Decision day

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Decision day

Today is election day. The ruling Democratic Party (DP) and opposition parties have been engaged in a heated campaign to win a majority in the 300-member National Assembly. Due to the clashes over the revision of the electoral law and the creation of satellite parties to win more proportional representation seats, the race has been marked by mudslinging. Candidates’ vulgar words will certainly boomerang on both sides.

Lawmakers monitor and approve the government’s spending of taxpayers’ money. They also enact laws, help the executive branch — and also check its activities. Voters’ support for the DP will help stabilize the governance of the ruling party, while their support for the main opposition United Future Party (UFP) will help it check the DP’s predominance in state affairs. Voters must make a wise decision based on their evaluations of what the Moon Jae-in administration accomplished over the last three years.

On Tuesday, DP Chairman Lee Hae-chan pleaded for a parliamentary majority to help the government overcome the coronavirus outbreak and the economic crisis that will surely follow. “Only then can the Moon administration run the nation smoothly,” he emphasized. On the other hand, UFP Chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn stressed the need for the opposition to prevent the ruling party from “destroying the country as it has been doing.”

“If the DP ever wins 180 seats, as it hopes, the country will be headed to a disastrous future,” he proclaimed at a press conference in Seoul.

An eerily extraordinary situation brought by the Covid-19 is expected to change not only the lives of individuals but also the international order. After the general elections today, we will begin to see a massive impact of the outbreak on the economy. Korea’s future will be determined by the voters’ choices today. They must ask which party really has the ability to help Korea weather the storm.

A record 26.7 percent of all voters took part in early voting, which suggests a high level of engagement. Data shows that the value of a vote is over 46.6 million won ($38,400) when the amount of spending to be authorized by the Assembly over four years is divided by the total number of voters. As votes count in a democracy, voters have the obligation to pass judgement on our politicians in real time in the appropriate space — the voting booth. Today is their day.
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