Sunday, March 11, 2018

Polling Day urgings

Hong Kong's best!

The Hong Kong Legislative Council by-election to fill four seats left vacant by the ouster of their pro-democracy incumbents involved in "oath row" is taking place today.  A few hours after polling began, I went to my local polling station to cast my vote.  With it being just one minute's walk away from my apartment and the polling station being far from crowded, I was there, in, out and back home within minutes.  

For all the ease of casting one's ballot though, the early signs are that voting numbers are down this time around.  This is less because Hong Kongers don't care about politics per se but, rather, because many people think any elections in Hong Kong are now a farce when the politicians they vote for can be ousted from office because they did something as innocuous as quote Gandhi when taking his oath like Nathan Law did and a 21-year-old political campaigner gets banned from seeking office.  

While I can understand their frustrations, I honestly think such folks are playing into the hands of, and strengthening, the very groups they actually oppose and loathe.  Remember that during the Umbrella Movement, protesters and supporters were urged to register to vote, if they hadn't already done so.  And the likes of Nathan Law and Agnes Chow still obviously believe that voting matters since they've been out on the campaign trail for the likes of Au Nok Hin (who stepped in to contest the Hong Kong Island seat after Agnes Chow's disqualification).

The power of the vote may not seem like much these days but, as far as I'm concerned, it still represents a vote for Hong Kong and a slap in a face of those who think that Chinese people are better off controlled rather than free.  So please, those of you who are eligible to vote and actually care about Hong Kong, go and exercise your civic rights and fulfill your civic responsibilities before the polling stations close at 10.30 tonight!

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