Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Park Geun-hye to Win South Korean Election

And it looks like Park Geun-hye will win this election! With over 75% of votes in, the Saenuri Party candidate has a strong lead (51.8% to the Democratic Party's 48.1%), according to KBS News. In fact, they called a winner as early as 9:30pm, over an hour before the results were to be finalized. South Korea is going to have its first female President!

Host parents at the polling place.
I saw some of my students volunteering!
I was watching news coverage of the election with my host brother. The news was interesting for two reasons: 1) adorable animated representations of the two main candidates in the early segments and 2) the vote tallies broken down by city and province.

My province, Gyeongnam, gave Park a strong lead, and in cities such as Daegu and Busan, the conservative party won without a doubt. On the other hand, on the western Jeolla Provinces, Moon Jae-in completely swept the polls, in particular winning over 90% of votes in Gwangju. Moon also won a majority in Seoul, although Park took the surrounding Gyeonggi Province.

All of this notwithstanding, since Korea's election runs on a popular vote only, the provincial statistics don't actually count for anything. It's just interesting to see how the country divides along party lines.

Oh, and another thing: I was watching the news coverage with my host brother, because my host mother went to bed early, 아파서, and my host father is commiserating at a friend's house. He told me today that most of Korea would be drinking tonight: 52%, as it stands, in celebration, and 48% in sorrow.

P.S. In other news, I watched The Hobbit today, in English with Korean subtitles. It was nowhere near the marvel that is The Fellowship of the Ring, but it does fit in almost seamlessly with the fantastic, adventurous tone of the series as a whole.
I watched the movie with Tyler and some other friends. This is Tyler, campaigning on behalf of Moon Jae-in. These campaign trucks have been everywhere for the past month, blaring music and showing pro-whoever videos in every corner of town.
P.P.S. Speaking of adorable (or WTH-worthy) election coverage on the news, here's one example:

Much more interesting than flatscreens with maps of states that change colors.

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