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Basic Principles of the Election System and Reform Measures of the Public Official Election Act

  • Public Land Law Review
  • Abbr : KPLLR
  • 2020, 90(), pp.273-299
  • Publisher : Korean Public Land Law Association
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law
  • Received : May 1, 2020
  • Accepted : May 22, 2020
  • Published : May 25, 2020

Moon-Hyun Koh 1

1숭실대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Despite the COVID-19 emergency that hit the world, the 21st National Assembly election was completed without a hitch, and the world is paying attention to the achievements of the Republic of Korea. The ruling party, the winner of the general elections, has gained momentum to push ahead with its reform agenda based on public support, while the defeated Future United Party and others are in a panic, and the party should be reorganized by analyzing the cause of the election defeat quickly. The ruling and opposition parties should fully analyze the public's intentions in the upcoming general elections and make political reforms based on them to pave the way for a balanced Korea. Reform of the electoral system, which has been in trouble in the 21st general election, is very important and urgent. Here, the political reform tasks under the Public Official Election Act to be accomplished in the 21st National Assembly are as follows. At the heart of the reform debate are reform of the current majority-representative system in favor of the majority party, the direction of future reform on the current quasi-linked proportional representation system, improvement of the fixed-list party list system and relaxation of quorum requirements of a parliamentary negotiation body. First of all, the current majority representation system of the elected district system should be reformed and changed to a minority representation system of the mid- and large-scale constituencies. In the 21st general elections, the Yeongnam-based Future United Party and the Honam-based Democratic Party swept the region, deepening regional leanings compared to the 20th general elections. The current system of majority representation in the two major parties based in Yeongnam and Honam should be reformed to reduce the number of wasted votes and change to a minority representation system in which minorities can be elected as representatives. To this end, the Public Official Election Act should be revised in the 21st National Assembly to prepare for an institutional framework to represent the interests of minorities. Second, the direction of future reform on the current quasi-linked proportional representation system needs to be focused on curbing the emergence of satellite political parties in the semi-linked system. As a way to block the emergence of satellite parties, the proposed state election model in Germany can be adopted as an example. The Bavarian state election system, which is being linked, adopts a method of determining the seats of a political party as a result of the sum of regional and party votes. The introduction of this method will reduce the chances of the emergence of satellite political parties because it will be difficult to secure seats as expected by the parent political party that established the satellite party or the satellite political party. Third, the proportional representation parliamentary elections based on the current fixed-list party list system should be revised to a variable-list party registry system. The fixed-list party list system allows voters to vote only in favor of the party list set by the leaders of each party when preparing the proportional representation list in each party, and it cannot affect the order of proportional representation lists at all. Therefore, by exploiting these blind spots, when ranking proportional representation candidates at the head of each political party, candidates who paid more illegal contribution to the party than candidates' abilities or qualities have been placed in the top ranks of the party list. Now, the government should boldly correct such abuses and adopt a variable list proportional representation system that allows voters to change all the rankings of proportional representation lists presented by political parties. If this happens, even if a candidate is placed at the top of the proportional representation list drawn up by each party, voters can push him or her to the bottom of the proportional representation list because he or she does not have ability even if he or she is a close aide to the party leader or even if he or she is placed at the top of the list through paying a large amount of money for nomination. As a result, even the first candidate placed at the top of the party list cannot be certain that the final election results will remain the same, so there will be refusal to pay illegal contribution or no blind loyalty to the party leader. This would allow the election revolution to be achieved by clearing away the evils of the nomination fund and the evils of the politics of close aides. Fourth, relaxation of quorum requirements of a parliamentary negotiation body, which currently requires 20 lawmakers from the same party, should be eased to five so as to properly reflect diversified interests. If the current requirement of 20 lawmakers is not eased, it will not be easy for a party that can represent a third minority interest, and as a result, it will be difficult to become a political system that fully reflects the public's will. Based on the above-mentioned improvements, we expect politicians from both the ruling and opposition parties to reform the electoral system in line with the spirit of the times and the values of the Constitution to show the level of politics worthy of the national prestige of the Republic of Korea by wisely coping with the COVID-19.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.