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  • Aug 23, 2014
  • Updated: 3:13am
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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This article is now closed to comments

blue
"bluechinagroup is not a single person but a group sent from the North here to monitor we Hongkongese's postings in the forums of local media"

I'm just stating my opinion on the fact that you keep posting under so many usernames. Why not post your opinions on your regular username? Posting under so many usernames means you lack transparency which is not at all democratic. You know nothing about democracy and even showed racism towards Michael Chugani. You said Michael shouldn't state his opinions about democracy because he is not an ethnic Chinese. You are nothing more than a hypocrite.

Also I'm not from the north. It sounds like everything is a conspiracy with you isn't it?
johnyuan
If the purpose of having a functional constituency is to get ALL the sectors represented in whatever changes that will affect people – law and election of the CE, then the reality tells us it is utterly false. Hong Kong was once had sectors more ran by independent individuals. Each was more likely spoke the true interest of a sector that adding all up to represent a true Hong Kong. The reality in Hong Kong nowadays the individual and independent sectors only exist in appearance.
Conglomerates in Hong Kong have reduced the functional constituency to voting as a block. In fact, political power in Hong Kong resides disproportionally in the influential hands of very few conglomerate heads. Hong Kong is a company town where a boss dictates and employment controls everything from schooling, housing and eating.
There must be a new way to run Hong Kong; not because of envy, it is more about the built-in safety in diversification in entrepreneur opportunities. Then, Hong Kong will come to a full circle to its beginning where each sector is independent without a voice from the top. But, the conglomerates will make sure they will pick the next CE and stay put in the legislature forever. Entrepreneur opportunity for you? What a nuisance.
blue
I wonder what username pflim040 will use this time to post his political rhetoric.
chaz_hen
Who cares? Isn't he/she free to do so in HK and most of the outside world, still?
blue
Maybe he should use his regular username rather than hiding behind aliases? Why does he need to obfuscate every single post he makes? It creates this false appearance that there's massive support for Occupy Central.

Sure he's free to do it. But I am also free to call him out on this rubbish. Freedom of speech works both ways after all. He doesn't hold a monopoly on it.

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