Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Alice Mak says she's hopeful of a high voter turnout when the next set of Legco members are returned this December, but thinks the government should step up its propaganda efforts to make it happen.
A bill to change Hong Kong's laws to accommodate Beijing's overhaul of the SAR's electoral system was tabled to the council on Wednesday afternoon for its first and second readings.
Constitutional affairs minister Erick Tsang told the pro-government legislature that the sweeping changes planned to the way members are chosen are aimed at preventing "anti-China disruptors" from using elections as a platform to "subvert the state".
Police and government officials are to screen out any suspects in this regard, while an election committee will choose almost half of the council itself, leaving the public to pick just 20 of the future 90 lawmakers, from a carefully vetted list of candidates.
The government's bill also includes a law to ban any calls for people to cast blank ballots or boycott elections.
But despite the authorities' apparent concern that the public could shun future votes or use their ballots as a form of protest, Mak sounded an optimistic note regarding the new electoral system.
"This is for the benefit of the whole society, so I hope the people of Hong Kong will vote in the coming election and I do hope that we'll have a high voting rate," she said.
Mak added that she would like to see more propaganda from the authorities.
"The SAR government can do more promotion and propaganda on this issue so people of Hong Kong will know the ultimate goal of this electoral reform is to ensure we'll have a constructive and efficient council," she said.