Politicians have been actively debating whether to lower the voting age from 19 to 18.
While some view it positively as an expansion of political rights, others point out that it amounts to political populism.
Kim Kyung-in has more.
Those who support the lowering of the voting age argue that the democratic awareness of young people has matured.
<Choi Chang-ryul / Professor at Yongin University> “The level of education and awareness of high school seniors have increased greatly. The judgment of 18-year-olds has improved in a manner incomparable to the past...”
Greater interest in politics after the Choi Soon-sil scandal is also named as a factor.
Some argue that because political rights are excessively restricted compared with developed countries, there is a need to lower the voting age.
<Yang Jin-ah / Activist in Youth Organization in Bucheon> “The logic of immaturity (of the youth) has been the logic of the powerful used to limit political participation by social minorities like women and African Americans.”
However, critical voices calling it mere populism to win more votes are also considerable.
Some also point out that students, who are under age, could become embroiled in violations of election laws, such as illegal election charges.
<Park In-hwan / Professor at Graduate School of Public Administration in Konkuk University> “I think it is an argument made after having figured out the advantages and disadvantages to particular political parties and other political interests following the lowering of the voting age...”
If the voting age is lowered to 18, about 600,000 people will become newly enfranchised.
It is worth keeping an eye on what decision politicians will end up making.
Kim Kyung-in reporting for Yonhap News TV.
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