As lawmakers kicked off the debate over the government's reform package at the Legislative Council yesterday, both Hongkongers and mainlanders appeared split over whether the proposal should be passed. Local residents contacted in person, as well as people on the mainland speaking online or via telephone, expressed a broad range of opinions on the controversial package. While some opposed it as too rigid and undemocratic, others tentatively approved of it as a first step towards democracy. However, none offered full-throated support for Hong Kong's first proposal to hold an election by "one man, one vote". Opponents of the package included Hongkonger David Chu, a 40-year-old clerk, who found it unacceptable. "The problem with the package is that it seems we have 'one man, one vote' to vote for our chief executive. But we have no right to choose our ideal candidates. Hong Kong people should have the right to choose our candidates," Chu said. Fellow Hongkonger Pauline Yip, 30, echoed Chu's opinion: "The government should provide a better package to the citizens … not force the people to agree with the package. I personally do not accept this." But not all Hong Kong residents rejected the government's proposal. Thirty-year-old IT worker Evan Chan said while the package was not ideal, it still offered political progress. "The public can make good use with the votes, hence the government will take more responsibility," Chan said. Brandon Wong, a 40-year-old accountant, agreed. He said while he did not agree with the reform package, lawmakers should endorse it so Hong Kong's progress towards full democracy could at least move forward. Across the border, mainlanders writing online also expressed divided attitudes. Weibo user Mu Bolin commented on the microblogging platform, "I am firmly against the proposal, for the government is not trustworthy." Others cast the central government as dishonest. But Cai Moumou, another Weibo user, wrote, "Hong Kong racists had better surrender; it is no use to resist any more." Discussion of Hong Kong's reform package in mainland online chat rooms was scant, however, compared with the vastly more popular topic of celebrity news. Steven Gong, an international relations student at Peking University, said: "I don't think mainland people are too concerned about Hong Kong because of the lack of media coverage and the recent Hong Kong-mainland conflicts." But he said the proposal would be an improvement. "I think the proposal has been a leap and no democracy can be achieved with one trial," Gong said.