[LETTERS to the editor]No duties, no rights

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[LETTERS to the editor]No duties, no rights

Regarding an Oct. 16 editorial, “Overseas voting,” I do think someday it will be necessary to give voting rights to all Koreans of legal voting age living abroad. However, I’m worried about passing this bill, because it will severely burden people in Korea. In addition, we are not ready for it yet. Therefore I disagree that we must give them the right to participate in presidential and general elections.

First, they have to pay taxes or serve in the military to enjoy rights in Korea. Some of them went abroad to avoid their legal obligation of military service and payment of taxes. I think that “No duties, no rights” is the most fair guiding principle in this case.

Second, we have to think about our country’s many problems in relation to the economy. These days most Koreans are suffering financial difficulties: high prices, high foreign exchange and high interest rates, unemployment and heavy losses in the stock market. If this bill is passed, we would spend much more money to manage the process of elections, adding to the economic crisis.

Third, we should consider political misuse. It is very difficult to prevent or curb politicians’ wrongdoing in different countries. Also, I strongly doubt their morality and maturity.

In the future it might be feasible to give voting rights to expatriate Koreans, but not now; not only politicians but also we voters are not ready for it.

Joo Nam-Hee, Seoul
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