Poll shows dis­trust in law­mak­ers

JoongAng Daily - - Front Page - BY KIM JUNG-HA, SER MYO-JA my­oja@joongang.co.kr

Eight out of 10 vot­ers be­lieve that law­mak­ers should be ex­empt from re­draw­ing a new na­tional elec­toral con­stituency map, a JoongAng Ilbo poll showed.

Last month, the Con­sti­tu­tional Court ruled that the cur­rent elec­toral dis­trict map is un­con­sti­tu­tional based on un­equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion caused by pop­u­la­tion dis­pro­por­tions.

The ra­tio of the most pop­u­lous elec­toral dis­trict to the least pop­u­lous must be lower than two to one, the court said, or­der­ing the leg­is­la­ture to re­vise the elec­tion law to meet the new stan­dard by Dec. 31, 2015.

In a tele­phone survey con­ducted from Fri­day to Satur­day, the JoongAng Ilbo asked 1,000 vot­ers na­tion­wide about their views re­gard­ing the up­com­ing re­dis­trict­ing. The rul­ing is ex­pected to re­struc­ture the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal land­scape be­fore the next leg­isla­tive elec­tion in April 2016.

Ac­cord­ing to the poll, 44.1 per­cent said a new in­de­pen­dent body sep­a­rate from the Na­tional Assem­bly and the Na­tional Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (NEC) should be cre­ated to re­draw the map, while 36 per­cent said the NEC should take re­spon­si­bil­ity for that task.

Only 14.2 per­cent said the Na­tional Assem­bly’s Spe­cial Com­mit­tee on Po­lit­i­cal Re­form should be in charge of the re­dis­trict­ing.

The re­sults show that more than 80 per­cent of the pub­lic wants the Na­tional Assem­bly to stay out of the re­dis­trict­ing, chal­leng­ing the cur­rent sys­tem in which the leg­is­la­ture is re­quired to draw up con­stituen­cies.

Ac­cord­ing to the poll, 40.9 per­cent said the num­ber of elec­toral dis­tricts must be in­creased and the num­ber of pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tives slashed, while the to­tal num­ber of Na­tional Assem­bly seats be kept at 300. Cur­rently, 54 seats are oc­cu­pied by pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Another 33.1 per­cent said the cur­rent com­po­si­tion of seats should be main­tained, while re­dis­trict­ing should cre­ate a new con­stituency map. Another 12.3 per­cent said more seats should be cre­ated to re­flect the in­crease in pop­u­la­tions.

Asked if the coun­try’s Con­sti­tu­tion should be amended to change the cur­rent sin­gle-term five-year pres­i­den­tial sys­tem, 57.3 per­cent of re­spon­dents said that they want to change the Con­sti­tu­tion, while 40.3 per­cent op­posed the change.

Ac­cord­ing to the poll, 44.7 per­cent pre­ferred the U.S. pres­i­den­tial sys­tem, in which the pres­i­dent serves a fouryear term with the pos­si­bil­ity of re­elec­tion. Another 33.8 per­cent pre­ferred the cur­rent five-year sin­gle-term pres­i­dency. Another 9.7 per­cent said Korea should adopt the semi-pres­i­den­tial sys­tem, while 9.3 per­cent pre­ferred the par­lia­men­tary cab­i­net sys­tem.

The survey had a 95 per­cent con­fi­dence level with a mar­gin of er­ror of plus or mi­nus 3.1 per­cent­age points.

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