The People's Power National Convention ended on the 8th. Kim Ki-hyun was elected as the new party leader, and Kim Jae-won, Kim Byung-min, Cho Su-jin, Thae Yong-ho, and Jang Ye-chan were elected as members of the Supreme Committee. They were classified as pro-Yun (親尹) or claimed to be Chin Yun.
The convention is a thrilling space that determines the superiority and inferiority of power within the party. In particular, this time it was a meeting to "certify" who is the central power of the Party, both in the pro-Yun and non-Yun circles. Traditionally, the ruling party's convention has been a process of controlling the level in the political paradox of going hand in hand with the president or keeping a certain distance. The Chin Yi and Chin Pak systems did, and the Chin Pak Bi Park system did. This time, too, people close to and far from the president competed, and the former took the lead. It was declared that the era of Qin Yun had just begun.
The media likes the fierce competition for party power. But when the veil of that fierce survival sport is lifted, a blueprint for how parliamentary democracy works is revealed. A political party exists at the heart of parliamentary democracy, its decision-making depends on party power, and the power landscape within the party ultimately determines the direction of parliamentary democracy. That's why conventions are never "a league of their own."
Apart from. The contest for party power at the convention is the very way our community parliamentary democracy works, and it is a litmus paper that measures the quality of our democracy.
This time, <Newsship> decided to look at the history of the People's Power Convention in this regard. The analysis centered on the 15-year convention from the Lee Myung-bak government to the current Yoon Seok-yeol government. We reflect on how the power landscape within the People's Power Party has been implemented through the convention and what formulas exist in that context.
The history of the Democratic National Convention has also been formidably complex and turbulent, but we'll cover this later during the Democratic National Convention.
The Revival and Fall of Qin Yi
The bitter conflict within the GNP (predecessor of the People's Power) may have been foreshadowed since former President Lee Myung-bak, the head of the pro-Yi circle, took office in February 2008. The conflict between the two factions had already festered. It has been fierce since the presidential race. Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak were the two former presidents, and the BBK and Choi Tae-min family controversies that had been at loggerheads throughout and even after their terms came out at this time.
However, in a presidential country, the president is powerful. With the inauguration of former President Lee, the power landscape within the party was rapidly reorganized around the pro-Yi circle. The 2th general election, which was a honeymoon election held immediately after the inauguration of the government, began to show the strength of the pro-Yi community. In the nomination process, which was led by then-Secretary-General Lee Bang-ho of Chin Yi-gye, a large number of jung-jin lawmakers, including Kim Moo-sung, Seo Cheong-won, and Hong Sa-deok, who led the Park Geun-hye primary camp, were eliminated. The media called it the "pro-Pak Gongcheon massacre."
Party members, however, did not take much responsibility for the nomination issue. At the party's convention in July of that year, party members defeated pro-Yi-gye Park Hee-tae as the delegate. At the time, candidate Heo Tae-yeol, who was a pro-Pak leader, finished third. At the time of Gong Sung-jin, who was called a hardliner by Chin Yi, he came in fourth to the top council. It has cemented its position as the center of power within the party. The convention is both an indicator and a ruling that quantifies this complex intertwined power structure within the party.
The convention two years later was similar. It was a reaffirmation that the pro-establishment is a mainstream power. At the time, Ahn Sang-so, a key candidate in the pro-Yi world, was elected as the representative. Hong Jun-pyo, Na Kyung-won, and Chung Doo-eon, who were or were classified as neutral or at least not pro-Pak, became members of the Supreme Council. The pro-Pak Supreme Council member was Seo Byung-so, a candidate for a third term. It was not shaken by many adverse variables, such as the U.S. beef crisis and the death of former President Roh Moo-hyun. As if to see more than half of President Lee Myung-bak's term remaining, Chin Yi-gye succeeded in gaining power within the party.
However, the prestige of power within the party is tied to the outcome of the election. When an election is lost, the blame is directed at mainstream power, and naturally the leadership faces a challenge.
Such was the case with the April 18 by-election. It was a pretty big election with three members of the National Assembly and the governor of Gangwon Province, the head of the metropolitan group, at stake. The result was a crushing defeat for the GNP. Only one member of the National Assembly was elected. He gave up the Seongnam Bundang, which was the GNP's garden, and even the governorship of Gangwon Province to the MDP. Former representative Kang Jae-seop lost to Democratic Party candidate Son Hak-kyu. The presidential election was less than two years away. Ahn Sang-so stepped down.
In July of that year, another convention was held to elect the party's representatives. Hong Jun-pyo, who did not belong to either Chin Park or Chin Party, became the representative. The Supreme Council seat was sewn by Yoo Seung-min, who was classified as pro-Pak-gye, and Won Hee-ryong, who was supported by Chin Yi-gye. It was not a pro-Pak predominance leadership, but it heralded the fading of pro-Yi power.
However, the Hong Jun-pyo regime did not last long. Following Oh Se-hoon's resignation as mayor of Seoul in October, when he gave way to then-opposition candidate Park Won-soon, Hong Jun-pyo's leadership collapsed five months after its inauguration due to a cyberattack on the Election Commission, the so-called DDoS crisis.
Filling the void was the pro-family system. Thus began the era of friendship.
The Revival and Fall of the Friendship
The GNP became a non-subordinate system of Park Geun-hye in December 2011. He also changed his name to Saenuri Party. The history of the Saenuri Party was the history of Park Geun-hye itself, and it was the trajectory of the rise and fall of Chin Park.
Is history repeating itself? Now it was the turn of the pro-establishment circles in power to lead the nomination for the general election. The name given by the media was "Qin Yi Gongchun Massacre." Former lawmaker Ahn Sang-so, who served as party leader, former lawmaker Jin Su-hee, who served as minister of health and welfare, former lawmaker Park Hyung-joon, a key member of the pro-Yi community, and former Blue House spokesman Lee Dong-kwan walked out. The Chin Pak Gongcheon massacre four years ago was only renamed "Qin Yi Gongcheon Massacre", but the emblem was no different.
The formula of important elections. Elections at the end of the president's term are disadvantageous to the ruling party, and they must always face slogans of judgment of the regime. However, it was not the 19th general election. The Saenuri Party won a majority of seats. It was evaluated as the first majority of votes since democratization. Former President Park Geun-hye was coronated as the queen of the election.
The convention that followed was a boona. Qin Park's prestige pierced the sky. At the time, Hwang Woo-yeo became the representative, and the Supreme Council members were mostly filled by pro-family figures, except for candidate Shim Jae-chul.
The Saenuri Party's first convention was a proclamation formalizing the complete reorganization from the era of Chin Yi to the era of Chin Pak.
The queen of elections was elected as the presidential candidate at the next convention and won the presidency in December.
Chin Park's cohesion was as solid and solid as Park's concrete approval rating. In other words, as the power of pro-family power grew, so did the discontent of those who had strayed from mainstream power. The media called them non-bakgye. People who are literally not friendly. The closeness to the existence of Park Geun-hye was the front dividing the central power from the peripheral power.
The July convention held after the Sewol ferry disaster was symbolic of Bibak's rise. It was an important convention to elect party representatives to exercise the right to nominate for the next general election. For the pro-family community, which had experienced the so-called Gongcheon massacre, the convention was more important than anything else. At the time of Seo Cheong-won, the candidate was supported by the pro-Pak circle, and then-candidate Kim Moo-sung, who became estranged from President Park Geun-hye, was classified as the representative of the non-Park circle. Park Geun-hye's heart, the so-called Park Sim marketing, and the Blue House's agenda controversy ensued. It was fiercer and hotter than any convention.
However, the results were surprising. Party members supported candidate Kim Moo-sung of Bibak-gye. Hong Moon-jong, a pro-Pak candidate, did not even cross the leadership threshold.
On the part of the pro-Pak community, there was a strong sense of anxiety that the era of pro-Pak was coming to an end. Do you go with the non-beating system, or do you go out more aggressively? The choice of pro-Pak was the latter. In July of the following year, Senate Minority Leader Yoo Seung-min, who had turned to Bi-Pak-gye, was branded a traitor by former President Park and forced to step down. The justification was that he accepted the amendment to the National Assembly Law that benefited the opposition, but it was interpreted that a full-scale nomination competition between Chin and Bi Pak had begun before the general elections the following year.
In the 2016 general elections, intra-party conflicts were bound to explode. The nomination management committee that examines nominations was controlled by Chin Pak-gye, but the party leader who had the final decision was Kim Moo-sung, the representative at the time. The so-called "Jade Bird Holding Narsha" incident, in which then-Chairman Kim Moo-sung refused to seal the nomination recommendation of the official committee, was an incident that showed how intense the conflict between Chin Pak and Bi Pak was.
There was no way the people would see this favorably. Even though the split in the opposition favored the Saenuri Party, it had to give up its seat as one party. It was practically a crushing defeat. Representative Kim Moo-sung stepped down from his post and was reorganized under Kim Hee-ok's non-subrogation system. The aftermath of the general election was great. The noise was constant.
The August convention followed. For the non-Pak community, it was necessary to "solidify" against the slowly waning pro-Pak mainstream power. Joo Ho-young was a candidate at the time and even achieved the unification of the non-Park system. However, the result was a reversal. Candidate Lee Jung-hyun of the pro-Pak system was elected as the representative, and most of the top committee members were filled by pro-Pak circles. The press wrote, "The Road Pro-Pak Party."
In retrospect, the convention at this time was more of a last-ditch struggle for the pro-Pak. At the end of October of that year, a great storm awaited. It was the so-called "Choe Soon-sil National Government Nongdan Incident," which marked a milestone in the history of democracy in the Republic of Korea, and the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.
Eventually, the Park Geun-hye government collapsed in such a vain way. Without Park, Chin Park could not exist. Chin Park was preparing to disappear into the back of history.
Qin Hong (親洪), Qin Huang (親黃)... Muju Communism, the era of self-help
After the Choe Soon-sil National Agricultural Crisis, power within the party was virtually empty. The name change was inevitable, even for the sake of renewal. He changed the party's name to the Freedom Korea Party and put forward former representative Hong Jun-pyo, who was a fringe candidate, as a candidate for the impeachment "Rose Presidential Election." However, winning the election in a state of political bankruptcy was not easy. Already, some non-Pak circles have left the party and founded the Right Party. On the inside, they had to deal with the disorganized atmosphere, and on the outside, they had to compete with the right party and the conservative party.
As expected, he lost the 19th presidential election, and the arduous opposition life began. Hong Jun-pyo lost the presidential election, but he was relatively successful. Thus, at the National Party Congress held in July, the Hong Jun-pyo system was established. At the time, candidates Lee Cheol-woo, Ryu Yeo-hae, and Lee Jae-young, who were elected as members of the Supreme Council, were given the modifier "Chin Hong-gye." However, candidates Kim Tae-hum and Lee Jae-man, who were classified as pro-Pak-gye, also became members of the Supreme Council, indicating that the pro-Hong and pro-Pak circles were balanced. Since then, Representative Hong Jun-pyo has begun to expand his tax base little by little, taking steps to check the pro-Pak system, such as approving the rehabilitation of lawmakers from the right party.
However, if the election is defeated, the leadership has no choice. There has never been such a crushing defeat in the history of the June 2018 local elections, the Conservative Party's local elections. In addition to the governor of Gyeongbuk and the mayor of Daegu, he gave up the positions of heads of all metropolitan governments. Hong Jun-pyo had to step down.
Qin Hongye couldn't even use his strength, and Yu Yamuya was diluted. In the ensuing non-subrogation system, self-help began. The party's history, which was centered on prominent politicians, came to a standstill.
In February 2019, the Hwang Kyo-an system was created at the 3rd Party Congress. There was a sparse word for the Qin Emperor, but it was weak in the mainstream force.
The party changed its name to the Future Unity Party and held the 21st general election in April 2020. 103 out of 300 seats. It was another historic defeat, the president resigned again, and it was reorganized into a non-subrogation system. In September of that year, the party's name was changed again to People's Power. Unlike former President Park Geun-hye and her pro-Pak gye, who shared the rise and fall of the Saenuri Party, the frequent changes from the Freedom Korea Party to the Future Unity Party and from the Future Integration Party to the People's Power seemed to symbolize the party's complicated situation.
There could be no faction so cohesive as to be a force. During the Moon Jae-in government, the opposition People's Power did not make much sense to classify mainstream and non-mainstream powers.
The June 2021 convention was like that iconic scene. At the time, the candidates turned to each other and claimed that there was a faction behind it. Lee Joon-seok was supported by Chin Yoo Seung-min, Na Kyung-won was supported by Chin Park, and Joo Ho-young was supported by Chin Yi. Of course, the parties denied it. The fact that the factions of the past were summoned and attacked meant that they were in a state of non-communism where mainstream power did not exist. There was a lot of talk, but the sectarian discourse had little efficacy.
The result was the birth of Lee Joon-suk's representative system. Despite criticism that it had created the first 30-something bargaining group representative in constitutional history, and that it fomented gender conflict, the Conservative Party convention drew attention in a short time. It was regarded as a successful convention in its own right. The Lee Joon-seok regime appeared to be cruising as he regained the mayor of Seoul in a by-election.
However, the convention to decide the presidential candidate in November of the same year marked the beginning of the collapse of the Lee Joon-seok system. The gap between the two men was wide, starting with their base of support. Lee Joon-suk, the then-president, had the support of the young, and Yoon Seok-yeol, the candidate at the time, had the support of the elderly. The choice of party members was Yoon Seok-yeol's candidate at the time, and the dissonance began to manifest itself blatantly. Then-Chairman Lee Joon-seok expressed his displeasure with then-candidate Yoon Seok-yeol's entourage, some of the so-called pro-Yun circles, who attacked him, by calling them "Yun Hack-kwan."
The spoils of a presidential election victory are sweet. Somehow, elections have to be held and won. The two repeatedly fought each other apart and sutured, somehow winning the presidential election and succeeding in retaking power. However, he couldn't help it. After the election of President Yoon Seok-yeol, the party's center of gravity shifted to the pro-Yoon system, and dark clouds hung over the future of former Chairman Lee Joon-suk.
Eventually, Lee Joon-seok was disciplined for allegedly concealing sex payments, and was effectively ousted through the ensuing non-commission, leaving the two politicians across an impassable river. President Yun even became distraught after the leak of the contents of a Telegram conversation in which he was "the party leader who used to shoot from within."
The era of Qin Yun, and...
The People's Power National Convention was a strong gauge of whether the pro-Yun system, including the president, could establish itself as a mainstream power. In the end, Qin Yun had the upper hand. On the other hand, Cheon Ah Yong-in (Cheon A-ram, Heo Eun-ah, Kim Yong-tae, Lee Ki-in), who was supported by former representative Lee Joon-suk, all lost the election. With the establishment of President Yoon Seok-yeol's personal government system, it was predicted that party relations would cruise without major conflicts for the time being.
However, why did we look at the 15-year history of the People's Power convention in this newsship? What can we learn through the telescope of the convention?
After all, the power of the President of the Republic of Korea is strong. The ruling party, especially the conservative ruling party, eventually comes together through the president. The conservative political parties, which faced a crisis after the Choi Soon-sil National Government Nongdan Incident, had to go through a process of public disintegration, self-apprenticeship, and agglomeration. Qin Hong and Qin Huang had neither centripetal force nor loyalty. However, since becoming the ruling party, the power front within the party has become distinct between pro-Yun and Biyun. It means that a stable ring has been formed. Positive or negative, we could call it "political stability."
However, the German philosopher Hegel said: Everything conceives contradictions, and because it exercises with contradictions, it can be active. The principle of antithesis is its famous dialectic. Maybe that's what power is. There is always resistance behind the rise of power, and so there is political dynamism.
Ultimately, the key will be how the mainstream power, which is bound to conceive resistance, handles them.
In many ways, this convention reminds us of the Saenuri Party convention in July 2014. Both conventions heralded a fierce contest in that they would elect a leadership that would exercise the right to nominate for the next general election. That fierceness was expressed through faction conflicts within the party. At that time, the confrontation between Chin Park and Bi Park is a mirror image of the competition between Chin Yun and Bi Yun for party power this time.
At the center of it, of course, was the president. The media viewed both conventions as midterms to gauge presidential power. Naturally, whether the president wanted it or not, the president's "agenda" was bound to be recalled. The president himself could not attend the convention. Although the message emphasizing unity within the party was similar, the political significance of the "ritual" of the presence of the most powerful person is not small.
The image of the sectarian conflict magistrate who emerges to clear traffic after the last conflict, something like a transcendent message that the president himself exists above it, not on one side of the faction, whether it is pro-bak or bi-bak, pro-yun or bi-yun.