April 9 is (supposed to be) a holiday here because of the congressional elections. Korean citizens and F5 visa holders (permanent residents who are qualified to vote) will cast their ballots for a local district representative and a political party (partylist). I guess if Creative Korea Party gets enough votes, Judith Alegre Fernandez could get a seat (as far as my understanding goes, she’s number seven on the list). I’ll be voting in the election later (when my son wakes up). I have yet to decide which party to vote for.
Elections here is not as chaotic as in the Philippines. Instead of posters littering every wall (public or private), you see banners strung in conspicuous places. Public theatres/halls/gyms are not used to hold campaign meetings. Candidates hire bongo trucks (like in the photo above) that they park in prominent places to campaign. You’ll also see ajummas (kinda old ladies) wearing their campaign uniforms bowing to every citizen who they think can vote. The election commission also sends an “election packet” to every household containing brochures of every candidate with his background information and platform. There’s also a sheet with a map on where to vote and a list of eligible voters in the household (the flipside has a picture of the Wonder Girls!).
In the Philippines, election period is either like a fiesta (where campaign goers are treated to a Jollibee lunchpack plus 50 pesos) or funeral-like (where hired goons with guns goes on a shooting rampage), but both of them are like TV shows, where the candidate either dances or sings with their hired entertainer (singer, actor/actress, boldstar!). Here, you’ll barely notice it (again, compared to my home country). Candidates are just given two weeks to campaign and most rely on their background and plans when elected. I’d think no wife wore designer jewelry this time. President Lee Myung Bak’s wife was heavily criticized last year for wearing imported designer watch on one of their campaigns.
I miss the election season in the Philippines… chaotic, neurotic, exciting!