UPDATE : 2018.9.21 금 12:27

[Vol. 79] Blue House National Petition Becoming Hot Potato

윤제민 기자l승인2018.06.11

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  The Blue House national petition is a related search word that appears firstly when we search the Blue House on the Internet. Various petitions are uploaded consistently which are related to public interests like a repeal of abortion and the improvement of unfair procedure in TOEIC test. The Blue House national petition is one of the ways of direct communication that the government utilizes. The government institutes direct democracy’s strong points that all public can express their opinion freely for their better rights or welfares, and they follow the governmental management philosophy that ‘If people ask, then the government reply.’ This system was built on August 17, 2017, celebrating 100 days after president Moon’s government established benchmarking ‘We the People’ – the White House’s national petition website.

  The petition’s contents are distinguished into seventeen categories. Human rights, Gender equality, or Political reform are the top three popular categories. The public can hear authorities’ video type answers from the minister or a chief secretary in one month when the number of people who agree with that petition exceeds two hundred thousand. In comparison with the White House, the standard of responses from the Blue House is twice as high as that of the White House. The petition does not need any extra joining membership procedures. Moreover, a video clip is the reply that is more active form compared to the White House which answers by a document.

  Then, what is the difference from Sinmungo which the government is running where citizens could voice their complaints existing before implementing the petition system? The difference exists in terms of the content that each one deals with. The Sinmungo carries out a role of cyber civil complaints office having private interests. By contrast, the petition is for the public to complain their inconvenience to the authorities by formal documents, and the content has to have the public benefits. For this reason, the national petition becomes popular. It also has remarkable accessibility and immediacy since everyone can take part in this system by creating an account with social-login.

  However, it has some problems. The website handling the petition becomes a ‘word-playground.’ There are senseless petitions such as an obligatory transplant of an artificial womb to the men or extremely private requests. For instance, people say, “please, lower our English test level. It is too difficult,” or “please support our expense of dating.” Moreover, the petition like female conscription encourages social conflicts making the website battlefield. This leads to the requirement of real-name service system or disagreement system. Meanwhile, there is the argument that this system ignores representative democracy. It refers that the Blue House has the exclusive right to the information because the Blue House processes each petition and uploads the answer itself. There is also a problem in the system itself. The number of agreements can attain two hundred thousand of agreement using four type of social-login such as facebook, twitter, telegram or kakaotalk. The reason why this is the problem is that particular public opinion can be excessively represented.

  The Blue House announced that petition website’s self-purifying system is still well performed although there are various criticism and worries. They also expected that people’s diverse expression of their opinion will have positive meaning for preparation of legislation in the long-term point of view. Moreover, they are going to keep doing steady monitoring. The key point of the direct democracy is that the sum of each individual’s interest can change the world, and the Blue House national petition shows changes in our society. Lots of petitions are still released to make a better society. It seems that steady effort to use a double-edged sword well is needed for changes.


윤제민 기자  yunjm0201@naver.com
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