Korean Election Law

A Korean student is arrested after posting satirical pictures.  It's the unusually uptight Korean election law that caused his arrest.  The election law turns Korea into a police state whenever there is an election.  Rights usually enjoyed by Korean citizens like free speech and freedom of the press are restricted to the point of absurdity.

President Roh Moo-hyun was impeached because two largest parties accused him of making a comment that violated the election law.  Even wearing cloths of certain color can be controversial because colors are often associated with political parties.  Han-nara Party use the blue color.  The yellow color, originally used by President Roh Moo-hyun because his last name is Korean word for yellow color, is claimed by two parties: Min-joo Party, which was spurned by Roh and subsequently helped Han-nara Party impeach Roh,  and Woo-ri Party which is pro-Roh.

Woo-ri Party, led by a young charismatic former TV news anchor, is expected to jump from #3 to #1 spot and the majority of the Korean Assembly in the upcoming election.  After the impeachment fiasco, Han-nara and Min-joo, the two largest parties, both put women into the leadership role to avoid complete defeat.

While Korean election laws are draconian, I have mixed feelings about whether it should be relaxed any time soon.  They exist because Korean voters, particularly the old voters, can be easily bought with free gifts, parties, travels, and money.  Even students can be bought to influence the Internet opinions.  People are changing for the better but they are not changing fast enough to cast aside the shackles around the election.

But the question is whether the impatient should be punished.  If he isn't punished, the message Korean people will hear is: if you are righteous, you are above the law.  Candle marches in Korea were also declared illegal recently yet people are still gathering in large numbers.  They know the marches will affect the election but they are feeling righteous.

So what I see in Korea right now is people marching in the right direction but a fog of anarchy stands between them and where they want to go.  I wish them luck for they'll need it and will keep my fingers crossed that some stupid general doesn't the idea that his country needs to be saved from communist sympathizers and corrupt politicians.