President Yoon Suk-yeol's approval ratings continue to fall for more than a month. The death cross appeared at the end of June when Yoon’s disapproval rating exceeded his approval rating. Yoon’s approval rating dropped to 32 percent on Friday following last week’s record low at 40percent.
Usually, during the initial stage, an administration easily pushes forward its policies based on high approval ratings, but it is not the case with the Yoon administration today. With its unclear policy visions, gossip and rumors negatively impact Yoon’s approval ratings as well. And It seems like the administration has fallen into a vicious cycle of declining approval ratings undermining its engine to pursue its vision. We are not sure whether the administration has hit the bottom, but it is clearly in a crisis.
The reasons behind the decline have to do with the following: Yoon’s controversial comments during so-called "doorstepping" briefing session, prosecutor-oriented appointments, discord within the ruling party around the punishment of Lee Jun-seok, the leader of the People Power Party, the controversy between Yoon’s so-called “close confidants,” and scandals around First Lady Kim Keon-hee. But it is still not enough to explain this low approval rating of the government, which won the presidential election and general elections in a row. It means the government needs to review its policy direction from the start.
To restore justice and common sense, it is important to redress the missteps of the former Moon administration, which include a lack of common sense, unfairness, and showing double standards. A new administration should come up with a blueprint of its vision for the next five years so that the people can judge if the direction is right or not. But now, we are not sure what the government is trying to do.
As the fear of a global economic recession is looming, people are struggling to just get by. Some prospects are even gloomier than that of the Asian Financial Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis. To be sure, President Yoon presided over an emergency economic meeting himself to manage future risks. However, it indeed failed to gain the trust of the people. They are unsure about the capability of the government. Koreans are indeed anxious about the government as one side of the nation is chaotic with so-called new deep-rooted evils and the other side is trembling with weak leadership in the economy upon gloomy economic prospects. Comparing the current administration to the previous one will not be enough to earn people’s understanding.
The government and the National assembly are not aligned, and the ruling and opposition parties are still failing to organize the legislative body for more than one and a half months. People look to the president in times of crisis. Just blaming the opposition party for not being cooperative is not right. It’s time to prioritize the economy first. All messages should align with crisis responses. It is important to put the economic agenda on the front burner. Instead of obsessing with the door-stepping briefing sessions, a formal press briefing should be in place to explain the stark reality facing the nation, limitations, and risk response direction frankly to ask for burden sharing by each economic unit and cooperation from the political circle. Time is ticking, and patience is running out.