Friday, May 28, 2010

Campaign Season

Apparently, there will be local elections in Korea on June 2. I think the elections are mostly for city and province-level officials. There has been a growing amount of campaign activity on Geoje for the past few weeks. It started with banners and posters around town featuring the faces of the local candidates, but it's escalated into antics that are much more interesting. For one thing, there are campaign trucks everywhere with huge loudspeakers on them, blasting campaign songs. The songs are pretty catchy, in what I like to call the "Korean polka" genre. Sometimes they feature the name of the candidate, although of course it's hard for me to understand what else they're singing about. The trucks often sit at major intersections in the towns on the island, but they also drive around into the smaller villages like ours. Sometimes, they arrive blaring music at uncivilized hours of the morning. I can't understand how this tactic is supposed to make people think favorably about the candidate in question. My Korean teacher told me that many people call the police to complain that the trucks are disturbing their studying or their babies' sleeping.

Another campaign tactic involves campaign representatives lining up along the roads, again usually at major intersections, wearing sashes and matching t-shirts and dancing or chanting slogans. One particularly memorable display involved a campaign rep wearing a Superman costume, complete with fake muscles and a mask that was a cut-out of the candidate's face. He was posing and flexing his fake muscles for all the stopped cars at the intersection to admire.

I have also seen a few campaign reps out in our neck of the woods with a garbage bag and some metal tongs, apparently out to collect garbage from along the road. Now this is a campaign tactic I could really get behind! There is such a garbage problem here because there are no public trash cans in areas like beaches or parks. If one of the candidates had a plan to improve that situation, I would find that much more convincing than catchy campaign tunes or Superman costumes. Not that I can vote, or evaluate campaign platforms in Korean. But that's my two cents, Geoje candidates!

1 comment:

KIM! said...

sounds entertaining... and a good way to practice korean :)

you know it is possible to post to blogger from a cell phone as well (not just facebook). i am going to look into it for my upcoming roadtrip. (and I will have my candle packed for said roadtrip :) )