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My Take
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 3:44am

Why I can't help sitting on the fence

Someone's got my number. A critic in a blog, which I will call "Small Melon, Various Fruits", describes my column as a "Beijing-sympathetic-but-not-pro-Communist, pluralistic-but-not-pro-dem act." I couldn't have used fewer words if I tried to explain myself to my elderly parents.

For that, he said I surely deserve a Bronze Bauhinia Star. Just bronze? I was hoping for gold, despite the precious metal's price plunge. But I doubt Leung Chun-ying, our government boss, would consider me for the august prize, given the disproportionate number of nasty columns I have devoted to rounding on his government. My fruity critic has a much more impressive routine, though, a sort of "I feel compassion for Hong Kong but only because I'm so much cleverer than the natives". We have plenty of expats with that sort of superiority complex that is constantly hinted at but a social taboo to admit to. That would be too arrogant and possibly racist now, wouldn't it?

As for my sitting on the fence, which a few readers of his blog apparently consider a sin, I can't help myself. Sorry, there are just no real communists in China to join forces with; those who still fancy themselves as such are either nutcases or nonagenarians dozing off in Zhongnanhai.

What about my failure to support the pan-dems? Well, I don't know about you, but I really find it hard to side with such old drama queens as Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Jimmy Lai Chee-ying and Martin Lee Chu-ming. Perhaps my blogging critic likes and admires those kiddies from Scholarism, as many in Hong Kong apparently do. As a father, I consider it bad parenting to let children spend so much time holding forth in press conferences and fighting city hall.

We live in an age of democracy and there is no rolling back the clock. But as soon as you point out there might be problems, you unfailingly hear the same comeback: "No one ever says democracy is perfect/ideal/a cure-all …." But the way some people fetishise "democracy" and brook no criticism, you kind of get the impression they really think it's godly perfection itself. Well, at least they believe in something.

My dear critic seems to believe, first and last, in his own witticisms and cynicism. There are at least some "isms" he believes in.

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johnyuan
Without details, any political system is you think and I think. And this is what civilization has made politics and in great extent the uncertainty is the effect of mass education. Original pure principled form remains in name. More have transformed into a concoction of many. I have lived to see democracy ideally practiced in the 60s of last century in the US to the present of its questionable form. I also have lived to see Communism in China of non-private property ownership to become capitalism of ownership of all kinds. Not the least, I even witnessed Hong Kong a colony, its last governor did all he could to bring in democracy. Political system without details can’t serve us any good. The name of a political system has more become a hindrance preventing engagement among us. In conclusion I can assure you there is no guarantee in politics. But having all said of my observation I still hope I had taken Poly (Political) Science 101 course to understand politic so to prove myself wrong that actually there is order in the world’s politic which we can depend on.
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John Adams
Mr Lo, I strongly suspect that you speak for the 95% fence-sitting majority.
You certainly speak for me.
But unlike the 94.99999% silent fence-sitting majority who don't speak out ( the other 0.00001% being your -ism-based critics) you do speak out.
Thanks.

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