Guide puts legislators under the spotlight

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 June, 2004, 12:00am

Voters will be offered an election 'guide' in the run-up to the Legislative Council election in which a pro-democracy think-tank will assess the performance of lawmakers from across the whole political spectrum.

Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, chairman of the think-tank Synergynet and a political scientist at City University, said the aim of the project was to give electors a chance to make informed choices between candidates standing in the September poll.

'It will be a guide for the voters to [determine] what legislators seeking re-election have or have not said and done during their term in the past four years,' Professor Cheung said.

The project will look at speeches and other input legislators have made on important bills and debates in the past four years, in six major policy areas.

These areas to be considered are: constitutional affairs; culture, education and manpower; environment, food and hygiene; public utilities; economics, infrastructure and transport; and medical, welfare and housing.

Synergynet is seeking assessments from academics, non-governmental organisations and other experts on the impact of political events, as well as on how the outcomes were affected by the stances of individual politicians on major votes.

Professor Cheung said the study would not rank politicians nor would it rank whether what they said in the speeches had helped in actual policy-making.

'This is not going to be a guide to give marks for individual political parties,' he said.

A tough campaign is expected, focused on the controversial issue of constitutional reforms.

The study is the first such comprehensive project to be announced in the run-up to the election, where a heated battle is expected amid the constitutional reform controversy.