Waegukin - living and teaching in Korea

Korean parliament fights – an election day special

korean parliament fightA classic "storm the podium" Korean parliament fight
blue dot
Dec 18 2012

One of my rules for this blog is not to post things unless I am in some way adding to what is already available on the internet. Well – I tried. The question I wanted to answer was “Why does the Korean parliament have so many fights?” It seems to me, from watching the various videos, that there is something procedural about it – that there is some strategy to take the speaker’s chair and thus prevent a piece of legislation being passed.

I couldn’t find the answer on the internet, so tried asking a couple of Koreans, but I just got those strange, improbable answers that Koreans give when you ask them about their own culture – “Koreans are very hot tempered.” So, I don’t know.

This article from the LA Times attempted to answer the same question, with similar vague answers from a variety of Koreans.

My other question is, given that almost all Korean men serve a term in the army, where they are given extensive taegwondo training, why are the fights so clingy and lame?

So, this post does not answer any questions. It’s just an excuse to watch a bunch of Korean parliament fights. Tomorrow is election day. So, in celebration of Korea’s very young democracy, here are some gratuitious videos of Korean parliamentary fights.

1. December, 2007. Fighting over a piece of legislation to impeach the prosecutors who who cleared Lee Myeong Bak in a fraud case, before he was elected. With hair pulling, mosh pit diving, and crowd surfing.

2. December, 2008. Free Trade Agreement fight. Opposition parliamentarians attempt to break into a meeting room barricaded by the ruling party to oppose the Free Trade Agreement with the US.

3. 2009 – One of the best. Over the government’s plans to reduce restrictions on media ownership. Featuring speaker’s podium attacking, building barricading and storming, and an all-in scrap.

4. 2011 – A few years later, when the Free Trade deal was about to be passed, a parliamentarian tried to stop it by throwing a tear gas canister.

5. 2010 – another “attempt to occupy the speaker’s podium” fight, this time over the issue of free school lunches:

6. 2010 – another “barricade and storm the building” fight over budget issues.

Did I miss any? Happy Election Day.

Waegukin wrote these 372 words on December 18th, 2012 | Posted in Culture |


2 comments on “Korean parliament fights – an election day special”

  1. yoo says:

    it’s sooooo humiliating.

    yes, it is true that most Kroean politicians are acting like fighters. i think after having some powers, they totally forget their mission and obligation duty.

    while they look very aggressive, they are very passive in emergency problems.
    (as a woman, i really hope they change the sexual offences act! -_-)

    oh…it’s too cold to stay in my office..
    i hate the governmet policy of saving energy!
    they are stuuuuuuuupid. it’s Winter!! -_-

  2. The Waegukin says:

    Ah, you too? Last week I sat in my freezing classroom while watching the web page of the Korean energy supply as it crept towards disaster. Winter coats and gloves are not supposed to be indoor clothes.

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