An aspect of S Korean politics that defies western observer understanding is how a political party with a clear numerical legislative majority can be stymied by a substantially smaller opposition.
Within Korean society where bullying can be commonplace, the ethos is for the stronger party to assume the responsibility to cultivate the understanding and at least tacit support of the weak. While this often is not the case in the real world within South Korea, that high standard is applied by the electorate to their legislators. The thinking goes if the dominating political power cannot convince the others, then there must be something inherently wrong if crass democratic power is exerted at the painful expense of the minority.
So while the Grand National Party can procedurally push the KORUS FTA through the National Assembly, the electoral blowback could prove to be disastrous come next spring’s elections.
Yet, given there is so much as stake domestically as well as internationally, it is conceivable the conservatives may exercise their numerical privilege. But I wouldn’t hold my breath. Other nations’ concerns be damned, most politicians anywhere are first concerned about keeping their jobs.
Meanwhile, the usually loopy characters, including bearded “Rustic Farmer,” Kang Ki-seob, of the opposition are photographed once more misbehaving as may be expected.
GNP calls for rare move to break FTA deadlock
By Ser Myo-ja
Korea JoongAng Daily
Nov 02, 2011
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Delays to Korus FTA irk nations eyeing trade pacts
Prioritization of U.S. deal means other countries getting cold shoulder
한미 FTA 비준, 늦어지면 늦어질 수록…
Korean JoongAng Daily