Morning After Blacklist Campaign

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Morning After Blacklist Campaign

The biggest winner in the April 13 elections was the Citizens' Alliance for the 2000 General Election (CAGE).

Among the 86 candidates that CAGE had blacklisted, 59 lost, proving CAGE's influence over Korean voters. Of the losers, 22 of them had been favored to win seats, while another 15 lost in their regional power bases.

On the other hand, CAGE's blacklist campaign aggravated public distrust of politics by only revealing the corrupt or anti-democratic activities of some candidates. The campaign kept many people away from the voters booths and dwindled an already disaffected voting population in this country. All the while, CAGE could not prevent regionalism from rearing its ugly head in the elections.

On a positive note, CAGE's campaign will affect the way political parties choose their candidates in the future, most certainly with the alliance's blacklist in mind.

If CAGE wants to continue with their movement, the election laws must first be reformed. Laws currently protect incumbent lawmakers, over civic groups and independent politicians. The balance of power should be shifted to include everyone in the political spectrum, including civic groups.

Revisions must come quickly, with the election of local governments only two years away. Moreover, anti-corruption and political funding are areas that need work. As it stands, candidates can receive amount of money, as long as nothing is given in return. With a revision of these laws, money will have less power in determining this country's politics.

by Lee Seung-nyong

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