Political Animal

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 July, 2010, 12:00am

Politicians take on the pseudo-models

They might have had a tough time competing for attention with the pseudo-models and their racy picture books but a team of dedicated - if often controversial - politicians set out to make their presence felt at the Book Fair. The League of Social Democrats launched six books at the fair ranging from a photo book to an autobiography to a political history. And as history goes, legislator Wong Yuk-man's Power of the People, an account of the May by-elections and battle for political reform, was as up-to-date as you'd get - the 345-page tome includes events as recent as early this month. The book (pictured) includes a lengthy criticism of the Democratic Party for negotiating with Beijing while the League and the Civic Party went ahead with the resignations and by-elections that they billed as a de facto referendum. Wong said he would send a copy to Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, whose memoirs were also launched at the fair, as a gift. The book will also serve as a textbook for the league's forthcoming party school. 'If you do not read this book,' he told reporters at a lunch gathering, 'You should not call yourself a political reporter.'

Albert Chan keen to remain undefeated

Electoral defeat tastes bitter. It may taste more bitter when you suddenly lose something you've had for a long time. For League of Social Democrats lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip, the best way of avoiding such a loss is to give it up voluntarily. Chan has kept his seat in the Legislative Council New Territories West constituency and Tsuen Wan district council in 16 elections over 25 years without a single loss. But now he says he is considering not running in the next elections. 'This is the best way to keep my perfect record,' he said. 'Even Albert Ho Chun-yan has been defeated in elections.' But as former British prime minister Harold Wilson famously declared, a week is a long time in politics. Can we take Chan's words seriously? We'll have to wait see.

Better late than never on consultation

Would you mind your association canvassing your views on constitutional development more than a month after its representative in the Legislative Council voted for the political reform package? The association in question is the Professional Teachers' Union. On June 24 and June 25, its former president Cheung Man-kwong cast his vote in favour of the compromise proposal for reforming the methods for electing the chief executive and the legislature in 2012. In an e-mail to its 80,000-plus members on Saturday, the union said it would hold three consultation sessions this week to seek their views on the local legislation for the 2012 elections and constitutional development beyond 2012. Union president Fung Wai-wah said it was regrettable that they were not able to consult union members before deciding the voting preference for the reform package because the government only adopted the compromise proposal two days before the package was put to vote in the legislature. 'We have received some e-mails from members who complained of a lack of consultation before we decided our stance on the compromise package,' said Fung, whose union was a member organisation of the Alliance for Universal Suffrage. The alliance backed the compromise proposal.

But Fung disagreed with the allegation that the consultation was 'fake' because it would focus on the way forward. The union leadership will be put to the first test when the first consultative session is held on Thursday .