Ideological dream

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 12:00am

To some politicians and members of the media, the word 'democracy' means simply 'universal suffrage', as if one-person-one-vote will solve every problem.

One Hong Kong politician, overjoyed at defeating a hardworking councillor, said: 'District affairs should not be at the expense of the democracy dream'. Is that not putting the cart before the horse? Surely democracy is only a way of attempting to fulfil one's dream of serving the public, but of no value in itself.

Let the democracy dreamers open their eyes and look around the world. Most recently in Georgia, all democratic dreams were shattered and the livelihood of the people is worse than when they lived under a dictator. (That does not mean I agree with dictatorships, but merely that not all 'democracies' are democratic.)

Take a look at 'democracy' in the Philippines, where the people vote, but still live under corruption and drug lords, where the poor have to seek work abroad because not enough people at home care. And what about the 'land of the free', the US, where millions are homeless and more is spent on arms to overthrow other leaders than on Americans who need help?

I have found that those countries that preach most loudly about democracy and human rights are usually the old colonials dressed as democrats who seek to control the resources of the world.

For me, democracy has always meant social justice, not an ideological dream.

Yes, the Hong Kong government has made some mistakes. We have reason to criticise what we do not agree with, which means we are enjoying freedoms not found in the US, where everyone is told he is either with President George W. Bush or with the terrorists.

I say yes to democracy. But let Hong Kong spell out its own brand of democracy, and not be swallowed up in a dream that eventually becomes a nightmare of broken promises as all parties struggle to gain power.

ELSIE TU, Kwun Tong