Post-342: Will Ahn Cheol-Soo Win Reelection? [Korea Election 2016]

I do not favor any particular side in Korean domestic politics. I am an outside observer. I am interested in all sides and in understanding what’s going on.

One figure who appeals to me, out of sympathy and curiosity, is Dr. Ahn Cheol-Soo, a famous academic before he entered politics during my time in Korea, not long ago. Ahn has formed a new party called the People’s Party [국민의당], after breaking with the Democratic Party [the latter party is currently called 더불어민주당]. (I commented some more on this break in post-340.)

I am not an Ahn supporter, but I do hope he wins. Maybe that means I am an Ahn supporter.

In fact, I’m not even sure of what his political policies are. Why I like him, maybe why most of his supporters like him, is that he has nothing to do with the “boss politics” that seem so endemic to the Korea of today. He is also a brilliant man who has shown himself successful in life in previous ventures. I am an advocate of rule by the capable, far preferable to rule by less-capable-but-more-charismatic demagogues (i.e., the problem of democracy).

The latest opinion poll says that Ahn, in his constituency in Seoul, is barely ahead of some guy called Lee Joon-Suk [이준석] of the right-wing (and governing) Saenuri Party [새누리당]. This Lee Joon-Suk apparently has close ties to the President Park Geun-Hye inner circle. He is young, born in 1985, and a graduate of Harvard University. If this Lee Joon-Suk knocks out Ahn, it could be the end of Ahn’s political career…

Here is the newspaper in which I saw this information (Ahn is at bottom left; his main challenger, bottom right).

I had a Korean teacher, a male in his mid 40s, who, based on occasional remarks he made, I came to see was very likely Saenuri supporter. This teacher disparaged Ahn as being inexperienced.

In 2012, Ahn was running for president but withdrew to prevent a splitting of the vote. He allowed establishment Democratic Party figure Moon Jae-In [문재인] to run unopposed against Park Geun-Hye, but Moon lost.

What if Ahn had been the one running head-to-head against Park in Dec. 2012?


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