Tuesday, 4 March 2014

What Do We Want?

What kind of democratic system does Hong Kong want to take for 2017?
Hong Kong has been promised universal suffrage by 2017 but what form will it take?

That is the issue people are squabbling over, including the Occupy Central movement.

The pan-democrats are proposing a "three-track system" where a candidate can be chosen by a public nomination or through support of political parties in addition to candidates picked by the nomination committee.

However the pro-Beijing camp says this is a waste of time because the Central Government will not like the idea and would probably prefer to control the race by having candidates it deems as politically correct to run in the race that everyone votes.

At the 12th National People's Congress going on right now in the Chinese capital, NPC member Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said that the pro-democrat proposal would not achieve consensus and would result in Hong Kong people missing their chance for universal suffrage in 2017.

"We should stop insisting on civil nomination and discuss, say, the composition of the nominating committee," she said. "These are much needed contents in the future political reform package."

How can we miss the change for universal suffrage? We could have a referendum by a certain deadline and then majority rules. She is trying to scare people into thinking we must follow the pro-Beijing path.

In Hong Kong, former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang says the Hong Kong government should not rule out civil nomination at this early stage.

It is very easy to see who falls in which camp based on their opinion about 2017, which the Hong Kong government is currently soliciting public opinion.

Today during the NPC, China's legislature said it will allow Hong Kong people to directly choose their leader in 2017.

"It is the hope of Hong Kong's people, as well as the long-standing stance of the central government, that the chief executive [of Hong Kong] can be returned by universal suffrage in 2017 in accordance with the law," said Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the NPC.

"Implementing universal suffrage is a big issue for Hong Kong. It is also about the future stability and development of Hong Kong," she said. "We believe [the Hong Kong government] can deal with all aspects of the issue in accordance with the law. We also hope various sectors of the Hong Kong community can work hard together to achieve universal suffrage in accordance with the Basic Law and the rulings of the National People's Congress.

"From the viewpoint of the National People's Congress, we would like to see that universal suffrage [in Hong Kong] can be smoothly implemented."

It is in what form universal suffrage will take that is the issue. Will we get to choose the nominations or will they be decided for us by Beijing?

One tends to think it will be latter, but we can't give up hope yet. While it's true in the west citizens don't get to choose their candidates -- they are picked by their political parties -- but at least they aren't endorsed by some looming authority elsewhere.

Do the Hong Kong people understand the issue at hand and really want to stand up and make the voice heard on the nomination process? Many seem cynical about this, believing it's self-defeating to even bother giving their opinions, or do they even care?

Now if the pan-democrats could stop squabbling amongst themselves and put away their iPads filled with women clad in bikinis then maybe -- just maybe -- the public might take their cause more seriously?


  1. Your information is incorrect, ANYONE can run for any position if they meet the qualifications thru signatures. Then these candidate compete in a primary election for their respective parties. Then these party chosen winners compete in a general elections.

    Not having universal sufferage violates the agreement between the parties for the 1997 handover. Therefore, making the CCP a bunch of liars. Then again, never trust the CCP nor the likes of DAB either.

    The stabbing of Mr. Kevin Lau will go unsolved due to incompetence of the local and mainland authorities with the influence of the CCP...

    enjoy breathing the very fresh and clean air in HK.

    1. Hi nulle -- my blog post is focusing on the election of Chief Executive, not for any political position. And we know the CPC wants a good outcome...