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  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 4:56pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 3:30am

Qiao Xiaoyang conjures a democracy of exclusion

Can you have one person, one vote while still backsliding on universal suffrage? The latest pronouncement by Qiao Xiaoyang seems to suggest this.

The chairman of the National People's Congress' law committee said any chief executive candidate would need majority support from a nomination committee.

Whatever "majority" means, it looks like a serious raising of the current nomination threshold, which only required each candidate in last year's chief executive race to secure nomination by at least 150 supporters in the 1,200-member election committee.

Suppose we have a system in 2017 similar to the one last year for the chief executive race, with the main difference being that the entire electorate could cast a vote.

OK, the vetting of candidates would be tougher. You probably would need more than 150 endorsements as the number of committee members considerably expands. But that's a system I believe would be acceptable to many - if not most - Hongkongers.

The key point is that no one is automatically excluded on the basis of ideology or party affiliation. It is a system that let in former Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan as a chief executive candidate last year.

Qiao did not spell out the details, but the nomination method he hinted at would require a maximum - not minimum - number of supporters to back a ticket. This is a regression, and not an improvement on our current system. The chairman also mentioned being patriotic (loving Hong Kong and loving China) as a requirement, which has sparked great controversy. But that's just semantics. It's the control of the majority of votes in a nomination committee that would be the key.

As frequently as I criticise pan-democrats for being their own worst enemies, I do not believe any vetting system that automatically excludes them can be considered legitimate or sustainable. That would only worsen social tensions in Hong Kong, its governability and the difficult relationship between the city and the mainland.

The Hong Kong people are pragmatic and can produce candidates who can work with Beijing, whatever their party affiliations. That would require building trust on both sides. But time is running out.


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This article is now closed to comments

I am not sure the pan-democrats like the rest, politicians or not, can be considered as pragmatic people; unless they have an agenda that no body knows. Otherwise pan-democrats are a single-issue bunch which burrows for permanent independence from their temporary independence. Pan-democrats should at least be practical not to doing things that become their own enemies. Can they find something to do to be helpful?
"It is a system that let in former Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan as a chief executive candidate last year."
Don't be blind, Ho was allowed to run so as to give the impression of some level of legitimacy, just as the Mainland has a Guo Min Dang Party and a Democractic Party who have no power and are funded by the CCP.
Pre-screened candiates will do the same - give the impression of legitimacy when there really is none.
hard times !
Mr.Alex Lo has clearly pointed out that the planned nominating committe might probably be a more regressive one than its precedent---the Election Committe which still allowed pan-democratic lawmaker,Albert Ho to compete in the election,though Ho failed miserably.If such an election is the so-called universal suffrage promised to us ,then it will definitely become a shame of the term: universal suffrage which according to the standard/criteria of the United Nations should be carried out by 'one man, one vote'---through the votes of all qualified voters to elect their leader. Maybe the authorities in Beijing worry that once Hong Kong enjoys full democracy and the rest of Manland China will demand to follow suit.Then the days of the Chinese communist regime won't be long----abandoned by their people sooner or later through votes ?


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