[Letters] Insincere candidates threaten country’s democratic spirit

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[Letters] Insincere candidates threaten country’s democratic spirit

Regarding your article on April 15, I would like to say that we desperately need stronger and more pragmatic measures to make political candidates’ promises practical and concrete right now.

The most urgent reason we have to prevent politicians from making absurd promises is that they destroy people’s interest in politics.

Once they grow disinterested in politics, people do not actively participate in elections, which spoils the democratic spirit and ruins our democracy.

This political apathy leads to populism, and even more ridiculous promises from candidates.

That’s why we need to break this vicious circle.

In order to get rid of the populism that makes political candidates’ promises unrealistic, we need to set up a legal device to evaluate how well the candidates keep their promises during their term of office.

For this evaluation, a kind of governmental organization that has nothing to do with political parties should be established and given the right to release the results.

Based on these results, people could decide whether to choose candidates from the same party for the next election.

This would force candidates to make their promises more realistic, and to cooperate with their party headquarters if they want to keep or regain power.

In Korean gubernatorial elections, it is inevitable that the candidates will talk with their political party if they expect to be allotted a large enough budget to keep their promises.

If realistic promises are kept, it will bring the public’s attention back to politics, and make them more willing to take part in the democratic process.

In turn, the people’s participation will lead politicians to develop more workable plans. In this way, a virtuous circle will be created.

If we delay taking legitimate actions, and just wait for voters to exercise responsibility regardless of whether political promises are broken or kept, it will be akin to calling the doctor after death.

Voters have been deceived in the past, and because of that they look at political promises as a kind of sweet talk. It’s too late to expect a miracle to voluntarily engage voters in political issues.

Now, it’s time to keep a legal eye on the political promises.


Baek Eun-jeong,

a high school teacher in Suwon
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