Lawmakers keen to keep up political debate

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 August, 2007, 12:00am

Pan-democrats in the government's top advisory body on long-term development are hoping to set up a task group to continue discussions on political development.

A restructuring of the Commission on Strategic Development (CSD) for the next two years has been criticised for breaking up the sub-committee on governance and political development, which played a key role in devising the contents of the green paper.

Democrat Lee Wing-tat will propose forming a political development task group on September 5 at the first CSD meeting of the new term.

His suggestion was backed by fellow lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan. 'Regarding the green paper, there's unfinished business,' he said. 'Even after the consultation period finishes [on October 10], we should still monitor how the government conducts its summary of those views and come up with a mainstream proposal.

'A political task group will give us another platform to do this monitoring.'

Lee Wing-tat, however, is hoping to set an even broader brief for the task group and use it as a platform for discussing developing political talent and political parties, such as enacting laws to give parties greater support.

'When universal suffrage does come around, we need to make sure all the other factors are ready to make the most of it,' he said. 'It's the leftists who are saying that there is more to democracy than universal suffrage. Now's the opportunity to do something about it.'

The agenda for the first meeting specifies that the setting up of task groups will be discussed.

However, a government spokeswoman said no formal procedures had been set up yet to regulate who decided whether a task group should be formed.

Lee Wing-tat said he assumed 'it will be a combination of looking at the support from other members and the view of Donald Tsang Yam-kuen', who chairs the commission.