Elsie Tu

Reforms needed

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 12:00am

I have been following the debate, through these columns, between Elsie Tu and other correspondents, and I could not stop thinking about the definition of parliamentary democracy which was given by Sir Winston Churchill.

He said: 'Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.'

Mrs Tu seems to be saying that the PRC has now come up with a better system.

With all due respect I find this view very hard to accept.

The Chinese Communist Party came to power thanks to the Japanese invasion of China and the ensuing civil war.

It has never held free elections, so it does not have a clear mandate from the people.

I suspect that if there was an election the present leadership would be wiped out.

This is what happened to the ruling leaders in the former Soviet Union.

What exists in China is a system of centralised power and the absence of electoral accountability. China's leaders may do some positive things, but they may also make serious mistakes and take the nation down a miserable road.

I hope these leaders will start to change before it is too late.