Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘London Chinatown Chinese Association’

Getting the Chinese in Britain to Vote

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 13th April, 2009

chinese-voting-initiative-chinatownYesterday afternoon — between a Liberal Democrat Friends of Turkey social in Hackney and meeting up with the Tamil demonstrators in Parliament Square — I took part in a Chinese community event in Gerard Street, Chinatown, Westminster, to urge ethnic Chinese in Britain to play a fuller part in public life in this country. The first step is to get thousands of them to register to vote. Hence the ‘Get Active Get Voting Campaign 2009’ , which will try to maximise enrolment in the run-up to June’s Euro-elections. As Leslie Ng, President of London Chinatown Chinese Association, commented, ‘A lot of Chinese did not vote partly because of the language difficulties and partly because they didn’t know how or who they should vote for. ‘ Leslie and several colleagues kept up a lively running comentary over a sound-system as volunteers handed out leaflets from a colourful stall. The organisers even inveigled me into speaking a few phrases in my (now rusty) Mandarin. And the event was covered by the People’s Daily in Beijing!

The tide is beginning to turn, from apathy to participation. Liberal Democrats in London had a welcome boost to ethnic Chinese representation in London local politics when Linda Chung won the Hampstead Town by-election a few months ago, while in Northern Ireland, Anna Lo won a seat on the Northern Ireland Assembly in Belfast for the Alliance Party at the last assembly elections.

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