Community Leaders Endorse Non-Partisan Elections
From The World Journal
October 17, 2003
Margaret Chin, Deputy Executive Director of Asian Americans for
Equality, and community leaders called on Chinese voters yesterday
to support non-partisan elections proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg,
which they said will enhance participation by Asian communities
and open up the system to non-partisan voters.
Asian Americans account
for a considerable part of the non-partisan population in New York,
but cannot participate in primaries because
they are neither Republicans nor Democrats and therefore lose an
opportunity for democracy, Chin said. Because most of the partisan
population is Democrat, those who win Democratic primaries will
almost certainly win general elections, she said. Non-Democratic
Asian Americans have no opportunity to elect their own representatives,
which is unfair, she added.
Chin said in Chinatown’s State
Assembly constituencies that there are nearly 40,000 registered
Democrats, more than 6,000 Republicans
and more than 12,000 non-partisan voters, and that in Constituency
22 in Flushing, there are nearly 24,000 Democrats, 6,200 Republicans
and more than 7,600 non-partisans. None of the non-partisan voters
are eligible to participate in primaries but will be able to if
non-partisan elections were adopted, she said.
Zheng Shi said opening up primaries would enhance turnout and
encourage participation by those uninterested in partisan
Immigrants from Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos have deep-rooted
terror towards political parties due to historical reasons, said
Zhang, President of Indochina Sino-American Community Center.
He said asking them to join parties will trigger many unpleasant
of theirs, and that non-partisan elections are the best way
to encourage their participation.
Chin said concerns that voter
turnout will drop without partisan promotion are unnecessary,
because parties will still try to
win voters as candidates can list party affiliation during
primaries if they choose to.
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Translated from Chinese by Shasha Dai