Date
17 October 2017
Teenage politicians have become a political force to reckon with. They might be too focused on the future at the expense of pressing issues today. Photo: HKEJ, thestandnews.com
Teenage politicians have become a political force to reckon with. They might be too focused on the future at the expense of pressing issues today. Photo: HKEJ, thestandnews.com

Indigenous parties too far ahead of themselves

Last week saw the birth of two new political parties founded by teenagers.

One is an alliance of five organizations linked to Occupy Central and spearheaded by Youngspiration.

The other is Demosisto, formerly known as student activist group Scholarism, led by Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow.

Demosisto might have an advantage in media exposure because of its leaders’ high profile but the Youngspiration coalition is the stronger bet in the legislative elections in September.

The coalition has teamed up with Hong Kong Indigenous and the Hong Kong National Party, two nascent but fast-evolving nativist groups.

They’re expected to pool their resources to bolster their chances as individual parties and as a group.

Unlike the pan-democrats, who have been plagued by chronic infighting, the fledging indigenous camp is surprisingly well organized and much more united despite being made up of different factions.

For instance, Youngpsiration is relatively moderate. Hong Kong Indigenous has a localist agenda while the Hong Kong National Party is pro-independence.

The indigenous faction has come of age and is capable of giving the pan-democrats and the establishment camp a run for their money.

The former, mostly made up of young people, led the Feb. 8 Mongkok clashes which the government branded as rioting and the pan-democrats quickly disavowed.

However, the indigenous/pro-independence coalition are too far ahead of themselves in calling for self-determination or independence in 2047.

They should focus on the task at hand such as the fight for universal suffrage and greater political autonomy.

Who cares about 2047 when Hong Kong people are struggling to cope with the present state of affairs?

The elections are still six months away. There’s plenty of time to adjust election platforms.

There are real issues facing Hong Kong that are more pressing than anything 31 years into the future.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 12.

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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RA

HKEJ columnist

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