Geographical seats not the only model for one man, one vote

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 April, 2008, 12:00am

I refer to Michael Jenkins' letter ('Why Hong Kong needs a system based on one man, one vote', April 17).

If Mr Jenkins had read my letter more carefully ('Democrats must ask themselves some difficult political questions', April 9), he would see that I am for one man, one vote.

The only question I raised was: 'Is one man, one vote by geographical constituencies the only democratic way?' The present functional constituency legislators do provide expertise in monitoring and advising government policies.

The problem is they are not democratically elected. The government might find a solution to this problem by proposing 'one man, 31 votes'.

This would mean each voter on top of having one vote in a geographical constituency, could also vote in the 30 functional constituencies. Critics might say this is too complicated.

Actually, it would not be, because although everybody would have 31 votes, it would not be compulsory to cast all of them.

You could just vote in those functional constituencies you knew something about, or vote for a candidate you felt was a capable person, even if you had little knowledge of the area of expertise covered by that constituency. Also the make-up of the 30 functional constituencies would not have to be same as they are at present.

Some could be combined, others discarded and new constituencies created. What is important is we have a proper set of legislators who can truly help run the government.

This method would also force political parties to come up with a good team of candidates.

They would need to have more than just good public speakers as candidates.

They would have to field some experts who actually know how things should be done in their allotted constituencies.

The 'red herrings', as Mr Jenkins called them, that I raised in my letter were not arguments against democracy. They were points I suggest we come to a consensus upon, before we charge headlong into our democratic Utopia.

Alex Woo, Tsim Sha Tsui