• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 4:02pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2013, 4:12am

A democracy protest worth joining

So it looks like we will have another Occupy Central. Only this time it will be for real, run by people who hopefully know what they are doing, as a campaign to press the government and Beijing for full democracy. This is the brainchild of Benny Tai Yiu-ting, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong. While I often find the antics of the pan-democrats unpalatable, even idiotic, I must confess I am tempted to join them on this one if they pull it off.

On the question of full democracy for Hong Kong, I believe it was settled when Beijing indicated we can have elections for the chief executive by universal suffrage in 2017 and for our legislature in 2020, at the earliest. It's no longer a question of if, but when and in what form.

Some senior pan-dems seem to be coming back to their senses as they realise total rejectionism will lead them nowhere. Or so I hope. Emily Lau Wai-hing has said the Democratic Party is willing to negotiate with the government over democratic reforms.

Civic Party chairwoman Audrey Eu Yuet-mee - who writes a naughty letter, published in today's letters page, rounding on me for rounding on her over freedom and responsibility of the press - has said her party will present its own democratic blueprints. This is indeed what I suggested many columns ago for the pan-dems, though perhaps Audrey didn't read that one. (By the way, it's OK about the other matter, Audrey. Enough said; we all do stupid things sometimes. I forgive you.)

In my dream, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who now has nothing to lose as his popularity hits rock bottom, will present his own democratic reform plan - either under pressure from campaigns like Occupy Central 2.0 or on his own initiative. Hong Kong can then fight over the rival proposals and hopefully reach an agreement on the way forward.

Ours is already a free and democratic society. It is our government that is non-democratic, though still accountable. I believe most of today's political conflicts are at root a war of attrition between a democratic society and a non-democratic state. Since it is much easier to induce a regime change than to fundamentally alter the habits and outlooks of a developed and rich society, I think it's clear which side will win in the end.


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The civil service used to be famous for using a plethora of words to say nothing. An excellent piece of fence sitting Alex.
AL, don’t be misled by title
Prof Albert Chan excepted,
most other HKU law professors are insufferably clownish
We‘re luck to have Ma and Cheung at the helm
otherwise the legal profession is so trained and structured that
it can’t serve HK’s sustainable development
Inferior and inappropriate materials,
why else are judicial posts vacant?
Look at HK’s “democractic” representatives
AE, Cheung MK, WYM, scholarism and so forth
Do you want to join them and their followers in Central?
And imagine the horror of this horde
electing and running the government
Mr Lo, you inelegantly describe Ms Eu as "stupid" while trotting out another one of your utterly nonsensical statements in your conclusion. Democracy, you evidently do not know, describes a system of government, not some vague societal condition. Hong Kong is neither democratic nor is its government accountable: yours were two lies or two stupid statements. Take your pick.
John Adams
I am reminded of a comment which - if I recall correctly - was made by Jake van der Kamp :
"I would much rather live in a place like HK which, although not democratic in name, in practice feels and behaves like a democracy, rather than countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore etc which, although democratic in name, are in practice just the opposite"


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