Netizens React to June 4 Elections

Article from The Hankyoreh:

“Aftermath of Sewol Tragedy” in Seoul, “Rural Support for Ruling Party and Urban Support for Opposition Party” in Gyeonggi, “Strong Conservatives” in Incheon


Elected big-city mayors and provincial governors. (Red: Saenuri Party, blue: NPAD)

The outcome of the local elections on June 4th was determined in the Seoul Capital Area. The Saenuri Party won eight races for big-city mayors and provincial governors, a drop from their victory in nine races in the last elections. The New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) could not feel triumphant because the Saenuri Party still won two out of three close races in the Seoul Capital Area, in Gyeonggi and Incheon. However, the tide was turned in Seoul where the NPAD claimed victory by a large margin. In Seoul, the “judgement of the Sewol tragedy” negatively affected the ruling party. In Incheon and Gyeonggi, however, the trend of rural support for the ruling party and urban support for the opposition party was observed.



Park Won-soon receives a pair of shoes from his supporter as he celebrates his victory for another four years of mayorship in Seoul.

Note that in Korean political vocabulary, ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’ are often interchangeably used with ‘leftist’ and ‘rightist’.

Comments from Naver:

It is ironic that Seoulites are more enraged and eager to blame the ruling party for the Sewol tragedy than Gyeonggi people.


Why can’t the opposition party drop the North Korea card…. What affects them the most is being labelled as spinelessly accommodating to North Korea, even before people judge their political competence. As a person who hates the Chicken Head [Saenuri] Party, I feel trapped. They are completely failing to keep the ruling party in check, tsk tsk.


Above all, I feel reluctant to the black-and-white logic that separates classes and regions. Maybe a journalist living in a city thinks people in the countryside would not even be able to read an article that passive aggressively disparages them. After all, Hani journalists instinctively believe they are superior. Just another class in the social hierarchy.


I can’t understand why they would solely blame the ruling party for the Sewol tragedy…Do they not know the region where the accident happened…


So there are that many conservatives in Incheon? Ha. Though I knew many of them wouldn’t even care to vote, he.


It’s not that conservatives are strong in Incheon. It’s just that former mayor Song Young-gil messed up ㅡ.ㅡ


To be honest, “Judgement” sounds a bit funny. Who’s judging who? They are not different from each other.


Are you trying to imply conservatives are country bumpkins, you Hani rag?


The Sewol tragedy can only be blamed on the ruling party?? Does the opposition party have no lawmakers or politicians? They are all the same. I voted for the ruling party because I hate seeing the opposition party acting like they are innocent. You are not supposed to shift your responsibility to others. That’s not what a lawmaker or a politician is supposed to do. Both Saenuri and NPAD should look in the mirror.


The Sewol tragedy was politically exploited indeed…

Article from Yonhap News:

The Era of Progressive Superintendents of Education Begins…Green Light for Innovative Schools and Free School Lunch

Elected superintendents of education. (Blue: progressive, grey: conservative)

Elected superintendents of education. (Blue: progressive, grey: conservative)

The era of progressive superintendents of education represented by Gwak No-hyeon and Kim Sang-gon is commencing in full force with thirteen elected progressive superintendents including Jo Hee-yeon (Seoul) and Lee Jae-jeong (Gyeonggi). Eight years after the direct election system for superintendents of education was introduced in 2006, this is the first time the majority of the superintendents are politically progressive. In 2010, six out of sixteen superintendents were progressive.

As thirteen out of seventeen major cities and provinces will be supervised by progressive superintendents of education, it will boost progressive educational policies such as innovative schools, environment-friendly free school lunch, and the ordinance of student rights. On the other hand, this will also mean a tougher road ahead for policies such as autonomous private high schools and reverting Korean history textbooks back to government-published textbooks, which have been advocated by conservative superintendents of education and the Ministry of Education. The education field is sharply divided into anticipating the changes in the current education system that favors elitism and worrying about drastic changes that may lead to conflicts.


Comments from Naver:

Please at least do not work with the Korea Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU). [The KTU is often thought to be radical leftist, communist and pro-North Korean by conservatives.]


It’s not even their money. Why are they so eager to give out free lunch? Why does the nation need to feed all kids who have no problem getting their own lunch? They just need to take care of the kids who need support. It’s all from the national revenue. What is free in the world?


Our country’s future depends on education. KTU……..sigh


At least superintendents of education should’ve been all conservative… Free lunch may sound nice but it’s from the tax-payers’ money.




When I was in my last year at high school 4 years ago, there was this KTU teacher. He spent 1/3 of his lecture hours mocking President Lee Myung-bak as 2 Mega Bytes and talking about politics. At least, I hope the progressive superintendents of education do not stay close to such politically biased KTU teachers.


Are they still talking about free lunch? They spent a lot because cafeteria ladies went on a strike to demand full employment and they went after environment-friendly food ingredients. However, they ended up detecting residual agricultural chemicals from some lunch meals and the quality of the food decreased due to official-business collusion. And they still talk about free meals. This drives me insane, tsk tsk.


The ordinance of student rights…. I wonder if that has any practical effect.


I object to incompetent public education where they cannot do anything else due to lack of budget after giving out free lunch!


I’m worried that there will be more incidents where students beat up teachers because of the trashy ordinance of student rights…

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