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  • Jul 26, 2014
  • Updated: 11:38pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 April, 2013, 2:33am

Focus fight on who picks the candidates for chief executive

"I have simply grasped the one thread which links up all the rest."

Hu Shih, the father of Chinese democratic liberalism, began his classic, The Development of the Logical Method in Ancient China, with this quote from Confucius.

In dealing with complex issues, the sage advises, look for that underlying issue to illuminate and move things forward. The escalating war of words between the pan-democrats and mainland officials has generated more heat than light. The poisoned rhetoric from both sides has not changed the political realities; it has merely confused the key issues.

Now, a few individuals on both sides have started to make more sensible noises.

Law professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting who came up with the Occupy Central protest plan said over the weekend that we should focus on the composition of the nominating committee that will select candidates for the 2017 chief executive race. That's exactly right. The committee's composition is where the real battleground for universal suffrage will be.

Tai is not the first to point this out. It was, in fact, Alan Hoo, SC, head of the Basic Law Institute, who first called on the pan-democrats to focus on that after various mainland officials said any CE candidates must love Hong Kong and the motherland and never challenge the central government. But Hoo is friendly to Beijing. Hopefully, Tai will be more persuasive with his pan-democratic colleagues.

All the charges and counter-charges about patriotism and the screening of candidates just confuse the issue. They boil down to one question: who will sit on the nominating committee?

Beijing will want it to resemble the current 1,200-member election committee, which is selected by less than 250,000 voters and mostly drawn from sectors that replicate the rotten boroughs of the functional constituencies.

Pan-dems like Tai will want the new committee membership to be returned by a popular vote.

The future committee will have to be much more representative electorally than the election committee. But it's just a non-starter to demand giving everyone a vote on its membership.

Let's just hope cooler heads will prevail on both sides and start putting viable proposals on the negotiating table.

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the sun also rises
of course Beijing will want our future Nomination Committee to be more or less the same as the past Election Committes which formation was made up of pro-establishment and pro-Beijng elements.In this way,the chief executive picked will be 100 % loyal to the Beijing authorites though he/she might not please most commoners in town.But who cares ? In a non-democratic country, allowing a certain small area to practise a so-called democratic election is a rare exception already ! How can we Hongkongers be totally different from our compatriots across the border at Lowu. Right ? Democracy is a taboo on Mainland China, just like 'June 4th' or even,'Hu Yiu-bon' or 'Chiu Tze-yang' !
the sun also rises
now it is learnt that the bottom-line of the Central government of our candidates for the chief executive is: not related to the democracy movement in June 1989 or a key member of the Federation of Supporting Beijing students' democracy movement founded by late Uncle Szeto Wah.It means even Civic Party's Audrey Yu is okay since she did not involve in that movement and not a member of that Federation.But Democratic Party's Albert Ho or Workers' Party's Lee Cheuk-yan or Reverend Chu Yiu-ming are not allowed to compete for the top post in town.Beijing's main worry or concern is the future chief executive should never be one who is considered against Beijing though he/she loves his/her country and Hong Kong as well. That is: not an enemy of the Chinese Communist Party and its governance---never advocating or supporting the end of one-party rule on Mainland China.Never ! Just let them and their descendants and descendants enjoy both power and wealth plus beauties forever and ever and never challenge their power of rule then you are welcomed and close friends of the CCP and the cadres as well.
anson
I think both the Central Government and the Democratic Parties are getting it wrong.
The best thing that the Government and ordinary people can do is let the Occupy Central plan go ahead. This will further erode the popularity of the Hong Kong 'Democrats' are they will be seen to be going against the wishes of the majority and just create mayhem and mess for our city.
The Central Government should not approve candidates prior to the election. Hong Kong people will not elect a candidate that they do not think capable of running Hong Kong or one who would likely be unacceptable to the Central Government. The British system (although largely just symbolic in the UK) is preferable. The winning candidate should visit the President or his appointed representative and ask for permission to form a government.
Hong Kong, let us not forget, is a city in China, but one that has been afforded much greater autonomy than others. But it is still a part of the PRC and has a certain obligation and duty to contribute to the stability, prosperity and happiness of the nation.
johnyuan
Sometimes comments from readers are more interesting than news or column. Most of the comments supposedly come from ordinary folks of whom their comments can provide us view from what expired or set. Without sincerity in what one wrote is like treating the comment space as one’s playground – useless to others though. Perhaps using real name as a requirement like in the NYTimes can make SCMP’s more interesting and challenging. Not very probable from commercial point of view for SCMP? So a playground it is.
anson
We likely enjoy a more frank discussion because of the anonymity. Hiding behind a username perhaps gives us a better picture of the actual thinking of people, rather than being forced to conform to the politically correct norm. It's not always pretty, but it probably has more validity and relevance to the real situation than putting on a fake facade to protect one's self.
Another factor is of course that real names can often induce prejudice in the reader. A Western name vs a Chinese name for example or a Male name vs Female name.
The current system is more fair and interesting. It encourages wider debate. Your proposal will likely lead to less exchange of views and more shoe shining.
johnyuan
I agree. particularly the shoe shining culture in Hong Kong. Not to mention also the fear factor of one's employability in a mostly congrlomerate controled economy.
blue
Democracy to pflim040 means:

1. Telling all ethnic minorities such as Michael Chugani to shut up if they do not agree with Occupy Central.
2. Anyone who does not support Occupy Central must be a stooge of Beijing. He already accused me of being from "up north" even though he knows nothing about me.
3. Flooding SCMP and other forums with Pro Occupy Central messages under different usersnames to create the illusion of mass support from many users.

Yes in Hong Kong you are free to post on as many usernames as possible. But I am also free to express my opinion and expose your hypocrisy and double standards. Your vision of democracy is just another dictatorship where everyone must agree with your view or shut up! You are a total hypocrite and intellectually bankrupt!
the sun also rises
bluechinagroup well knows that every new name appears in this Comment column is written by pflim040, maybe he/she is a prophet.Oh, dear ! No one can disallow any writers posting his/her views here with different names or usernames as Hong Kong is a free socitey which allows freedom of speech and there is no censor on the internet as our Great Mother Country.Why bother to attack/blame another writer here ? I wonder.You express yours,while pflim040 expresses his/hers.Let us all enjoy freedom of expression here !
the sun also rises
bluechinagroup or redchinagroup is not writing anything related to the topic/news above but just keep on attacking another writer so-called pflim040 though the latter may have used different usernames to present his/her views here, what is wrong with that ? i just don't understand.If this bluechinagroup (redchinagroup) is fed up with what this pflim040 (who carries numerous pen-names) and his postings,please stop reading his/her postings then he/she/they can have a sound sleep or they have to endure many sleepless nights ahead, it is for sure !
blue
prisoner of zenda is another sock puppet of pflim040. It's very annoying he does this. Pflim040 is a racist who thinks non Chinese like Michael Chugani should keep their mouth shut about democracy reform if they do not agree with Occupy Central. This is pflim040's hypocritical view on democracy: Tell anyone who dissents with his opinion on democracy to shut up!

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