When I have 1-2-1 with my colleagues or leaders in London Citizens, they always asked me how is the civil society in Hong Kong, how is the Hong Kong’s democracy situation after handing over back to China in 1997. I always feel sad to tell them Hong Kong is becoming worse and worse in many aspects. Elections in Hong Kong is always a good example to tell people how Hong Kong’s democracy situation is. In 2012, the two international cities, Hong Kong and London are both having their elections. The Fourth Term Chief Executive Election was held in Hong Kong on 25 March 2012. Also, the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections are going to be held on 3 May 2012.
Election in Hong Kong is not a “REAL” election. The Hong Kong Chief Executive election of 2012 was an election held on 25 March, 2012 to select the Chief Executive of Hong Kong by a 1200-member Election Committee. 7.07 million Hong Kong people cannot vote for who to be their chief executive. On that day, thousand people went to a rally and against this “Small Coterie election”.There was lots of argument in that rally as the rally host organization announced the rally was ended and asked people on the street to leave just right after the announcement of the fourth Hong Kong chief executive. People were angry because they think that the rally is end too soon and people who were staying should have a room for discussing how we can do in the future and what will be the next step. (The article is written by the speaker in the video: 325, 一個行動者的自白與反思http://ccklluk.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/325-%E4%B8%80%E5%80%8B%E8%A1%8C%E5%8B%95%E8%80%85%E7%9A%84%E8%87%AA%E7%99%BD%E8%88%87%E5%8F%8D%E6%80%9D/ )I feel powerless especially I am in London and I experienced and witness what was happened in the Mayoral Accountability Assembly which organized by London Citizens.
The London mayoral election of 2012 was held on Thursday 3 May 2012, to elect the Mayor of London. It was the fourth election since the office of the Mayor of London was created in 2000. All registered electors (British, Irish,Commonwealth and European Unioncitizens) living in London who were aged 18 or over on Thursday 3 May 2012 were entitled to vote in the mayoral election. Even those who were temporarily away from London (for example, away working, on holiday, in student accommodation or in hospital) were also entitled to vote in the mayoral election.
At every Mayoral election since 2000, London Citizens has listened to thousands of Londoners from 225 member institutions about what they want from their Mayor, in order to draw up a Citizens Agenda. In 2012, just before the election, on 25th April 2012, London Citizens held an Accountability Assembly at which each of the four leading candidates, Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone, Jenny Jones and Brian Paddick had a chance to respond to specific proposals on governance, housing, street safety, opportunities for young people, and the Living Wage.
Before the assembly, London Citizens launched a campaign for the Mayoral election called Stand Up and Take Charge. The purpose of the Stand Up and Take Charge Campaign (SUTC) is to actively involve the thousands of members in our institutions and non-members across London to utilise their vote and to listen to the response of the candidates to our “citizens agenda” before they cast their votes on Election Day. Furthermore for those in the Chinese community who are not eligible to vote, this is an great opportunity to be included in this historic event. It is very important for ethnic communities to be involved as it can be a platform to open up dialogue to other hidden concerns/issues and to start building relationships in the community we aim to reach. Also, London Citizens will stream live the assembly on 25th April to enable all who have signed up to watch in their own time or via a screening event at institutions on the evening itself. Also it is a way to fear politicians by showing the power of London Citizens.
The accountability assembly went well on 25 April. Almost 2000 people in the Methodist Central Hall watched the four candidates how to respond to the Citizens Agenda. Apart from being involved in politics, it is also a good way for having a platform providing information (the response from candidates) for public as they can have more information to decide preferring whom to be the next mayor of London.
Taking candidates into account is a very long way to go for Hong Kong people. I still wonder will Hong Kong have read election in the future?