Koreans will vote Wednesday to pick a person who will carry out administration and supervision of local self-governing governments of counties, cities and provinces. Their future and life will change depending on the choices they make. Though the political parties the candidates belong will be taken into account when the people vote, the qualities and capabilities of each candidate should also be taken into careful consideration. Each of Korea`s 41.29 million electors should cast their valuable vote after an extensive consideration.
According to an opinion survey conducted by Media Research in May 20 and 21, 55 percent of the respondents said they are aware of the candidates of local governments of the areas they reside in, while 35.4 percent said they knew about the candidates of local wards. On the pledges of each political party and city mayor and provincial governors, 88.2 percent said they don`t know well. Regarding provincial and municipal councilors, the awareness is likely to be lower. This owes to the impact of the sinking of the ferry Sewol that led to delay in the selection of candidates and less chances to actively make known them to the public.
Lower awareness on candidates and their policy pledges can make people choose not to vote. A particularly lot of people say they don`t want to vote this year compared to normal times. However, it is the duty and right of the public to vote. Even if a person has no best candidate in mind, he or she needs to vote for the second-best. The chance to voting for a candidate who will influence one`s life should not be lent to other people.
It is important to know properly in order to make a right choice. The most accurate way to know about the parties` pledges as well as the candidates` pledges and their characters is to visit the National Election Commission homepage. Careful examination of election brochures delivered to homes will also be of great help.
On this year`s local elections, the ruling Saenuri Party aims to guard President Park Geun-hye while the New Politics Alliance for Democracy seeks to judge the Park administration. Elections tend to be an interim assessment of the incumbent administration. While each party would have different interpretations of the election outcome, it contends for victory with politics, vision and candidates. The essence of local elections is to assess the merits and demerits of the current local governments and to pick new workers. It is up to the voters to judge ruling and opposition parties` election strategies.
As in previous elections, this year also saw disgraceful scenes such as negative attacks against counterpart candidates with accusations. Negative campaigns are not totally bad since they are intended for verification of candidates` qualities. Still malicious campaigns such as attacking with untrue points to damage counterpart candidate`s reputation hamper the development of election democracy. Free populism is also an act of hoping to win votes with money.
There is a saying that bad public officials (politicians) are selected by good citizens who did not vote. This emphasizes the importance of participating in voting and choice of candidate. Following the tragic Sewol incident, Korean people have come to share a sense of calling to make a better country. The first step to achieve this is to cast a ballot.