Hong Kong by-elections

Mabel Sieh
Mabel Sieh |

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At long last, voters will go to the polls this Sunday in the by-election. In January, five pro-democracy Legco members resigned to force an election. Some regard the election as a 'de facto referendum' for democracy in Hong Kong, and others, who disagree, have refused to stand.

Mabel Sieh talks to the major candidates and finds out what they have to say to young people and why you should vote for them

Tanya Chan, 38 years old, Civic Party


The Civic Party believes democracy belongs to everyone. Through the resignation of the Legco members, we hoped to provide citizens with the chance to voice their opinions on one topic: to implement true universal suffrage and to abolish functional constituencies. Universal suffrage does not only mean everyone should have one vote, but also everyone should have the chance to stand, so when you grow up, you can also become a candidate for chief executive. You should care about and take part in the society. You can discuss the topic with your parents and teachers. Democratic movements need to be passed from generation to generation.

Wong Yuk-man, 58 years old, League of Social Democrats


We believe Hong Kong should implement universal suffrage and abolish functional constituencies. All that we’ve done, we’ve done to encourage you to care about your society, your politics and yourself. Just as the May 4th movement !was for us, this election is for you. We feel responsible in educating the younger generation. That’s why we went to schools to speak to students. Many volunteers in my campaign are secondary students. If more young people vote on May 16, we will be successful. I know you are capable of understanding our beliefs and you will vote for us if you can. It is your right to vote and your vote is very powerful because it represents your dignity.

Crystal Chow Ching, 23 years old, University 2012


We agree with implementing universal suffrage and abolishing of functional constituencies. A lot of social problems are caused by unfairness in the political structure, such as functional constituencies which benefit only the privileged. This election is a campaign for all Hong Kong people to have a direct say on their democratic development. As a student, you can discuss current issues such as the minimum wage. You need to find out about what is going on outside the classroom. This election is a historical moment for Hong Kong and its long-term development. If you are eligible, go out and vote. If not, at least care about it.

Spencer Tai Cheuk-yin, 49 years old, Independent


I believe that the Three Principles of the People – nationalism, democracy and people’s livelihood advocated by revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen – is what Hong Kong needs. My biggest goal is to bring Hong Kong and Taiwan closer. We can learn a lot from Taiwan where everyone has the right to vote and cares about the politics. We can also learn from Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s determination to resolve conflict with the mainland. We should always maintain communication with the mainland. Even the !worst relationship needs communication. Only through communication can we foster change and have a peaceful future.

Pamela Peck Wan-kam, 66 years old, Independent


I believe Hong Kong needs civilised democracy, not violence. I disagree with politicians who express themselves by swearing. I agree with universal suffrage but before we can achieve that, I propose having five new functional constituencies – working women, unemployed housewives, the handicapped, retirees and the post 80s , because Hong Kong’s future is in their hands. I hope the younger generation will treasure this opportunity to fight for civilised democracy rather than worrying about buying a flat. You should develop your diplomatic mind while in school. Politics is a part of life. Read more and learn from those who are experienced.

Wilson Shea Kai-chuen, 48 years old, Independent


Hong Kong is made up of grassroots citizens and small businesses. Some 98 per cent of Hong Kong’s business is from small and medium-size companies, which make up more than 60 per cent of the workforce, including your parents. But the government has not taken care of this group of people. Current policies have led to the closing down of their businesses and unemployment. When you grow up, you’ll need to survive the same structure by working for companies under unsatisfactory conditions. My goal is to revive the economy for everyone, not just the middle class, because I care about you and your future. When we are self-sufficient, we are ready for democracy.

Wong Hing, 59 years old, Independent

I am a Christian and I want Hong Kong to be a place where people respect and love each other. The so-called “de facto referendum” is dividing people. What Hong Kong needs is harmony. I have lived on the street and I know what poverty means and how the poor suffer. I care about the elderly and the young. I have worked as a basketball and tennis coach and met many young people. I have helped problem teenagers to be positive about life. Hong Kong seems to be worse than before. People have no direction. As a student, you should learn to listen to others and, at the same time, be an independent thinker and have your own voice. I can give you advice about life because I have been through it all.

David Lee Chun-hung, 54 years old, Independent


I represent an ordinary citizen who just wants to solve the problems facing society. Democracy should be led by community groups, not a political party. Everybody should be given a chance to voice their opinions. Hong Kong has no consensus right now – there is basically no discussion. What we need is communication. I think functional constituencies can be democratic. We just need to include more members of the public. If we all take one step back and come to a consensus, Hong Kong will have 10 years of peace ahead. As a teenager, you should believe you can lead the world by being sincere. You have the responsibility to build a democratic society.

Raymond Li Sai-hung, 36 years old, Independent

The political structure in Hong Kong is problematic as it does not give people a real choice. The major players are not selected by the majority. There is too much control by the rich and the big companies. With functional constituencies, we have no bargaining power. We work our whole lives for an overpriced living space. There is no middle class. Our education system offers a narrow view of success. Universal suffrage is a warm-up exercise in preparation of something bigger to come. Even though you are young, you should learn to communicate, fight for democracy and help build a healthy school system. The sooner you prepare yourself, the better society will be.

Your turn. With Young Post, you're not too young to vote!

You've only got one vote so make it count.

<br /> <a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/3184410/">By-elections. Vote and make your voice heard. Read the article to learn more about the candidates</a><span style="font-size:9px;"><a href="http://polldaddy.com/features-surveys/">customer surveys</a></span><br />

The poll will close at midnight on Sunday. Results will be published in Young Post on Tuesday. Don't forget to check who teenagers wanted to win!