South Korea moving to MMP?

South Korea’s National Assembly appears close to passing an electoral reform bill. It seems that it would change the existing mixed-member majoritarian (MMM) system to mixed-member proportional (MMP).

I always take media reports about important details of electoral systems with caution, but it seems the list seats will be made compensatory: “Under MMP, parliamentary seats are tied to the percentage of voters’ support for political parties.”

The current system (as of 2016) has 47 non-compensatory list seats, in a 300-member assembly.

However, there is a catch. The article says, “The number of PR posts to be allocated under the MMP representation scheme will be capped at 30.” Yet there are to remain 47 list seats; how are the other 17 allocated? To the largest party, or based on vote shares without taking district wins into account (as under MMM)? I wish it were clear, as such details would make quite a difference.

Regardless, proportionality will be quite limited.

An earlier provision of the reform bill that would have provided for 75 list seats was turned down.

Maybe we can call the new system MMp. Maybe.

Thanks to FairVote Vancouver and Kharis Templeman for the tip.

4 thoughts on “South Korea moving to MMP?

  1. The South Korean main opposition conservative party, the Liberty Korea Party, decided (as they said they were going to do) to create a “twin” party to sabotage the new MMP system. MMP-very-lite but they want to sabotage it anyway.

    They have lost the first round. South Korea’s National Election Commission has disapproved of the main opposition’s makeshift election strategy of creating the “Proportional Liberty Korea Party.” (How blatant can you be?) The election watchdog issued a statement citing Article 41 of the Political Party Law which bans the use of similar sounding names in the titles of political entities. But for the Liberty Korea Party, having a satellite party with a similar sounding name was key so that voters will be able to easily associate the two parties.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How bad can an MMP system mutate to MMM because of decoy lists? Other than a 1 vote MMP system, for a 2 vote MMP system, would an infinite number of overhang/leveling/balance seats stop it? However the unfortunate problem is that a parliament could expand up to 1000 members to ensure proportionality.


  3. On April 15, the second ballot will have to be counted by hand. Machines for electronic counting can only process papers up to 34.9 centimetres long, which can list up to 24 parties. Since there will be 35 parties listed on one ballot paper for proportional representation, it will be about 48.1 centimetres long. The time of the result will depend on how many ballot counters the NEC will hire. A party can secure a proportional representation seat if it gets at least 3 percent of the total votes cast.


  4. Pingback: South Korea 2020 | Fruits and Votes

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