Politics FB

The Weekend Politics Thread moves ahead

Monty: So South Korea is holding its legislative election on Wednesday.

Anna: I’m very curious how other countries are handling elections with pandemic safety at the moment, and also how candidates are using the pandemic, but mostly I haven’t checked the news in a week and am assured just knowing other countries still exist. I think I actually mean reassured there. 44 million people are eligible to vote in 300 representatives, with procedures in place so that even sick citizens can vote. Meanwhile, Wisconsin.

Monty: For what it’s worth, South Korea is pretty far over the hill regarding the Coronavirus, and there remains a big appetite to move forward politically.

First of all, it’s been three years since conservative independent President Park Geun-hye was impeached and removed from office, replaced by Moon Jae-in of the centre-left Democratic Party. The Democrats are also the largest party in the National Assembly– though neither they nor the right-wing United Future have a majority.

The Democrats are also polling far ahead in local constituency polls, but that probably won’t help them attain a majority. Last year, South Korean voters approved a constitutional change dividing the Assembly between constituency seats (representing local areas) and “compensatory seats” allocated on the basis of the national popular vote. In said national vote, the Democrats and United Future are neck-and-neck, and the mostly right-wing minor parties are doing much better. So it’s anybody’s guess who if anyone will come out ahead.

Anna: Now the one article I read mentioned South Koreans are pretty positive about how COVID-19 has been handled and it may help the Democratic Party. I’m assuming you read two articles and know much more than me …I was going to say about what issues are pulling this election but I can just stop at the you know much more than me part.

Monty: I’ll be honest: it’s been difficult paying attention, and I imagine the response to the virus is topping the bill over there.