• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 10:30am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 May, 2013, 2:47am

The gutsy and gutless among pan-dems

Whatever you think about the four filibustering lawmakers, at least they took a principled stance. Not so their 20-plus pan-democratic colleagues in the legislature. They didn't want to alienate many of their core supporters for whom any antics that cause trouble or embarrassment for the government are welcome. Yet they also knew most people in Hong Kong thought the whole episode was a waste of time and public resources. So they sat on the fence, saying they didn't support the four so-called radicals. Yet they wasted no opportunity in rounding on Legislative Council President Jasper Tsang Yok-sing when he cut off the marathon sessions that lasted 11 days.

Even those four lawmakers had earlier agreed to shorten the filibustering - the ostensible purpose of which was to fight for a universal pension - because they knew they had little public support; rather much animosity.

Tsang has one of the most thankless jobs in local politics. I am puzzled as to what reasonable people think he could have done differently. He could have barred the filibuster from the start or allowed it to go on for another 50 days, the time estimated by the "radicals" to complete a shortened version of their manoeuvre. Since neither option was feasible, he let the filibuster run for 11 days. To debate all 710 amendments, the four estimated they needed 148 debate sessions, of which only 17 had been completed.

So all the great and good from the pan-democratic camp - Emily Lau Wai-hing, Cyd Ho Sau-lan, Alan Leong Kah-kit and Claudia Mo Man-ching - took turns to denounce Tsang, who has been accused of abusing his power, doing a hatchet job for the government and subverting the democratic process. Would the pan-dems feel better if Tsang let it go on for another 20 or 30 days? I bet it doesn't matter how long he let the filibustering run, in the end he would still have been denounced as a government stooge. The four radicals may be wrong-headed, but they have guts. More than ever, the pan-dems need to demonstrate they have the statue and statesmanlike quality in their fight for full democracy.

But the Civic Party's Ronny Tong Ka-wah has it exactly right this time: "I fear our popularity will decline because people will feel we are wasting time."


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This article is now closed to comments

John Adams
Personally I am sick to death of the pro-dems : their hypocrisy, their lack of any real principles, their in-fighting (a "jar of scorpions") and especially the childish antics of the filibuster "gang of four"
Once there was a time when I voted for the Democratic Party in the days of Martin Lee when the Democratic Party deserved a capital "D". That time is long since past , sad to say
Now they are just the pro-dems. (I am not even sure what the "dem" means anymore ! Does it mean silly demonstrations ? Because that's all the pro-dems seem to do these days)
It seems that the pro-dem "law -makers" are fast turning into "law-breakers" : at least as far as commonsense rule of law and decent democratic behavior is concerned.
They certainly lost my vote long ago.
hard times !
do you think that you yourself an old guy of principle ? Definitely not ! You oppose the pan-democrats no matter what they say and what they do ! You oppose the local pan-democrats since you are sent here from the North as a group member of the monitoring group to hit our supporters of the pan-democrats in town and of course,the pan-democrats themselves.Shame on you and your nasty words and mindset ! A hired so-called 'writer'here is both highly despised and condemned by all righteous readers and contributors here (including this Old Hong Kong who has been your opponent two months ago when you supported 'whymak' in attacking our respected and beloved Professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting for his 'Occupy Central' Movement---a civil-disobedience movement to demand a geniune universal suffrage in 2017 only ! Shame on you and your alike here !!
The pandems' attitude is not merely ambivalent, it's outright ambiguous! The only guiding principle in their lives is to oppose whatever the government and the pro-establishment people do, i.e. oppose for the sake of opposition! Shame on them!! (Hey Alex, they're actually highly principled!!)
Yeah, them coming out and denouncing Tsang was a head-scratcher for me, seeing how silent they were during the actual filibuster.
hard times !
to speak the truth,personally I am also sick of your accusations against our pan-democarts in town who dared to advocate setting up an independent committee to investigate into the Tong Hin-ming's scandal while the pro-establishment elements refused ! Besides,the filifbustering of the four so-called radical lawmakers:Leung Kwok-hung and Wong Yuk-man,Chan Wai-yip and Chan Chi-chuen was for the universal retirement scheme of the poor elderly in town---not for their own benefits and the proposal was written in their election platforms' pamphlets too ! Of course you are not sure what the 'dem' means since you claimed to be a Ph.d holder thirty years ago ! What a crook and hypocrite you yourself are ! Stop misleading our dear readers here, i advise you or you will receive the same treatment as that self-claimed former teacher and scientist,'whymak' ! Just wait and see.ha ! ha !
hard times !
are you really'bluechinagroup' ? You are one of the 'redchinagroup' members indeed !Right ? ha ! ha !
"or you will receive the same treatment as that self-claimed former teacher and scientist,'whymak' ! Just wait and see.ha ! ha !"

I'm pretty sure whymak didn't even notice or care about your "treatment". I sure as hell don't. You're a broken record. Always repeating the same line.


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