Patriotism's yardstick

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 March, 2004, 12:00am

Patriotism's yardstick

To me, engaging in debate on patriotism is meaningless. A better strategy is to stay undistracted in order to pursue full citizens' rights and the redesign of a viable and democratic political system with a set time-frame.

That is constitutionally promised within the Basic Law. Yes, the new political system will have to be non-threatening and therefore acceptable to the central government under the jurisdiction of 'one country, two systems'.

If the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong voters are patriots, their chosen leaders and representatives by definition cannot be unpatriotic. Universal suffrage is therefore the most effective yardstick on patriotism.

Alex Chan, Citizens Party

Wise sayings

Many wise men in history had opinions about patriotism that do not always agree with those in your columns. I hope these will encourage further debate:

'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.' - George Bernard Shaw.

'A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.' - Edward Abbey, American author.

'Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.' - Bertrand Russell.

'A politician will do anything to keep his job, even become a patriot.' - unknown.

E. J. DREW, Sha Tin

Oscar lost

With the Oscars now concluded, perhaps it is time for a postmortem examination or two.

For example, Peter Jackson's Oscars were clearly well deserved, but why didn't Sofia Coppola win as director (she won Best Original Screenplay)?

Was it because Lost in Translation was only her second directorial effort or because she was a mere woman or because she was Francis' daughter? My view is that it was because she seemed to have no control over the boom microphone. In scene after scene, it swung into view detracting from what was occurring on screen. So much so that I could predict when it was going to happen. Better low-budget luck next time, Sofia.