Sunday, 23 May 2010

Koreans and elections

All over Daegu, and presumably over the rest of South Korea, candidates are stepping up their campaigns for the June elections. My wife informs me that the elections are for the mayor and for local government etc, etc. Elections and politics are very very different from Western countries, very different.

All over the city there are a plethora of banners, posters, people handing out cards and also small trucks going around with loudspeakers promoting a candidate. Today it was pouring it down with rain and I spent a few hours on the buses and noticed several of these 'campaign trucks'. Some had middle aged cheerleaders actually dancing, others waving foam hands while some trucks had video screens. My wife informs me that these people who help out are not volunteers but in fact paid to do this.

I remember one year being in a bar and one candidate coming in and giving everyone (that would be just us) his card. In cases like this does the guy with the highest advertising budget win? To a cynical outsider like me these campaigns look ridiculous but it's the way things are done here. It feels like every candidate is just some rich businessman who wants people to recognise him rather than people taking office who want to help out. Could be wrong here, language and culture barrier et al. I hope to get some pictures if I'm out before the madness ends voting begins.

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