Lawmakers use KakaoTalk to propose bills
Social media has become an important tool in work and communication, and it is no exception with lawmakers proposing bills.
When a lawmaker wants to submit a bill and collect fellow lawmakers who would join the move, his or her aides used to visit other lawmakers’ offices with a bunch of documents and explain the bill. It requires at least 10 lawmakers to propose a bill.
These days, they don’t need to do that and instead use the group chat feature of KakaoTalk or other mobile chatting apps.
The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) has a KakaoTalk chat room exclusively for “bill proposal,” and all party lawmakers using the app are registered on it.
If a lawmaker wants to propose a new or revised bill, he or she uploads the idea and the related documents in the group chat, and then other members review them and make replies such as “I’m in,” if they want.
In that way, the lawmakers can check bill ideas any time and anywhere and give their feedback immediately, according to DPK officials.
“We can check who will join the bill proposal easily and promptly, so it is very efficient. Thanks to the tool, we aides do not need to visit all the lawmakers’ offices,” an aide to a DPK lawmaker said.
Rep. An Min-suk also recently recruited 102 DPK members via group chat for his bill to confiscate the illegal assets of Choi Soon-sil, the longtime friend of former President Park Geun-hye, both of whom have been jailed for bribery charges.
“Recruiting participants of a bill in the chat room is gaining activity ahead of the beginning of the National Assembly’s regular session in September,” the aide said. “Even if some lawmakers do not join in on a specific bill, they can still share fellow lawmakers’ ideas.”
Even though the lawmakers agree on the app to participate, the bill still requires “offline” signatures from the participants.