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Fung says the party does not give up on its candidates and cites the example of Chung Kong-mo, a district councillor for Yau Tsim Mong. Chung lost twice but was lucky the third time. Apart from luck, he had the party’s full backing in what Fung calls his “eight-year war of resistance”.

Edward Lau Kwok-fan, another member of the DAB training committee, says: “[We can] help young people become district councillors through the party effect and our support. We can build a good platform for them on which they can develop well.”

Pan-democratic parties cannot promise such robust material support. Philip Tsang Kin-fung, the chairman of the Young Civics and one of the founding members of the Civic Party, admits the lack of resources in his party makes it difficult to give such comprehensive support to young members. But he believes this has its own advantages.

“It is not bad to have a comprehensive training, but you will probably become passive when everything is given. But when you have to do everything yourself, including hanging up your own election banners, then that is a very good kind of training,” Tsang says.

What the Civic Party can offer younger members is the chance to join activities like protests and petitions, and also to share their views during discussions about different government policies and social issues.

“If you choose to be a pan-democrat, you have to have ideals. You are not pursuing a career but a vision,” Tsang says.

When pan-democratic candidates lose in District Council elections, their parties cannot afford to give them paid party jobs. They need to find work and continue their political and community work without pay.

It is not just pan-democrats who face challenges when it comes to resources. The one-year-old New People’s Party, headed by former Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee is a pro-establishment party that lacks the wealth of the DAB.

“Resources can be classified into money and human resources. I can’t say we have too much money but sometimes you don’t need that much money for frontline work. However, human resources are very important,” says Marcus Tse Tsz-kei, who burst onto the political scene when he won a District Council seat in Tai Koo Shing East last year.