Co-authored with my fellow co-founder at Quorum, Jonathan Lui. Published on Neehao Magazine on 8th April 2015.
The forthcoming election is the most unpredictable in living memory.
With the Conservatives and Labour neck and neck in the polls, and the ‘rise of the rest’ – emergence of smaller parties as contesting forces, British politics has never been so competitive and chaotic at the same time.
This presents an opportunity for all minority groups to have a voice, including the British Chinese community, of which we are from, whose concerns we want to highlight.
THE ‘SILENT MINORITY’
The Chinese community has a rich history in Britain. With over 400,000 citizens, the community represents the third largest ethnic group in the UK. Moreover, we are a community of high achievers. Recent sociological studies illustrate clearly that we perform exceptionally well in predominant sectors of society, including educational attainment and employment.
Yet for too long, British Chinese have been apathetic towards politics – more so than wider society. Only 35% of the British Chinese community are registered to vote compared to the national average of 92%. More significantly, there is only one British Chinese in the 750-strong House of Lords, and not a single MP in the democratically elected, 650-strong House of Commons.
Absent in the arena of debate and decision making, British Chinese fail to contribute to the policy making process. Be it in healthcare, education, law and order, race relations or any other area of interest, British Chinese is truly the ‘silent minority’ in our society.
That’s why we got together and founded Quorum – an online platform that visualises the power of the British Chinese vote through the medium of infographics, powered by our co-founder James Lo and his team at Tamar.
In this momentous election, we want to empower voters by providing all that you need to know in order to make your decision to vote, which could swing this election one way or another.
By creating cutting edge infographics, Quorum pinpoints where the British Chinese people hold the balance of power, converts complicated electoral and parliamentary procedures into simple diagrams, and reflects on the British Chinese community’s history and achievements in an interactive timeline.
BUILDING ON WHAT IS ACHIEVED
Quorum strives to serve as a facilitator – to enhance ongoing efforts on voter education and empowerment of the British Chinese community.
Through our varied and respective roles, we came to the realisation that it takes something refreshing to appeal for new audiences within the British Chinese population.
While existing British Chinese groups have done plenty of fantastic ‘on the ground’ work in local communities and Chinese community centres across the country, it is very difficult for these campaigns to speak to the younger generation, many of whom are first time voters and young professionals.
You, the ‘Google generation’, belongs to the online world. That is where we are meeting you.
Yes, politics is important. But it is very often a dull business to deal with. That is why we want to simplify complicated procedures, crunch through loaded facts and figures in all the party manifestos, and explain them in plain English at your service – what we call ‘Manifesto crunch’.
Whether you represent a political or non-political organisation, whether you are speaking on behalf of a business or just as an individual, so long as you back our idea, we are happy to share our infographics with you to further our cause.
START SMALL, THINK BIG
Every great idea begins with something trivial, often with just a handful of people. It is the many supporters who are inspired by the idea that make the idea great.
That is our vision. First hundreds, then thousands, Quorum will empower British Chinese voters across the country. With your help, we will change the course of political apathy in the British Chinese community, and achieve the political representation we so desperately need.
Are you with us? Join us on our journey today.