Poll position

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 January, 2010, 12:00am

Being Donald Tsang Yam-kuen can't be easy. For one thing our dyspeptic chief executive is burdened by a hideous fashion error: choosing to wear a tie of a type that has been out of style for centuries. For another he has to endure abuse from youngsters who dare to question why we must spend almost HK$70 billion on a dubious rail link.

Tsang says the young protestors must pipe down and accept that the majority support the rail link. But wait, has democracy arrived in our fair city without anyone noticing? Or is Tsang simply telling us what he thinks the majority think? How does he know?

There's an easy way to find out, keep the youngsters quiet and improve Hong Kong's sartorial reputation all at the same time. Before the mainland - or an overzealous local supporter - suggests restrictions on the Web in the city, let's have an internet poll. Almost everybody here can access the internet. Two simple questions could be asked: 'Dear Citizen, 1) Do you want the express rail link (in any form) and are you prepared to pay the price? 2) Should Tsang eschew bow-ties?'

In a few days, the truth could be known and the majority could be heard. Tsang could be freed from bow-tie hell and maybe, from then on, the government could conduct a weekly poll. Before long, all decisions could be made electronically, LegCo would become redundant and its building could be handed over to Li Ka-shing for redevelopment, thereby paying for some of the rail link - assuming there really is a majority in favour of the project.