By November, were you sick of all of those political ads bombarding you on tv, on the internet, or on the radio? Wish your elections were more upbeat? With more dancing and singing? Have you ever hoped your elections were more like an episode of Glee?
Then the Korean elections are what you need! Maybe it’s because I don’t speak Korean, or maybe it’s because I don’t watch much tv, but it seems like the most popular way to campaign is to set up a small truck, blast some music, and shake your groove thang. Recently I took a quick video of one of these election trucks near our house by Chonnam University. I got the full show including some dancing, a speech, and a comedian that made fun of past presidents.
I’m not going to act like I know very much about the Korean government or even about the candidates. But I would like to share some observations that I’ve made as a foreigner.
Lately, as I walk through the neighborhoods of Gwangju, I see a group of posters together like this. These are the seven candidates, however I have heard it’s basically between numbers one and two. Which begs the question, “What’s with the numbers?” At least that was the first thing I thought of when I saw the numbers. Is that the order of popularity? Is it randomly assigned? I learned that the candidates are ordered based on the number of seats that their party holds in the National Assembly.
Most of the people living in Gwangju are on the side of the liberal candidate (number 2, that is), but if the election goes the other way, Korea could have the first female president in their history.
The best thing about election day isn’t just the singing and dancing on the street. It’s that we get the day off of work. Call it an early Christmas present. And with that, I leave you with an early Christmas present of your own. The video below I did not take, but it’s an election truck in all of it’s glory, including an older woman who caught the election spirit and joins in the dance.