Voter apathy and passing the political buck are traits commonly attributed to the Chinese, but many people from the community, some who have lived in the UK for 40 years or more commented, it is not apathy that deters them from voting but the lack of understanding and communication. Many reportedly felt that the politicians did not understand and they in turn could not communicate their needs.
But it seems that the tide is gradually changing. Gary MH Li, Chairman of COCA UK, one of the organisers said, “I am encouraged by the growing number of Chinese faces putting themselves forward and holding office within local councils, those that have withheld their right to vote for decades are now putting their hands up and registering as a show of unity and support.”
For others, registration had other meanings. Mr Foo who having gained his British Citizenship just last year said that he felt that voting was a civic duty and being on the electoral register also meant convenience particularly when applying for finance and other things.
Lawyer Christine Lee, who jointly initiated the Register to Vote campaign explained: “Whatever the reason for voting, we hope that the British Chinese community will turn out in force for the elections on May 1st. If we don’t use our vote, we have no voice.”
Representatives from all three major parties, including Labour MP Barry Gardiner, and Chinese candidates for the coming May elections were in attendance to support the campaign.
GetActive.UK will be hosting a “How to Vote” event on SUNDAY 27th April 2008 (12pm-4pm) in London’s Chinatown. Details of this event will be supplied shortly.
For further information, please contact
Get Active UK
171 Wardour Street
London W1F 8WS
0750 800 5645