Saturday, 6 June 2015

Support for Reform Package Wanes

Gov't ads point out this is Hong Kong's chance to vote -- don't throw it away
After some pan-democrats had a fruitless meeting with senior Chinese officials in Shenzhen last weekend, public support for the proposed political reform package is waning.

Beijing representatives reiterated the National People's Congress Standing Committee's August 31 decision would stand forever -- that two to three candidates must be chosen by the nomination committee and not the public -- and that the person "loves the country, and Hong Kong".

Not having any kind of wiggle room makes it impossible to even begin to negotiate with the motherland, which obviously thinks it knows what's best for the city.

In a latest poll conducted by three local universities, 40 percent of some 1,100 residents opposed the political reform plan, up 5.5 percentage points from late May.

Pan-democrats are firmly resolved to veto the reform package
About 46 percent said they supported the package, down 1.9 percentage points.

Professor Lau Siu-kai, vice-chairman of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies think tank, said the latest poll result showed some Hong Kong people were disappointed that the Shenzhen talks went nowhere.

"Some people might not have expected the Chinese government to have taken such a firm stance, and hoped for some concession," Lau said. "They could have been disappointed and upset after the meeting and refused to accept the proposal."

Meanwhile a central government source said Beijing officials took a strong stance because they were "not confident" the reform package would be passed in the Legislative Council.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor continues to pound the pavement, hoping she can persuade the public -- one person at a time -- that the reform package is worth supporting.

It seems like an exercise that won't go far and wasting taxpayer money. Already the government has spent lots of dough on billboards and advertising on the television to say that the reform package is the best thing for Hong Kong.

The more they repeat it the more the words sound emptier and emptier...

And as many in Victoria Park and elsewhere carried yellow umbrellas or wore yellow ribbons on June 4, it is evident people still want genuine universal suffrage.

The gap between what the government is trying to push through and what the people want continues to widen...

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