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The Necessity and preliminary Tasks of Electoral System Reform - focusing on the results of the 20th and 21st National Assembly elections -

  • Legal Theory & Practice Review
  • Abbr : LTPR
  • 2023, 11(3), pp.221-237
  • Publisher : The Korea Society for Legal Theory and Practice Inc.
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law
  • Received : July 30, 2023
  • Accepted : August 25, 2023
  • Published : August 31, 2023

Seo Jeong-mi 1

1안양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

On May 6th and 13th, 2023, the Special Committee for Political Reform in the National Assembly conducted a public opinion survey on the reform of the electoral system for national assembly members, with 500 participating citizens. This survey discussed principles and goals of electoral system reform, sizes of constituencies for local assembly members, methods of selecting proportional representation assembly members, and ratios and numbers of seats for local and proportional representation. The efforts were made to overcome the winner-takes-all electoral system and establish a system that the citizens can accept. However, the purpose of this study is to highlight the issues of the current electoral system, which hinders the political growth of citizens, and propose a desirable direction for an electoral system for the citizens of South Korea. The electoral system in our country has undergone various changes over 50 years of democratic development, but problems still persist. Firstly, the 'Mixed-Member Proportional Representation' system fails to correct electoral disproportionality, leading to a lack of proportionality and competition, thus continually causing exclusive representation. Secondly, the emergence of 'satellite parties' exposes the abuse of loopholes in the electoral system, damaging the representation of citizens. These two issues must be fundamentally resolved for effective improvements in the electoral system. This paper asserts the need for electoral system reform in Korea and explores preliminary tasks for this purpose. Through the analysis of cases from New Zealand and Italy, it suggests a departure from the two-party-centered system and a reform towards an electoral system for the citizens. Amidst distrust and dissatisfaction, New Zealand amended its electoral law to a Mixed-Member Proportional Representation system, and Italy allowed alternative parties to gain mainstream positions. Through these two examples, this paper emphasizes the need for citizen-centric reform of the electoral system and stresses that new political forces need to gain the support of the citizens. This provides significance in proposing the potential and direction of electoral system reform in Korea.

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