During the political campaign season, parties and candidates look for different ways to motivate voters to go to the polls. In this way, political campaigns in both the United Sates and South Korea are similar.
In South Korea, many young people are passionate and patriotic, and they tend to be more interested in elections and political campaigns. On the other hand, young voters in the U.S., whether liberal or conservative, seem to be less engaged in political activities. As for the overall percentage of voter participation across all age groups, the total number of voters registered in the last election cycle was about 78 percent in Korea and roughly 71 percent in the United States.
On top of that, the media plays an important role during election season in both countries. When it is campaign season, major journals, newspapers, and television channels spotlight candidates and how they conduct their campaigns. They not only encourage people to participate in the elections, but also help them compare each candidate’s strategies. Televised political debates and campaign advertisements are commonplace in both South Korea and the United States.
Campaign season is an important and exciting time for both South Korean and American citizens. As Americans face mid-term elections in November 2010, I believe it is the hope of both political parties that young people in the U.S. exhibit the same passion and enthusiasm shown by many South Korean youth, and that the media reports election news, but does not try to influence the election results.
Jiin Choi is an intern with Concerned Women for America’s Ronald Reagan Memorial Internship Program. She is also a citizen of South Korea.