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MAKE THE LEGCO ELECTION A SUCCESS


Index :

Low Voter Registration

Voter Turnout Rate and Absentee Voting

Post-election Unity and Concrete Action Plans


The Legislative Council election is finally over. My first pleasant duty is to thank you most sincerely for turning out in force on election day and electing me as your new LegCo representative.

Since it will take a while before LegCo moves into top gear, now is the opportune time for us to reflect on the recent election. The important issues to consider when evaluating our election results include low voter registration, the respectable turnout by accountants at balloting and the question of absentee voting. Equally important are the necessary moves to effect post-election unity within the accountancy profession and the steps to take in formulating concrete action plans for the future.


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Low Voter Registration

The number of registered voters in the Accountancy functional constituency has leapfrogged from 1,588 to 2,276 then to 3,722 in the three election years of 1988, 1991 and 1995. At first sight this is undoubtedly impressive but on closer scrutiny, this impression is apparently superficial. When we actually compare these figures with the growth in our membership, there has been little more than a virtual horizontal increase in the overall registration rate. You might be rather disturbed to learn that our overall registration rate was the lowest among all the existing twenty functional constituencies at this year's LegCo elections.

The following chart proves the point.

Year Total Membership
(as at 1 June)
Eligible Voters
(Official estimate)
Registered Voters (%) Voter Turnout (%)
1988 4,131 no record 1,588 698(43.95%)
1991 5,708 no record 2,276 Uncontested
1995 9,171 8730 3,722
(42.63%)#
2,190
(58.84%)*


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Voter Turnout Rate and Absentee Voting

Needless to say, accountants are very responsible people. Once we register as voters we do exercise our right and give our functional constituency a respectable 58.84% turnout rate. Compared with only 698 accountants who voted at 1988, 2,190 of us did actually vote in 1995, which means that I now have an even stronger mandate as your LegCo representative from the membership.

The turnout at the September 17 election could have been higher still if some accountants had not been out of town on this day due to pressing needs. Several of them in fact wrote to me suggesting that some method of absentee voting be introduced to assist those who are temporarily out of Hong Kong for good reasons. Prompted by these requests for absentee voting system, I have written to the Boundary and Election Commission with copy to the Constitutional Affairs Branch advancing such a suggestion. The Commission also responded instantly with a promise to examine the issue in connection with the next election. I hope that with the assistance of the relevant authority and modern technology we can find the most appropriate method to allow for absentee voting in time to come.


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Post-election Unity and Concrete Action Plans

In well-developed democracies, political parties find their candidates for the various constituencies through a rigorous internal screening process and sometimes even by internal elections. This is in order to fairly find the most acceptable candidate to match the rival candidates. This internal selection process could be as tough and combative as the real election itself. But once the party makes its choice, those within the party closes ranks round the party nominee in order to meet external challenges and rally round the party's political aims and objectives.

Is there any reason why we in the accountancy functional constituency should not do the same? The election has been fought. It is now over. The task before us is to put the election behind us and look boldly to working with the government and other elected LegCo representatives in the future. What we need is to prepare a plan of action that will best serve the accountancy profession as a whole. In this regard, I have already started looking to my key advisers with the view to prepare a concrete plan of action to realise my election platform. I hope to be able to report to you soon on progress and elicit your support. It matters not who you supported in the recent LegCo election, let us all now put our shoulders to the wheel.

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