Bonnie Fung Yau-pik, 16, Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary School
Of course not! Hong Kong should be allowed to have different political parties, so that we are exposed to as many different views on government policies as possible. We all have an equal right to discuss or criticise different policies. If there were limits on which political parties are allowed to operate in Hong Kong, the government may only listen to groups who support it. This would not only destroy Hong Kong’s democracy, but also deprive its autonomy from Beijing. I hope Hong Kong will keep its multi-party system, and not resort to the mainland’s one-party rule.
Henry Chow, 13, King Ling College
Yes, for sure. Although I support freedom of speech, some parties and political figures express their views in the wrong way, using threats or force against others. Then there are people, mostly from the pro-democracy camp, who just criticise the government without offering any suggestions. Events, such as the Occupy Central movement, had a huge negative impact on the city. They affect people’s day-to-day lives and solve nothing.
What’s more, while everyone has the right to criticise the Hong Kong government, we shouldn’t be disrespectful. We shouldn’t make jokes about President Xi Jinping or Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor; it’s impolite.
In conclusion, we need to limit which political parties can operate in Hong Kong so that we can put a stop to pro-democracy groups. Without them, Hong Kong would be a better place.
Tse Tsoi Wing, 16, Chinese YMCA Secondary School
All political parties should to be able to operate in Hong Kong, because different parties represent the needs of different social groups. For example, the Democratic Party campaign on behalf of Hong Kong most vulnerable groups.
If we want our government to serve the entire population, then we need different voices to speak for the entire population.
Natalie Tang Yi-ting, 15, Henrietta Secondary School
There shouldn’t be any restrictions because Hong Kong is a modern city full of diverse ideas and opinions. We have to uphold both the freedom of speech and the principle that everyone is equal before the law. Therefore, limiting political parties would go against everything our city stands for.
Joyce Lai Tsz-yan, 15, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Siu Ming Catholic Secondary School
If political parties can’t follow the rules, then they shouldn’t be allowed to operate. For example, if they aren’t transparent about things such as donations, then they should be banned. We need rules to prevent abuse of power and corruption.
Judy Cheung, 15, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School
There should be limits on how political parties operate in Hong Kong. Everyone has a right to express their views, but they should do it in a peaceful way. They shouldn’t put people’s safety at risk by starting riots.
Travis Yu, 15, Henrietta Secondary School
I think Hong Kong should restrict certain political parties. Firstly, while democracy and freedom are important, we shouldn’t overstep the mark, as saying things that are too controversial can create disorder. Secondly, it isn’t easy to shield younger people from radical views these days. They can easily access this kind of stuff online. However, they may not have the ability to decide whether they truly agree with a certain view or not, but instead just blindly give their support. Therefore we need to be careful about letting certain parties influence young people. Finally, some parties use the notion of democracy as an excuse to simply cause trouble and start protests. So limiting certain political parties from operating in Hong Kong would not necessarily be a bad thing.
Toby Fung 18 Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School
I think there should not be limits on which political parties are allowed to operate in Hong Kong. We enjoy a lot of freedom in Hong Kong, but placing limitations would hurt this freedom. What’s more, the government is supposed to serve the people, so they need to listen to what the public is saying, and take all criticism into account. They cannot simply silence groups who say things they don’t like. We need to respect all political parties.
John Fong, 15, Chinese YMCA Secondary School
In my opinion, there should be limits on which political parties are allowed to operate in Hong Kong. The ancients said that without rules, nothing can be done. If some political parties use freedom as an excuse to do something bad, surely they should be stopped. Freedom of speech does not mean you can use foul language in the Legislative Council, or behave in an in appropriate way.
Some parties also use the push for independence as a way to ruin our city’s global image. It si therefore right for the government to put a stop to this. Our political parties reflect how people view our city, so we need to make sure they are up to the task. That is why there should be limits on which political parties are allowed to operate in Hong Kong.
In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:
Is the new high-speed rail good or bad for Hong Kong?
We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to email@example.com by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.