The Race for the Blue House

Despite all that’s been written about it so far, Korea’s presidential election really only just began. Shit got real once Ahn Cheol-soo, the independent left-leaning billionaire software mogul, dropped out of the race in late November. One week later, the official candidates (significantly, leftist Moon Jae-in and right-winger Park Geun-hye) registered to duke it out on December 19.

And so it began. For the next two weeks we, the people, will be subjected to ‘heartfelt’ political ads (scroll down), drive-by televised speeches and the constant battle cry of the ajumma, proudly row-dancing and clutching banners on the street.

MoonPark

Expect the usual Korean political fare and streets louder than usual. Park’s rejected Moon’s request for a live televised debate, which is actually pretty weird, on the grounds that her nationwide tour is too tight. (How else can Moon show off his lofty elitist intellectualism? How else can Park look like an aristocratic old-fashioned hag?)

Read the full thing on Busan Haps, for which I am now effectively a Korean political reporter.

Presidential Primer, Part One: Ahn Cheol-soo

JUST IN CASE you didn’t know, South Korea has a presidential election coming up December 19. It’s a pretty big deal. The Sixth Republic of South Korea has only had five presidents so far, and the current Blue House resident—Lee Myung-bak—has been around since February 2008, which is a huge chunk of Korea’s 24-year-old democracy.

 

“As a medical doctor, professor, self-taught computer entrepreneur, and corporate leader—Ahn is representative of everything mainstream Korea dreams of becoming.”

My first of three analyses of this winter’s presidential candidates. Next two will come up the following two Fridays, marking my re-entry into political journalism, after a stint wherein I quit politics after being blacklisted from speaking with anyone involved in Nova Scotia’s conservative scene. (Long story.)