With elections coming in April, now we have to think about whom to vote for in the election. Many candidates will come with various election pledges and the election campaign will on, soon. In today’s society, people are concerned about politics than ever, especially in the twenties. Therefore, The Sookmyung Times (SMT) heard students’ opinions about the election campaign.
What Is an Anti-Campaign?
As election season is upon us, many people are interested in the election campaign, and anti-campaign is the hot topic among others. The Anti-campaign is a campaign to persuade people not to vote for a particular candidate with specific reasons. In Korea, during the 16th general election, the anti-campaign was started in earnest. The soul of the movement was general election citizens, which compose 412 groups of the whole country. Many headmasters of the Anti-campaign were fined because of violation of election laws at that time, but as time has passed, the anticampaign held by citizens has become legal.
Agree with the Anti-Campaign
There are two reasons, why I agree with the anti-campaign. First of all, the Anti-campaign can be used as a basis for voters to evaluate each candidate’s qualifications. Every voter has a right to know all about candidates, but practical information about electors is very limited. However, with the Anti-campaign, people can get more information to evaluate a certain candidate, for example, a morality aspect. This being so, the anti-campaign could be a way to satisfy people’s right to know. Secondly, the Anti-campaign is a way to vitalize participatory democracy. Under representational democracy, voting is the only way that people can participate in the process of democracy. Throughout the Anti-campaign, people not only vote for someone they trust, but also they get a chance not to vote for a certain candidate whom they think unsuitable as a politician. In this way, the Anti-campaign expands the ways people can actively participate in politics. Moreover, many advanced countries, for example America, allow this Anti-campaign for specific candidates and parties. The Anti-campaign is a vital element for democracy and manner to gratify people’s right to know, so to energize direct democracy, the Anti-campaign should be on going.
Disagree with the Anti-Campaign
Unless the Anti-campaign realized under manifesto to verify the election pledge objectively, I think the Anti-campaign can be abused. Moreover, it can be a big problem when someone’s subjective opinion is involved in a valuation basis. Recently, with SNS, people can easily get information about a candidate and evaluate whether that person is suitable as a politician. However, information on the Internet is not always truth. Sometimes there are trumped-up stories, but people cannot easily figure out what is true or false. This is also denying the right to choose a candidate who they want to select. Furthermore, these days some civic groups were biased in some aspects, so it is much harder to judge the situation neutrally. Because the Anti-campaign people can be instigated by a provocateur, people should have a right to vote without the Anti-campaign.
Our Attitude for General Election - Professor Kwang-Il Yoon
The April 11th General Election is around the corner. We the people will elect three hundred members of National Assembly who are supposed to work for us in the next four years. It seems that everyone is telling that we should vote. But should we? Voting involves a two-step decision making process. We should first decide whether or not we will vote and then decide who we will vote for if we decide to go to the polls. In each step, we need information as to why we should vote as well as who all these candidates are. It already sounds like voting is a hassle. Indeed. As a student who should work hard and at the same time wants to have fun in college, we do not have enough time to acquire and process such information. After all, all these candidates and political parties look like Tweedledee and Tweedledum and my one vote cannot possibly change the outcome. Besides, what if they change their minds and break their campaign pledge once elected? It seems that voting is not a rational behavior. What if getting such information is hassle-free? It will reduce the cost of information gathering and processing and help us choose the right candidate and party. Candidate blacklisting (so called Naksunwoondong) by some interest groups is a way to deliver summarily such information as why we should vote and who we should not vote for and thereby lessens the burden of getting such information on the part of the voters. Campaigning through SNS is another way to reduce the burden by spreading such information rapidly and efficiently. The problem is we may be bombarded with more information than we can handle. And we may not know whether or not such information is valid. Then again voting is a costly act. Should we still vote?