[LETTERS to the editor]The right to vote... or not
Korea held its nationwide elections on Wednesday to elect their representatives to the National Assembly. As a citizen, I voted for the candidate and political party I support. Voting, in my opinion, is the most important duty of people living in a democracy. However, it was shocking to hear the news about the rate of voter participation. Not even half of Korea’s citizens voted.
South Korea had a very long struggle for democracy. It has only been about 20 years since we established a true democratic government. In the process of getting there, many people fought for democracy and lost their lives. Only after blood was shed could we have ballots in our hands. I really do not understand why people are giving up their sacred right to participate. Voting day is not a national holiday to rest at home or to go on a picnic to enjoy the spring. We take the right to vote for granted, not understanding how much people sacrificed for that right.
People who justify their absence, saying, “Giving up is my right too!” while playing in a PC game room or at a golf course really make me angry. Voting is not about selecting the best and perfect candidate. It is about choosing at least a better candidate or running for public office ourselves. Even if we think all candidates are bad, we should at least show up in voting areas and hand in an empty ballot. That is the right way to exercise that right. I really hope that people understand the value of their right, and participate.
Kang Yoon-seung, student, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies