This would be the first election after Umbrella Movement last year. Young people are seen as a new force to the current political situation, but to what extent can they cast an impact?
Miss Emily Lau Wai-hing, the chairperson of the Democratic Party said that young people would not distribute much in the coming District Council election as either candidates or voters, even after the 79-day Occupying Movement.
She said in a press conference on 21 September that most young people had not yet registered as voters and there would be no shortcut in running for an election, implying the influence of youngsters in the coming election would be weak.
Government data show that the sector of first-time voters, who aged 18 to 20, only dominates around three per cent of the total registered voters, whereas the majority goes to the age group of 50 to 60 with 23 per cent.
”Maybe it is very disappointing to all kinds of people, that very few, relatively, young people registered, said Miss Lau. “But we reach out to the whole society regardless of age.”
She continued that the party would not send many young members to run the election, as it required long time and hard work to get support from the community. And some would lose even they had worked for two to four years in the constituency.
”For anyone who think you can parachute into a constituency for a few weeks or a few months, and then think you can win the election, I’m not saying it is impossible, because never say never, but I’m saying it would be very very difficult,” said Miss Lau.
While young candidate of the election believed that District Council election would be the first stage youngsters have to overcome after the large-scaled political movement last year.
Mr Henry Wong Pak-yu from Tin Shui Wai New Force said that the coming election is the first open platform that first-time voters can make their own decision in their community.
“Many people said that the coming election would be the first checkpoint. I would take it as a checkpoint of how to fight for our rights as a youngster.”
Tin Shui Wai New Force is a newly organized group working in Tin Shui Wai by young people, and it started working since last November. Members hoped that powers from young people could bring changes,choices and ideas to the community.
Although Mr Wong had worked in the society for one year but still will run in the election, he said young people can help seek for changes, no matter to run a election as district counsellor or to come out to vote for the city.
“I would believe a lot of people of the young generations would come out to vote and really would like to vote for their own society,” he said.
Mr Henry Wong Pak-yu, who is confident with the participation of young people in the coming election
Government Voter Registration (http://www.voterregistration.gov.hk/eng/statistic.html)
Mr Henry Wong Pak-yu, TSW New Force
Miss Emily Lau Wai-hing, Democratic Party