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Increased Youth’s Interest In Politics
[386호] 2017년 05월 24일 (수) Reporter Kang Min-seok nedraw22@
   
The 19th presidential election finished with the dominant victory of Moon Jae-in with a percentage of 41.08%. Especially, Moon Jae-in received overwhelming support from twenties to forties. The National Election Commission did not announce the number of votes according to each generation, but the exit poll conducted by KBS, MBC, and SBS indicates that majority of thirties and forties supported Moon Jae-in.
The result of presidential election shows that support of younger generations was one of the main reasons why President Moon got elected. It is an opposite result to the 18th presidential election, when turnout of twenties was the lowest and turnout of fifties was the highest.
Presidential election always draws massive public attention, but especially the recent election drew much more public attention. Political situation including impeachment of Park Geun-hye and division of political parties induced active participation of public. In the process of impeachment, corruption in regards to the privileged class triggered the young generation suffering from unemployment and uncertain future.
According to the poll conducted by National Election Commission on Apr. 11 from 1,500 electorates by phone call, 84.2% of twenties responded that they would surely vote in the 19th presidential election. It exceeds the 82.8% of all ages, highest next to 84.7% rate of sixties. Unlike the elections before when the twenties were the least active generation in terms of voting, younger generations got far more interested in election and politics.
Social network service (SNS) also shows that the public’s interest in the election increased compared to the 18th presidential election. Since the young generation is the large portion of users in SNS, high interest in SNS can be interpreted as high interest by the young generation. According to big data analysis by Daumsoft, there were 517,986 mentions on Twitter about the presidential election on Dec. 2012, while there were 1,115,445 mentions in April 2017. Also, positive reactions about the election increased from 39.2% to 50.2%.  Daumsoft concluded that people got less cynical and rather interested in politics.
Reflecting twenties and thirties’ hot interest in election, major nominees put effort in securing votes from younger generations. All five nominees announced pledges related to jobs. Moon Jae-in especially focused on solving youth unemployment, placing his labor reform pledge as his first pledge. Ahn Cheol-soo and Yoo Seung-min focused on supporting youth start-ups, and Hong Jun-pyo and Sim Sang-jung promised introducing unemployment benefits.
Still, there are concerns about the durability of interest from the young generation. Since there were concerns about financial resources of youth policies, there are arguments that the young generation should constantly pay attention to politics and monitor whether politicians including the president keep their promises. The young generation’s support and vote made President Moon win the election, so their constant monitoring and support will be needed in future.





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