Saenuri Party’s Sweeping Election Victory: Netizen Reactions

Saenuri Party Park Geun-hye talking of her victory

Yesterday brought the much anticipated Korean parliamentary elections to a close, with the newly-named conservative Saenuri Party (‘New Frontier’) taking just over half of the 300 seats up for grab. The turnout for this year was said to be one of the highest, with 54.3% of Koreans turning out to vote, compared to 46.1% four years ago.

Many commentators see the Saenuri victory as an early sign of Park Geun-hye’s taking residence in the Blue House next fall. Internet forums have been buzzing since yesterday, attracting comments in the thousands.

Many netizens blamed foul-mouthed Kim Yong-min (covered by koreaBANG for his profanity against the elderly and Christians among others) for the defeat of the very party he was representing. 2012 has proven to be one of the most active politically speaking, especially among the youths. With only  8 months to go before the Korean Presidential elections, this won’t be a quiet year for Korean politics, or for koreaBANG either.

Election results for Seoul

Results for districts of Seoul

Red – Saenuri Party

Yellow – Democratic United Party

Purple – Unified Progressive Party

From Daum:

Saenuri Party takes the majority in resounding victory

What was tipped to be a tight race between the ruling party and the opposition, the ruling Saenuri Party (New Frontier Party) took the resounding majority in the April 11 General Election.

Despite the favourable results in the Seoul Metropolitan Area the opposition Democratic United Party (DUP) failed to make inroad into the ruling Saenuri strongholds, resulting in bitter defeat.

Saenuri secured 152 seats in total with 127 seats voted directly in and 25 proportional seats. DUP took 106 seats from constituencies, with 21 proportional seats, totalling 127 seats in parliament.

Unified Progressive Party (UPP) took 7 constituencies and 6 proportional seats. Liberty Forward Party (LFP) secured 3 constituencies with 2 proportional seats. 3 independent candidates also were voted in.

The voter turnout was heavily speculated. Many predicted the turnout to reach 60% as the rainy weather cleared by the early afternoon.

But the turnout slowed as the day wound down, reaching 54.3% at the end, slightly lower than the 5th local election in 2010, 54.5%.

The confusion compounded, as the exit-poll taken by the three broadcasters presented mixed results with wafer-thin margin tipping either way, leaving Saenuri and DUP in no clear position.

But once the votes were counted, Saenuri was shown to be in clear command.

The election result is explained by the lower-than-expected turnout, coupled with the extreme regional block-voting pattern.

Saenuri won all but 4 seats in Busan-Kyungnam (30), and completely swept Daegu-Kyungpook (27), Ulsan (6) and Gangwon province (9).

UPP was able to gain some presence in Gwangju and Jeonnam province, Jeonbuk province but its impact was still marginal.

Saenuri won overwhelming victory in the eastern provinces, confining the opposition presence primarily within the metropolitan area (112 seats in Seoul by DUP).

30 constituencies in the Seoul Metropolitan Area went to DUP, leaving 16 seats to Saenuri. In Kyunggi province, DUP won 29 seats with Saenuri taking 21 seats. In Incheon Saenuri and DUP took 6 seats each.

Comments from Daum:

shine:

Gangwon and Chungcheong, they blow my mind~

윈드:

WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH~~~ The biggest credit for Saenuri should go to Naggomsu and the profanity man Kim Yong-min,,, He must have cost them at least 20 seats by himself,,, So proud,,,~~!!!,,,,,, Kim Yong-min~~~ !!!! Hail Saenuri~~~~!!!!!!! Hail Park Geun-hye ~~~~~~~~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

blackstorm:

See this? This is the popular mandate. Internet is for those left-wing commie losers, that’s all they are.

후회없이:

The lefties were being so annoying on the net that the swing voters went the other way, don’t you believe me. Look at these comments, bitch all you want, this will happen again ke ke ke ke ke

togoong:

All those babies crying for college tuition reduction by half, did they all go picnicking?

멋들어지게:

I’m in my 30s and I hate Saenuri and Democrats equally and consider myself neutral. But all those in 20s-40s on the web were being so annoying about how DUP is the truth that I voted Saenuri. You guys went really over the top with these comments.

푸커:

DUP was being so stupid. Try to approach this with the They only have the oppositional mentality and that’s why they lose. I say this out of love as a patriot and DUP supporter.

초코네집:

The cattle farmers from Kyungsang, don’t come out protesting with your cattle on the highway.

자유와행복:

Don’t be so shocked, this is the reality… This is our national standard. I am so appalled and saddened by this. Lee Myung-bak can now happily retire and enjoy his remaining days. We have no right to criticize the politicians. We have nothing to complain about. I will now only think about my own interest. I am so depressed in this early morning.

개명박:

Thanks to Seoul DUP was able to survive… But What the hell, Chungcheong and Gangwon? I did not expect anything out of Gyeongsan province, they are absolutely hopeless. It is not that president is not communicating with the citizens, but we are not communicating with ourselves.

fgkshsr4k8:

There are tons of people who think not supporting the lefties as tantamount to being brainless trash citizen but your homeland North Korea must be full of heroes. I am at my wit’s end with you guys. Bet your brains are dyed in red.

NO NAME:

Goes to show that the silent conservative is more powerful than the foul-mouthing progressive!!!

U2:

So close If the turnout reached 70%, Saenuri would have taken 160 seats… 20s-30s turnout was supposed to be high ke ke ke DUP and UPP idiots and zombies, better not to assume that people in 20s and 30s will support democrats and progressives.

DongUk_Seo:

I’m moving abroad. Bye Korea!

Tarantula:

Next four years will be tough again,,, Big corporations will have a blast,, apartment price will be jacked up,, School tuitions and private school reform are over before it even started,,, How much more do we need to suffer before we come to our senses,, tsk tsk

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  • Brett Sanbon

    민주당 won in my town. ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ During his campaign all he did was bad-mouth 2MB.

    Nothing really effects me seeing as I wont have permanent residency until the next election.

    Sounds to me like Daum commenters are more on the conservative side…. Are they the Korean Yahoo! news commenters?

    • Matt

      This doesn’t really have anything to do with the article, but could you please explain some of the benefits and requirements of attaining permanent residency?

      • Brett Sanbon

        Too much for me to write on my Galaxy Note but you can google “benefits of korean permanent residence” or try daves esl cafe and korea4expats. there a tons of people who know more than me about it.

        Im still hoping one day I can get dual citizenship.

    • acorn

      i think they are always there, just that they are a bit outnumbered and always get voted down. it’s almost impossible to get a clear sense of these things unless you trudge through pages and pages of comments.

      it’s kind of funny that the progressive voices are often the loudest on the web, yet does not translate well in to the voting pattern. young people still did not vote, period.

  • Alexis

    What a pathetic country! When Park becomes the next president, Korea will have a grandson of the former dictator as their leader in the North, and a daughter of former dictator in the South as their leader in the 21st century.

    All the while two previous military dictators and corrupt politicians in the South are enjoying their billions from their bribery retirement fund into luxurious retirement. With just little over 60 years of democracy in the South, it truly shows its political infancy, and still has a long way to go in its evolving democracy.

    When a country like South Korea still worship cronyism, status quo, and incompetence in their leadership, it’s no wonder that the U.S., China and other powerful nations can still impose their interest and will on them with ease.

    What’s puzzling is the fact that while South Korea has produced significant leaders like the current UN General Secretary and World Bank president nominee, it still hasn’t elected a leader of substance and self-accomplishment.

    But then again, who am I to criticize only Koreans when Americans have twice elected an idiot of son by a previous leader in the U.S., even with over 200 years of democracy. Obviously, there is no correlation between the longevity of democracy and stupidity of any one nation.

    • Brett Sanbon

      Reminds me of a lyric in a Bright Eyes song.

      “….kill a man for what his father did”.

      I wouldnt vote for her but dont judge her for who her father was. Better to judge her on her political views.

      So when you have something worthwhile to say you are permitted to return. Until then, fuck off.

      • Alexis

        I didn’t know she had any political view of her own, not to mention any accomplishments. Otherwise, please enlighten us by stating her “own” political views or any qualification to judge her by as a politician, let alone presidential candidate. She is nothing more than a political vulture living off whatever carcass of sympathy she receives from her father’s brainwashed generation for her benefit only in a politically inept and directionless country.

        Like many close-minded Koreans, by the tone of your very defensive and childlike response, I guess you can’t handle or want to know the truth. No wonder, the country is so politically screwed up and immature. But then again, it’s not surprising that an ignorant like you who would seek a permanent residency in a politically corrupt country like Korea. Grow up!

        • Vince

          No offence, Alexis, but you’re sounding like a bit of an arse.

          • Alexis

            None taken Vince. Just saying my piece the way I see it, until truly proven otherwise.

        • Brett Sanbon

          Lol did your Korean boyfriend dump you? Is that why you are getting butthurt. I guarantee wherever countries you and I are from are just as corrupt as Korea.

          • Alexis

            If posting profanity-laden juvenile comments without any substance on this website from your tiny little cubicle is your method of masturbation, you seriously need to seek and get some serious professional help. Your idiotic verbal diarrhea is starting to stink up the whole site. But first, for your own mental and physical health benefit, please pull out your miniscule head from the cavity of your behind.

            If you can’t cohesively articulate and express yourself while engaging in a socio-political discourse reasonably, let alone intelligently in a public forum, please learn some proper English instead of resorting to a limited unintelligible response and childish profanity. It only makes you look like a brainless feminine hygiene product, if you know what I mean. It’s no wonder why so many Koreans can’t speak proper English, since in all likelihood most of them probably learned from an illiterate like you.

            More importantly however, as you appear to be intellectually impotent, incompetent of reasoning, and incapable of carrying on an open dialogue, please get some proper education in Korean history, politics and in reasoning before you pollute the web with your nonsense. Truly by all measures, your ambition in verbal skills clearly outweighs your subpar knowledge and absence of any intellect.

            Alas, you’ll probably keep your diminutive head in your derriere until unforeseeable future like so many other Koreans, unwilling and afraid to face the truth in modern Korean politics for several generations bound by social conformity and herd mentality.

            Lastly as an unsolicited advice, before someone calls you a female private part, and before you have another mindless premature verbal ejaculation, or a brain fart in public from your asinine pea brain, for everyone’s sake, man up and grow a pair in both regions of your body before engaging in any social discourse!

            P.S. Really, was it the best you could come up with? Really? You are truly a pathetic imbecile! Now, you may go back into little stinking hole where you came from before causing yourself a brain attack. LOL

          • Brett Sanbon

            alexis I think I remember you from over at chinaSMACK… Same Alexis?

            Now that I have recovered from my hangover let me explain some things to you.

            Permanent residency in Korea is nothing to mock. I am not ashamed of it, nor should anyone be. Only rational explanation of someone to tease another over nationality or residency permit is that you are irrationally upset about something as silly as a Korean boy not wanting you. It was my early morning way of saying “why would you get on me over where I choose to live.”

            Did I say I would vote for her (Park)? Did I mention I liked her? Did you give reason as to why you dislike her (other than she is her father’s daughter)?

            Why should I have to tell you about her policy? If you want to say it sucks or is great, isn’t that for you to defend? All I did was say judge her for her, and not for her father’s tyrancy.

            Please excuse my short replies as I usually check this website from my Galaxy Note and don’t have the willpower to type on a 3 inch keyboard for more than 1 minute. Therefore, most of my comments are quick and never give supporting evidence…. deal with it.

            Next point, I am not an English teacher. I work in Jongno and you can come visit me if you wish. Let me negate your over-generalization of all Koreans by saying many many Korean nationals can speak fluent English. On the other hand, you are correct that many Koreans also cannot speak English well. Its because Korea wasn’t and isn’t colonized by an English-speaking country, not because of some college graduates on vacation in an “exotic” place in Asia. Now, this will most likely change over the next 10-20 years as more and more institutions are teaching more developed English curriculum. Also, it is my job to push legislation for educational reform. If you wish to discuss the politics of education and why Korea is still decades behind Europe and America, I would be happy to joust with you.

            Let me explain this site to you. It is not a place to only discuss Korean history, politics, or reason with each other, but to see what the Korean netizens are talking about and its not going to change because you desire it to. The point is to have fun, share opinions and tell assholes they can fuck themselves. Re-read your first post and if you gave any reason to hate Park (other than her father) please tell me. I will apologize. If not, I am still waiting to hear why.

            Other than that, from what I can tell is that I have fun and joke around with other posters. Mostly about what the netizens have to say.

            I don’t have to change my posting habits to prove anything to you. I can post profanity if it is what I damn well choose to do. I am not detracting from this site. Shit, its only been open the better part of this year. I have been adding to it from the beginning.

            If I want to have an intellectually stimulating conversation, chinaSMACK and koreaBANG are probably the last places I will look. I come here to take a 5 minute break from work and enjoy what others are saying. If you want stimulating, and want it here, thats your business. I wouldn’t have replied with criticism from the beginning had you omitted the first paragraph (the bitchy one without any support for your remarks).

            If you wish, please continue with your personal attacks directed at me. At the end of the day, I am enjoying myself and you are getting worked up.

            This will be the first and last time I write something so long on koreaBang. Continue to enjoy my antics because I’m not going anywhere.

    • acorn

      well, everyone has a right to run for election – i do agree with Alexis’s sentiment that there are so many people in south korea who are blindly (well, pork-barrelling is a blind faith if not badly studied habit) willing to cast vote for her with very little to offer in public service.

      her electoral strategy may be not saying anything, anything at all, so that you may project your own ideas and fantasies (she’s still single yo) about her dad upon her….

      but then i am not sure what americans were thinking when bush got reelected with already unpopular war on his hand…. :p

      • Alexis

        Indeed, there is no monopoly or borders when it comes to stupidity.

        • acorn

          voting behaviour and pattern are notoriously difficult to understand under any circumstance – you’d think people act out of their private interest rationally but the divergence between long-term and short-term gains are usually such that people just vote out of habit or studied habits in the face of bewildering choices and preferences – if you think unifying with north korea is a bad idea in the short term but good idea in the long term then they will choose based on that opinion – if you think it’s good idea short- and long-term, then you’d vote someone else, etc etc….

          the voting intelligence in south korea right now is not THAT particularly high shown by the regional block-voting pattern and undivided loyalty for GNP-Saenuri…. (law of diminishing return is usually what you get if you never vote otherwise – why should policitian care about you if you will vote for him/her no matter what, haha)

          • Alexis

            Thank you for your insight.

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