Law­mak­ers use KakaoTalk to pro­pose bills

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Kim Rahn rah­nita@ktimes.com

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.

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