Introduction to 
Politics in South Korea 

Feb 11, 2014

Lucy Park

South Korea

  • Some numbers
  • "Homogeneity" explains a lot
    • Ethnically homogeneous

Politics in South Korea

  • Mainly presidential system + a bit of parliamentary system
    • Presidential (1948) -> Parliamentary (1960) -> Presidential (1961)
    • Prime minister is assigned by president, confirmed with consent of National Assembly
    • National budget is appointed by government, National Assembly consents
  • A not so strict separation of powers
    • The President can propose a bill
    • For an MP to sponsor a bill, s/he needs at least 10 cosponsors
  • Powerful political parties
  • Lobbying for-profit is illegal

Ms. President of South Korea

  • Presidential term: 5 yrs
  • Current president (2013-2018)
    • 18th presidentPark Geun-Hye 
    • 1st woman president
    • Daughter of 5-9th president Park Chung-hee

National Assembly of South Korea

  • Assembly term: 4 yrs
  • Assembly staff turnover: 100%
  • Current assembly  (2012-2016)
    • 19th assembly
    • 4 parties in National Assembly
      • 20 were registered initially for election
    • 300 representatives (frequently differs)
      • 246 district + 54 proportional
      • 152 are from Saenuri party
    • 18 standing committees
    • Unicameralism
    • Nonpartisan speaker + 2 vicespeakers

    # Bills proposed per year by Assembly

    (1st~19th Assembly)

    # Bills proposed and passed per day

    (May 30, 2012 ~ Jan 15, 2013)

    •     proposed date
    •     passed date


    • Citizens vote for Presidential, National Assembly, Local Elections
    • 10 direct elections in the past 13 years

    Voter turnout for National Assembly Elections

    "민주주의의 꽃은 선거"
    The flower of democracy is the election

    The Question:
    We do so many elections;
    but we do we know as much?

    • (Initial) Mission
      • Make political data accessible for better decisions in elections
    • Who we are
    • Values
      • Political neutrality
      • Open source, open data for replication and transparency 
      • Process automation for sustainability

    What we do

    • Step 1: Enhance accessibility and usability of political data
      • Make it universally available
      • Make it programmable & Googleable
    • Step 2: Inform the public with data
      • Make it easier to access
      • Make it easier to understand
      • Make it easier to deliver
    • Step 3: Get the voices out
      • *Probably* our next move
      • (Any tips? Suggestions?)

    Step 1a: Universally available

    Glossary, i18n (working on it, please report grammatical errors!) 

    Step 1b: Programmable (+Googleable)

      Open APIs, Batch data, PDF text  extraction
    (The first and only in Korea) (Under construction)

    Step 2a: Easier access

    Politics in Korea

    • Faster page loads, no ActiveXs, RWD
    • Links bill data with politician data
      • Bills: National Assembly
      • Politicians: National Assembly + National Election Commission
    • Clearer URLs
    • Delivers customized information based on interest and region

      Pokr in it's early days

      Pokr, Now

      Step 2b: Easier to understand

      Visualizations,  Tooltip dictionary, Hanja-Hangul conversions

      Ex:  National Assembly, Now

      Step 3c: Easier to convey

      Ex: Pokrbot

      Made with