The Korea Herald


Democratic Party banners targeting young voters stir controversy

By Lee Jung-joo

Published : Nov. 19, 2023 - 15:28

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Banners unveiled by the Democratic Party of Korea's election campaign committee on Friday (Democratic Party of Korea) Banners unveiled by the Democratic Party of Korea's election campaign committee on Friday (Democratic Party of Korea)

Ruling party lawmakers on Sunday blasted the main opposition party for releasing new political banners that contain phrases it called "demeaning to the youth."

On Friday, the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea’s election campaign committee revealed new political banner designs aimed at young voters in their 20s and 30s ahead of the upcoming general elections in April. The new banners included controversial phrases such as, "The party for me," “I don't know about politics, I just want to live a good life” and “I have no idea how the economy works but I want a lot of money!”

Through an official statement, the Democratic Party stated that the new political campaign centers on respecting the individuality and diversity of young voters in their 20s to 30s and hopes that it can transform its image into being a party that can be helpful to individuals and their needs.

The party said that the newly released teaser banner designs will be followed by final designs to be revealed through an official party event on Thursday. Until then, the teaser banners will be displayed across major cities and provincial areas for a week.

The phrases included in the political banners have been criticized by some members of the party. Padong, a youth opinion group for the party, criticized the phrases used on the banners, saying that the level of word choice is, “shocking.”

“What on earth does the Democratic Party think of the young generation?” said Padong in an official statement on Saturday. “Are young people an 'ignorant' generation that thinks only about having a lot of money, or are they a 'dumb' generation that doesn't know anything about politics?”

The group also demanded an apology from the party’s general election campaign committee and for a complete personnel reform of the committee, as it said the committee cannot expect to win the general election if it doesn’t “respect the young generation."

On the opposite side of the political spectrum, ruling party People Power Party deputy spokesperson Shin Ju-ho, himself in his 20s, also criticized the Democratic Party for the campaign banners and demanded an apology.

“They’re phrases that carry a certain disregard (for young people), without holding any intention to share the concerns and pains (of) the younger generation,” said Shin. “It’s no different from demeaning those in their 20s and 30s as an ignorant generation and a generation that only wants good results without working hard.”