• Thu
  • Aug 21, 2014
  • Updated: 7:46pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 September, 2012, 2:19am

Pan-democrats need a history lesson

The more radical pan-democrats and their supporters have been busy rewriting recent history. It started well before the Legislative Council election earlier this month, but became more brazen as the Democratic Party did much worse than expected in the poll.

Within these circles, which include one or two of my fellow Post columnists, it has become an article of faith that the city's Democrats were sell-outs for compromising with Beijing and enabling the government to pass the 2010 electoral reform package. The Democrats thus paid a heavy price in the election as voters penalised them for their "betrayal".

The sad thing is that even long-time party steward James To Kun-sun - who won the most votes of all the "super seat" candidates - has in recent days come close to pleading mea culpa for his party's action in 2010.

The Democrats' pivotal decision was not a betrayal but was made on principled, moral and pragmatic grounds. With his dying breath the late Szeto Wah, surely no apologist for Beijing, pleaded for support for the reform package by stating an inconvertible truth: it's better to advance democracy even a little than not at all.

The reform created 10 more directly elected seats and enlarged the election committee from 800 members to 1,200. Coupled with Beijing's promise in 2007 to commit to key dates for achieving full suffrage - 2017 for the chief executive vote and 2020 at the earliest for Legco - the 2010 compromise amounted to a substantial advance for Hong Kong democracy.

Yet those who opposed it and claimed the moral high ground did so by demanding democracy now. This was and remains an unrealistic proposition, yet an effective way to attract the younger, more disaffected voters.

In other words, radical pan-democrats reap the benefits of the reforms, such as by winning new seats in the latest poll, while laying all the blame on the Democrats.

As public sentiment turns against all things mainland, it's becoming taboo in pan-democratic circles to think about compromise and negotiation with Beijing or its local allies. The 2010 decision was a model of prudence, responsibility and moderation, values that are sadly missing among many pan-democrats and their supporters.


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This article is now closed to comments

Oh let's spend few minutes on how pan democrats fails on issues relating to national education.
If you goto legco website doing a search you will find out the issues has been consulted and most recently in 2011 to define a schedule of implementation in sept 2012. The budget was approved! Where was cheung man kong?
My question to our diligent pan democrats is: were they on vacation in the past 10 years? And they have to wait for this 15 years old kid Joshua to come out to fight for the issue? Same question applies to our intelligent universities students who just started discussed the issue after Joshua pulled out from the hunger strict. We're they on vacation too?
Come on....
I'm not a big fan of national education or of the government in fact my view is no need to teach our kids how great is our nation. Rather we need to teach them to get respect from all people around the world naturally. One minimum is to teach them to making sure our public toilets are clean to show we are civilized. We would never get respects when our toilets are so dirty.
Sure our universities are teaching our kids good stuff, but wait until if you visit their cafeteria! Everything needs to go back to the basic.
The title of the story and its content do not match up. I feel the article is unfinished - what is the take home message?
I think Alex was trying to say Democrats failed. Read all my comments if you want to know why.
The history lesson that the pan-democrats need to learn is that the moderate and radical wings have mutually reinforcing roles to play - in advancing the arrival of democracy, and in promoting good governance today.
Knowing that Long Hair can bring people on to the streets keeps our government/Beijing on their toes, while being able to talk with the DP and others provides a channel for them to accede to public demands without losing too much face.
Come on guys, it's fine to spar in public, but keep your real venom for those that want to lock Hong Kong into the Communist Party's thrall.
I don't like communist but I understand they only listen to you if you have good control of money/economy that they have to yield. Simply screaming and yelling wont work. Do you think a spoiled grand child begging grand pap for money but asking for his right will work? Wake up PD.
Wrong Martin! Long hair is getting support from the less privileged people mostly youngers who has no houses, no hope etc. nothing they can do but yelling is free and totally legal! Why not keep yelling then until people listen. Despite I disagree.
True insight!
Continue...to give a lecture on a workable political agenda, what is it? Example, it is no point just to push for Government retirement protection scheme for addressing old age issue as they need to look at the whole financial model. Is hk people willing to put aside more salary for this?
Not just going out to against the new town development. They should ask the government to review our strategy on man power. Should we keep growing our population? Should we rather improve the education level of our people like Finland to boost up our GDP per capital to provide a substainable model for growth?
I wrote in other comments that governments and developers will benefit most by growing population and new town. And is simple and easy. our birth rate is declining so where is the extra 1 million people are coming form? china! and developers and government can sell more to them. But increasing GDP per capital requires long term investment that they may not be interested.
If pan democrats want to fight for cheaper housing,they have to understand this is a structural problem as Government depends on land sales and stamp duty. So cutting revenue could implying cutting expenses such as services and civil servants. A taboo to talk about too. Not only that many landlords are major stake holder too to house price high.
They need a workable policy and agenda....that's what I am saying. Actually not just pan democrats the whole hk needs a longer term planning.
To continue...if u look at hk economy is so much relying on china and getting more and more in the next 10 or 20 years so how would you expect to have any say?
Our competitor say singapore has less population but bigger GDP than hk and I doubt they are relying so much on china than we do. But they made it. Think HK?
Will be interesting to see Yuan becoming fully convertible. By then why would china want to listen to hk or even care about Hk? Because we are their lost son? Or I often heard people saying because of face china will not let hk going down. You wish. These people had never worked in china before I guess.
So stop acts like a spoiled kid pan democrats and put up a workable political agenda ( not just being an opposition party) and get a real candidates for CE, not people like Mr. Ho. Then you may win back some votes.
"I often heard people saying because of face china will not let hk going down." For HKers to even think that way is already betraying a very selfish mentality. HK should not so take advantage of the Mainland.




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