The Seoul Metropolitan Government will be introducing an all-new blockchain-based petition system on the Democracy Seoul portal on March 1, where residents can submit their petitions on issues they wish to bring up to members of the government. According to online crypto publication Decrypt, this system has been in the works since 2018.
South Korea’s current legacy petition system is open to residents nationwide who wish to raise up their concerns on policies or issues to the government. Each petition submitted requires 200,000 signatures or votes for the petition to be passed on for review, whereby it will be addressed by the government in 30 days according to regulations. This public forum has been widely successful as a way for citizens to participate in the country’s governance.
However, it has also been open to criticism as fraudulent voting is rife with the current system, where a single individual can vote repeatedly on the same petition by simply creating different usernames on different internet service providers. The new blockchain-based system will solve the problem of repeated voting for petitions by authenticating user identity. More importantly, beginning from March with the new petition system, only 1,000 votes are required for each petition. Park Won Soon, Mayor of Seoul, will address the petition thereafter.
According to the press release, notifications for the new Democracy Seoul will also be done through KakaoTalk, the country’s most widely used chat messaging app.
“A citizen-led process of creating practical policies goes in line with the vision of Seoul city that every resident is the Mayor. Seoul will continue to increase the cooperation of residents in shaping local policies through the platform,” said Democracy Seoul chairperson Oh Gwan Young.
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