prefer regionalism, school relations, and kinship. It is fundamental reasons and most candidates use these elements. candidates don’t put emphasis on their ability, honest, policy and so on. It makes people regard candidates negatively. If candidates want to be a great president, they need positive and true support of the people. To get support of the people, candidates have to show their ability, policy, etc things, but not regionalism, school relations, and kinship. And they have to persuade people by conversation like USA candidates. If Korean candidates try to challenge by true conversation with people, they will get positive image and politics also will be better than these days.

  22. Jacob permalink
    November 11, 2012 5:06 pm

    Choose one important problem and describe how you would solve it if you were president.

    Pro.Todd

    The one important problem that Korea is facing is tuition of the university. It was always the hot issue since several years ago, and it was also always in the election pledges of candidates. But this problem wasn’t be solved for a long time. Do you know why? I think it’s because of the greedy universities. There were frequently lots of demonstrations from each university but the unversities always said “Wait please. We are dealing with this issue in the conference.” But they always said ‘Sorry’ at the end. But a year ago, Kyunghee university told us that it will cut some of its tuition about 3-4%, and they actually did it. Also, some other universities said they are going to cut it too. But still, many other univerisities ignore this situation and by this, lots of universities’ students do many hard work. They do part time jobs, private lessons and also they even work in construction field. Even though their age was reached to adult, they are still students and young. So what i’m trying to say is since the universities’ students got lots of stress by tuition, we need to help them to focus on just their own study by cutting tuitiom. And this is what i’m going to do if i were president.

  23. Orange juice permalink
    November 11, 2012 7:08 pm

    Professor Todd

    3. Choose one important problem and describe how you would solve it if you were president.

    If I will become President and it will solve an an educational related issue.
    When first nominating educator, only ability of that person it knows personality of that person that it questions,
    To question and take out.
    The recent student violence and cause of problem of small present etc. will be a personality of teacher of teachers.
    And let various specialists to consult a plan in about the private problem which goes to extremes.

  24. Ann C permalink
    November 11, 2012 8:44 pm

    6. Do business leaders make good presidents? Explain.

    I think business leaders do not make good presidents. There are 2 big reasons for this.
    First of all, politic’s goal is not just same as the companies, which is maximizing the profit. Our economy shows unbelievable economic growth to the world, but there are still many poors that need our help. So, nowadays, the value of equality weighs much more than the value of efficiency. But as the business leaders concentrate on maximaizing their profits in their whole life, it is not easy for them to pursue the value of equality. And sencondly, if the business leaders become the presidents, there will be more stronger links between politicians and businessmen than the past. Then it would be very hard for small companies to enter the market as the government gives much priveliges only to the big companies. Then our economy loses the most important features of capitalism, the free will of entering the market. In these reasons, I’m against to the ideas of entering the business leaders in politics.

  25. Kitty+ C permalink
    November 12, 2012 11:56 pm

    Make a list of the three most important issues facing Korea. Briefly explain your list.

    There are three most important issues facing Korea. first of them is presidential election. many people are interested in this coming election. All of citizens must expect changes in politics, environmental issues, public welfares and social problems from this election. So, presidential election can be one of big issues in Korea now. Second issue is unemployment problem. this is subjective issue a bit but I think youth unemployment is biggest social problem in Korea that has to be solved soon. this issue is getting bigger theses days. Youth unemployment has come to grave social problem facing Korea. Third one is IU’s affair. IU is korean girl who is most popular singer in Korea. but because of her scandal, All of her fans especially her male fans are very shocked. this scandal must be one of important issue facing Korea.

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