Even in the presidential election, ‘Kim Man-bae transcript’ is fake news… Is it okay to ban public opinion polls? [어떻게 생각하십니까]

Even in the presidential election, ‘Kim Man-bae transcript’ is fake news…  Is it okay to ban public opinion polls? [어떻게 생각하십니까]

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National Election Commission: “No announcement or reporting of opinion poll results from the 4th”
Preventing bias towards the dominant candidate vs. Right to know is not guaranteed
Controversy recurs every election, but revisions fail every time.

From the 4th, you will no longer be able to see the results of the election poll. The purpose of the Public Official Election Act is to prevent the influence of votes being concentrated on a specific candidate, but there are repeated opinions that this provision should be abolished every election season as to whether the law restricting public opinion from being known for about a week is appropriate.

Photo = provided by gettyimagesbank

The National Election Commission may announce or cite and report on the results of opinion polls predicting party support or the winner of the election from the 4th, six days before the 22nd National Assembly election on the 3rd, to 6 p.m. on the 10th, the day of the election. He said there were none. The National Election Commission explained that it took into account the fact that opinion poll results announced close to election day may affect the election and that it is difficult to refute and correct if an unfair or inaccurate opinion poll is published and undermines election fairness.

Article 108, Paragraph 1 of the current Public Official Election Act states, ‘From the 6th day before the election day until the closing time of the polls on the election day, the circumstances and results of a public opinion poll predicting the level of support for a political party or the winner of the election may not be announced or cited and reported on. ‘ is decided. This law was enacted for the purpose of preventing the bandwagon phenomenon, in which votes are concentrated on the dominant candidate due to the psychology of avoiding being rejected when public opinion poll results are announced and reported before the election. When the Public Official Elections and Election Fraud Prevention Act was enacted in 1994, the ban on publishing public opinion poll results was initially applied for a longer period of time. Publication of presidential elections was banned for 22 days, local government head elections for 16 days, and local council elections for 13 days. When this law was revised in 2005, the period for prohibiting publicity and reporting in all elections was shortened to ‘six days before the election day.’

The issue that prohibiting public opinion, which can change at any time before an election, by law for six days in advance limits the guarantee of the right to know has been repeated several times ahead of the election. Moreover, in these days when all kinds of information can be easily found, it was pointed out that not allowing public opinion poll results makes people vulnerable to fake news. The National Election Commission also submitted its opinion to the National Assembly last year to amend the Public Official Election Act, with the aim of eliminating the ban on publishing and reporting election opinion polls. The reasons given were to ensure voters’ right to know and exercise their right to vote, to expand people’s freedom of political expression, and to improve election procedures.

Photo = Newsis

There are similar cases overseas where a period prohibiting publication of opinion poll results was established and then removed. In Canada, which banned the announcement of opinion poll results two days before the election, the court ruled in 1998 that it was unconstitutional, saying, “The government must recognize voters as mature and educated citizens.” France shortened this period from a week to two days in 2002 because the French Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that the ban on publishing opinion poll results violated the European Convention on Human Rights. Currently, many countries, including the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Germany, do not specifically prohibit the publication of opinion poll results ahead of elections.

There was also controversy over its unconstitutionality in Korea. However, the Constitutional Court ruled in May 1998 that the provision was constitutional, saying, “If the results of the public opinion poll are made public, it will affect the votes of swing voters and undermine the fairness of the election.”

Photo = Yonhap News

Recently, as the distribution of unconfirmed information has become more active through social networking services (SNS) and the risk of fake news has increased, the opinion that public opinion poll results should be actively announced and reported is growing stronger. Accordingly, calls to improve the regulations prohibiting the publication of opinion polls that encourage ‘blind elections’ are repeated every election.

Park Chang-hwan, a special professor at Jangan University, said, “We need to change the minimum social consensus, but the ruling and opposition parties keep weighing political pros and cons.” He added, “Not only should the announcement of opinion poll results and abolishment of the ban be included, but also include the May 18 spirit in the full text of the constitution and guarantee the independence of public broadcasting. He pointed out, “There are areas where mutual consensus has been formed, such as revising the law, but the problem is that the ruling and opposition parties change their positions depending on their interests.” He continued, “I hope we can reach an agreement on the areas where mutual agreement is reached (on the need for revision),” and added, “That will be the politics that the people want.”

Reporter Park Yu-bin [email protected]

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