Confusion reigns for voters

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 April, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 April, 1998, 12:00am

Misunderstanding, complaints and outright confusion marked the Election Committee subsector poll yesterday.

Some voters mistook the election for balloting for the functional constituencies, scheduled for May 24.

Bemoaning a lack of information on candidates' platforms, some admitted they had simply picked those they knew personally.

One voter was bewildered at having to choose 12 representatives from the 21 tourism subsector candidates.

She thought she was supposed to pick a single Legco representative.

'I was not so concerned about politics when I was busy with travel agency business,' she said.

'But recently business has been so bad I want improvements in the industry.' A 50-year-old British accountant who has lived in Hong Kong for 19 years voted to express his views on the position of small accountancy firms.

'The big six in the industry have been so powerful in political lobbying,' he said. 'Actually, it is the small firms that represent the majority voice.' He denounced the election system as undemocratic and small-circle, but considered it his civic duty to vote.

An elector for the surveyor subsector said: 'How can I choose when I received information from 20 out of 36 candidates? I just put a tick on those I know.' Another voter from the Federation of Employers complained there was no way for her to get to know the candidates.

'Many candidates just tell you what their names are in the campaign letters but not how they will choose the 10 legislators for you,' she said.

Some voters in the legal subsector said they had difficulty picking enough candidates to fill the 20 seats available.

One lawyer said she did not choose any of the Law Society Council members on the candidates' list.

'The Law Society Council are fat cats. I don't approve of that. We don't want any more business people in the legislature. We've got enough of them already. We want people with a proper ideal - democracy and rule of law,' she said.

To show his disapproval, one lawyer said he had voted for none of the 33 candidates.