The public could turn today's annual demonstration into a 'referendum for change', organisers said yesterday as they issued a last-minute call to join the march. Reviving the slogan it used five years ago, when more than half a million people marched from Causeway Bay to Central, the Civil Human Rights Front demanded power to the people. 'If people are determined, they can turn the march into a referendum for change. The government has totally disregarded people's plight in light of inflation, while inexperienced officials are paid HK$130,000 a month. If you are angry, come out,' said one of the organisers, unionist Lee Cheuk-yan, referring to recent political appointments. Organisers hope the row about the appointees' pay, and what they see as a lack of government action to cushion the impact of rising prices, will inspire people to march. But observers doubt the turnout will be anything close to that in 2003, in part because of weeks of rain. With the government having put the issue of universal suffrage on the back burner, some pan-democrats have said privately that they hope the public will not judge the success of the march by the turnout. Organisers hope 50,000 will take part in the march from Victoria Park to the Central Government Offices. It starts at 3pm. Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong last month found 50 per cent of respondents said they were proud of being a Chinese citizen, up 3 percentage points from a year earlier. Fifty-seven per cent of the 1,033 respondents to the annual survey, conducted since 1997, felt positive about Beijing's policy towards Hong Kong. The first figure is a record high; the second is the highest the public opinion programme has recorded since it began asking the question in 1999. The survey's margin for error is plus or minus 2 to 3 percentage points.