Monday, September 8, 2008

Electing to Stand Up

Hong Kong had its legislative elections this past weekend.

And contrary to political pundits' estimates that pro-Beijing forces would make a sweep, the public decided otherwise.

The pro-democracy camp won 24 of the 60 seats in the Legislative Council, down from 26 in the current legislature.

However, the democrats got 19 of the 30 seats the public could vote for, and five of the 30 chosen by business groups, the professions and labour unions.

That means the pro-democracy groups still have a strong veto power in LegCo.

Sadly though, this election saw the exit of many political heavyweights.

Former Chief Secretary Anson Chan bowed out this time, along with Liberal Party leader James Tien, and Martin Lee.

It's too bad not to see these strong figures on the Hong Kong political scene, but perhaps it's time for the next generation of activists to take on the mantle.

Some say it's the economic downturn that inspired the low-turn out to vote more in favour of pro-democracy politicians, who promised a minimum wage and pledged to reduce pollution.

Others think Hong Kong people are now realizing their identity and are more confident and proud about being Hong Kong Chinese, despite the Chinese government recently trying to create a sense of nationalism with the recent Olympics.

“I don’t feel Hong Kong is a part of China,” said Law Yiu, a 60-year-old Chinese herbal doctor. “The Chinese government is merely using the same tricks with the Hong Kong people as they use with the people in China, giving out periodic sweets to the Hong Kong people in an effort to keep them calm and docile.”

That's why the public is still giving the democrats a fighting chance in LegCo.

Nothing gets by Hong Kong people.


ks said...

after 150 years under british colonial rule hongkongers have no sense of nationalsim. it takes a few generations to develop. true sense of democracy needs a sophisticated and educated public. hong kong is sttill has some ways to go.

Anonymous said...

Hong Kong has to return to the mother lode sooner or later. That is natural evolution of its political system. Afterall it is part of China .