Most Hong Kong People Do Not Pay Tax. Thus One-Person-One-Vote Democracy ?

Topics: Democracy, Tax, Elections Pages: 2 (432 words) Published: December 2, 2007
First of all, one person, one vote' system of democracy is universally recognized by an absolute majority of countries of the world as a viable and effective mechanism for the selection of government.

Someone may argue that, in practice, non-taxpayers do not earn enough to be liable for taxation. In any case, the right to vote does not follow from the obligation to pay tax. In many countries, people start earning money and paying tax before they are old enough to vote (particularly if they leave school as soon as they are allowed to do so). This implies that the right to vote is given to those who can be expected to use it responsibly. Those have shown that they have little contribution for society. They therefore cannot be trusted to vote responsibly in the interests of society; many would probably simply vote for candidates increasing their benefits hugely. Therefore, they do not deserve any further representation.

However, it is sometimes suggested that only those who pay income tax should have the right to vote in Hong Kong, an idea that many had thought worthy of oblivion decades, if not centuries, ago. Although the Basic Law does not enumerate all the duties of citizenship, membership in a political community implies many obligations, not solely the duty to pay taxes. In return for their obligations, in truly democratic systems, citizens therefore enjoy the right to vote in order to have a voice in how they will be governed. If, at present, only 40% of Hong Kong residents pay income tax, it may be wise, as a matter of good citizenship, for a much larger number to be called upon to share the tax burden, if only to a token extent. Yet, even if no change is made in the present tax regime, the functional constituency system should return to the broad election franchise that preceded the handover.

It is believed that the only way to make principal officials accountable to the people and strengthen the democracy of the HKSAR is under a scheme that...
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