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Brexit

A Brexit lesson for Hong Kong: value your vote and think before you act

  • Democracy is a beautiful thing, it allows us to have our say
  • But with great power comes great responsibility
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 October, 2018, 7:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 October, 2018, 7:03pm

I refer to the article, “Hundreds of thousands take to streets demanding second Brexit vote” (October 21). The turmoil faced by Britain teaches us a valuable lesson in civic responsibility.

It seems like some Britons thought the Brexit vote in 2016 was merely a fantasy and decided to vote “yes” just for the fun of it. Now they are demanding a second vote.

This should be a reminder to Hongkongers: treasure your ballots. Democracy is a beautiful thing, it allows us to have our say. We shape the parliament that works for us and we are the ultimate decision-makers in our society. In casting our ballots, we wield the power to vote someone out of office or usher our representative into the Legislative Council.

But with great power comes great responsibility. We have to be wary of politics. We must do our own research and carefully weigh what’s best for us before casting our votes. Regardless of your stance, liberal or conservative, this step is a must.

You should be the sole deciding person for your vote. Do not vote for someone because he promised a free holiday. Do not vote for someone because he received celebrity endorsement. Choose your candidate based on their policies and courtesy. This is how we achieve true democracy and not regret the decisions we made years ago.

Let’s not take our rights for granted, none of our freedoms are free. Keep at bay the pathological thought of “my vote doesn’t matter”. As a voter in Hong Kong, you shoulder the responsibility for creating a Legco that represents all 7.4 million of us. As depressing as it sometimes seems, voting is the only tangible power we hold.

Though some claim democracy is dying in Hong Kong, we still have a ballot. I don’t want to see my peers or other Hongkongers regretting their betrayal of the territory. Let Brexit be a lesson to the British, and a negative example to us.

Andy Lau, Tsuen Wan