Changes of the Twenties, by the Twenties
Now, the political world is changing. People in the political world noticed the importance of the 20s. So during elections, there are a lot of presidential election pledges that aim at twenties, like half tuition and solving the unemployment crisis. Also, they make chances to meet people in their twenties by holding a meeting with university students and through talk concerts. Through diverse ways, more and more politicians try to talk and hear how people in their twenties are thinking. Also, there is a change in the National Assembly. At the Saenuri Party, they said that there will be four people in their twenties in the list of proportional representation. And at the Democratic United Party, they stated that they will arrange two people in their twenties in the list of a candidate.
The way of electioneering also is changing. Before, candidates went out and shouted their names to attract citizens. However, these days, in addition to these old-fashioned electioneering methods, they use every channel which they can contact with citizens. For example, there are homepages, blogs, Kakaotalk, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Potcast, Youtube and mobile applications.
Not only politicians, but also people in their twenties have started to change. With the appearance of SNS, they are also changing. They were called “the generation indifferent to politics.” However, SNS let twenties enter the field of politics. In 2008, there was a candlelight rally gathered with people who are against at the negotiation of U.S beef import. This rally started from the Daum Agora. It became so huge that it lasted for over 100 days.3 In addition to this rally, there was another candlelight rally in 2011. In 2011, people gathered to oppose The Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.4 This was peppered throughout SNS. Kim, an Incheon University student, said, “I participated in this rally after I saw it from Twitter. I wish I could help even a very little.”5 As we see through them, SNS made people in their 20s act. Jo Daeyeop, professor of Korea University said, “There is a change in the 20s generation. They were not able to express their needs because of rotten politics in the past. These days, they have a passage to communicate because of the Internet. So not only is this generation’s interest in politics rising, but also the importance of the 20s in politics is rising.”
Hidden Real Action
However, in reality, there are still no big changes. Actually, in this 19th general election, thirteen candidates who were in their 20s were all defeated in elections. Also, there were no twenties in the list of candidates of the Saenuri Party, and a young representative from the Democratic United Party was ousted from the level of possible election. It means there are still 40s and 50s who actually seize power in the National Assembly. In addition to this situation, there are problems at what they promise during electioneering.7 Candidates always say they can solve the problem of the unemployment crisis andexpensive tuition. However, there are still no changes which also lead to lower turnout.
Also, there are not many 20s who participate in politics actively. According to the research by the Sookmyung Times which targeted 20s, there were 52 percent of twenties who are interested in politics a little bit, and 25 percent of twenties who are interested in politics a lot. This means 77 percent of people said they are interested in politics. However, it did not lead to a ratio of election. The answer of the question “How much did you vote?” over half of people in their twenties answered they have never voted. Thirty-one percent of people said they have voted one time. Other generations feel that 20s speak actively through the Internet, so that it looks like they can even make another world.
Twenties are interested a lot in politics and criticize politicians plainly online. But they are yet to connect this interest on-line with an interest in the world. There is a sentence in the book The Devilwritten by Isaka Kotaro. People in their twenties do not know how to communicate when they live without the Internet. This sentence can be a cutting remark of 20s who are not the same in person and on-line. Children are whining by crying and yelling when they have something that they want to get. However, twenties are no more children. When we want to get something, we should act actively. Do you have something to change in this society? Then you should move your foot as well as your fingers not for others, but for yourself.