The early days of the campaigning have given voters some illuminating insights into the effect of Hong Kong-style politics on candidates. Naturally, everybody standing for election wants to win, but how they go about it is influenced by the nature of the system. Politicians contesting geographical constituencies must appeal to a broad range of voters on a broadly popular platform. But candidates in functional constituencies face no such pressure from grassroots electors. They appeal to a specific professional group, with specific interests. In such cases, public interest can take second place. There are candidates who are unabashed about these priorities. But it may still have come as a shock to some to learn that Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, whose attachment to the general good of the community has never been in doubt, is pledging to fight what she calls 'the rapidly deteriorating state of conveyancing fees' in her campaign for the legal functional seat. No doubt this will appeal to solicitors, who are the largest group in the constituency and who have been hit by the fall in the property market and last year's move against scale fees for conveyancing. Ms Ng is right to stress the importance of the rule of law, and to note the value the community places on the legal profession. But that does not justify the use of a cartel to increase earnings - particularly in a society that extols the free market. One would be hard pressed to find many outside the legal profession who would sympathise with an increase in fees. Indeed, the Law Society acknowledged the anomalous nature of scale fees and the huge windfalls they bring. But, if Ms Ng wins, she will presumably press through Legco for fees to rise. That may be justified from a narrow professional viewpoint. But, given her record and moral standing, it seems an awkward position to hold. It is probably too much to ask candidates not to play on themes calculated to chime in with the sectional interests of their functional voters. That, after all, is what functional constituencies are all about. But one would have hoped that, at least in a few cases, wider concerns might come into play in pursuit of an open and caring society.