Another wave of sexual misconduct rocks Minjoo

Another wave of sexual misconduct rocks Minjoo

The Minjoo Party had had nightmares of sexual violence cases before.

Ahn Hee-jung, whose popularity even shook Moon’s dominance over the party during the 2017 primary, ended up in jail after his secretary revealed Ahn’s sexual assault on her. 

And we all remember what happened to Park Won-soon

Had the two not done such, the last Presidential election would have turned out very differently. 

Lee Jae-myung became Minjoo’s candidate for President just because all the bigger fishes were gone. Some Minjoo supporters still despise him, and this will impede his journey toward the party hegemony even if he gets elected as a lawmaker.

Yet another wave of sexual misconduct is shaking the party with another election coming in a fortnight. One three-term lawmaker was expelled from the party, and two other lawmakers are under scrutiny.

This is not going to help the party, which is already suffering a sharp decrease in popularity as the new administration commences.

According to Gallup Korea’s weekly poll released today, PPP’s approval rate surged to 45 percent while Minjoo’s rate plunged to 31 percent. (By the way, make sure to subscribe to Gallup Korea’s newsletter if you read Korean. It’s the most reliable pollster in Korea.)

Approval rates of Minjoo (sky blue), PPP (red), Justice Party (grey)

As the pollster notes, however, people tend to favor the ruling party as a new administration begins, so this will be transient. Another however is that the local election is less than three weeks away.

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Stans are everywhere (including politics)

Minjoo emergency committee co-chair Park Ji-hyun

The news of sexual misconduct is bad indeed but not doing what the party should after it became cognizant of it is worse. 

Park Ji-hyun, the co-chair of the Minjoo emergency committee, which was established after the defeat in the last presidential election, is leading the policing, but this also made her the victim of the backlashes from some Minjoo supporters.

Enter the K-politics stans. As K-pop showed, it can mobilize its fans into an army that conducts offensive campaigns against critics. K-politics stans do the same to their political idol’s competitors and sometimes even to their colleagues to make them capitulate. Just think of Trump fan trolls.

While its presence is less known than the K-pop stans, Korea has probably the longest history of online fandom culture in politics (It started around 2002). Its influence would be no less than what is happening in the GOP right now, I think.

However, the K-pop stans deserve the whole credit for the total attack (총공) culture:

Haters send wreaths with condemning messages to Park
Supporters strike back with other wreaths with cheering messages for Park

In cyberspace, a particular group of people is often overrepresented. So much, so often. The voters in the real world now appear more intangible than the comments and likes on your social media. When the comments section is brimming with the angry responses to Park’s “purging,” could the Minjoo leadership make the right decision?

Homophobic presidential aide finally quits but the problem is bigger than this

The presidential secretary who stirred controversy with homophobic remarks finally quit, showing the lack of discipline in Yoon and PPP’s selection of officials. 

Wait a minute, has Chung been replaced? Not yet.

In other words, Yoon’s Cho Kuk moment is dragging on. 

Taking candidate nomination to court

With Yoon inaugurated and the party approval rate hitting a new high in seven years, getting a PPP nomination for local politicians would be deemed a sure-fire success.

Thus those who disagree with the results are now running to the court. Candidates took the party’s nomination to court in more than five constituencies, demanding court injunctions to suspend the effect of the nominations.

It’s also happening in the Minjoo, but the PPP has many more cases.

No wonder they fret over the nomination. It’s been pretty barren years since the ousting of President Park. Now they want Yoon and the party to give back. 

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