The Hong Kong Chinese community is an affluent, educated, and swelling
population in the Greater Toronto Area. The enigma is why they have only made
marginal inroads into the political arena.
Olivia Chow, a Metro councilor representing the Downtown ward says "this
community has potential to be very powerful...it's nowhere near its potential."
Chow is the highest-profile Hong Kong expatriate to win elected office in the
GTA. Others include Tam Goosen, Soo Wong, Carrie Cheng, and Peter Lam.
Many are convinced that the reason is because Hong Kong "is a colonial
place where they had no say in government whatsoever." "In Hong Kong, there's
never been any democratic procedure until a few years ago." "Chinese culture
through thousands of years has never had an elected-representative type of
Western democracy system. So it's not a surprise...(Hong Kong) is not a place
where people exercise their democratic rights." There is a very common belief
that you should not offend or challenge authority.
People have lost a lot of confidence in politicians because of poor
examples provided by ongoing tensions between Communist China and nationalist
Taiwan. "We have to educate them and tell them politics in North America and
Canada is very different from what they saw of politics in Hong Kong and China."
Dr. Joseph Wong, whose community activism has earned him the Order of
Canada, thinks that despite changes in Chinese attitudes, fear is still an
obstacle towards political evolution. People are not afraid to demand for equal
rights but the so-called mainstream politics and elected office is still
baffling to the Chinese. The Chinese community's history in Canada also plays a
major role in its reluctance to venture into politics. Following the completion
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the federal government imposed a heavy head tax
on new Chinese immigrants. Only from the late 1960s and early 1970s, the... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(1999, 10). The Hong Kong Chinese Community. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Hong-Kong-Chinese-Community-5052.html
"The Hong Kong Chinese Community" StudyMode.com. 10 1999. 10 1999 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Hong-Kong-Chinese-Community-5052.html>.
"The Hong Kong Chinese Community." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Hong-Kong-Chinese-Community-5052.html.