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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 12:25am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 July, 2013, 4:39am

Where were my neighbours on July 1?

If those who joined the July 1 march represent Hong Kong's majority, then where are those people in my neighbourhood? Statistically, the odds must be good for me to come across one or more protesters. I ran up and down the road to ask my neighbours this week if they took part on Monday and couldn't find a single one. Maybe they just didn't want people to know about their involvement, but I seriously doubt that.

From my highly unscientific and partisan survey, I conclude that there is the real quiet majority, people who have no time for politics or protest because they are not upset or don't care enough. Sure, I think most Hongkongers like me and my neighbours want full democracy, clean and efficient government and a fairer society. But most of us realise we already live in a free and safe city, with a relatively efficient civil service. Yes, it's a semi-democratic society full of defects and problems, but then what society isn't?

Many of us also don't want to antagonise or confront the central government. This may be for purely pragmatic reasons, but not a few of us may have patriotic respect for Beijing for what it has achieved in a generation by making the country, while not rich, at least not terribly poor like it was. We - like the vast majority of citizens on the mainland and most governments around the world - accept the central government as the legitimate government of China. And we believe it's better to work with Beijing in good faith to bring about full democracy than confronting it at every turn and denouncing mainland officials at every opportunity.

Such reasonable beliefs are not so hard to understand. But our anti-Beijing crowd insists on not understanding them, or ignoring and suppressing them, because they are at variance with their self-righteous and ideology-driven narrative. By definition, we may be in the majority but we don't make enough noise and attract attention. I respect people's right to protest, but I resent being presented with false choices - democracy good, Beijing evil - as if we were facing an existential moral crisis.

Like most ordinary people, I don't get invited to spring receptions with mainland honchos and local ministers. But if there is an occasion where a mainland official is present and wants to shake everyone's hand, I would certainly shake his as a respectful gesture. If my children tried to join those HKU or Scholarism under-aged protesters, I would ground them for a week and cut their allowances for a month. When the national anthem is played at a public event, I expect them to stand up.

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Dai Muff
And what are YOU unconsciously following?
wwong888
so whymak, you have clearly pointed out the flaws you see with democracy, primarily by listing a few failed democracies in third world countries... may i ask what you propose? you propose an extension of the kleptocratic authoritarian communist party governance to hong kong? or do you think the current governance structure in hk is appropriate and effective? or do you think you should be in charge given your infinite wisdom as a retired IT consultant with some basic knowledge of world events? please, inquiring minds want to know. otherwise you are no different than the pan-dem supporting trolls you spend most of your time bashing. i am awaiting your response. thanks.
johnyuan
There is no intrinsic virtue in silent (quiet) majority. On the contrary, when government and citizen sway from proper conduct with impunity, it is mainly they were acquiesced by the silent majority who become followers. Without them Peter Piper can’t sing all the tunes.
.......
Correction: Quiet majority is not equivalent to silent majority. The latter is just momentarily not noisy.
John Adams
Mr Lo
Perhaps a final word....
As you know, I agree fully with your column today
You can take comfort in the fact that the silent majority are by definition silent
A lot of what has been written today in the comments section has been written by the non-silent minority
Fortunately under universal suffrage ( if we get that far) we will all have one vote - silent majority and non-silent minority.
Hopefully by then reason will prevail
wwong888
its always about race isn't whymak... like i said, get over the fact your white boyfriend dumped you for a more exciting man... jeez... there are plenty of other men out there for you
wwong888
not as sad as your pathetic life
impala
So, continue to shine your enlightening vision please. How much information does the current system of CE selection capture? What kind of mandate for a city of 7 million is a largely pre-determined vote by a self-selecting group of 1,200 kleptocrats?
impala
So, continue to shine your enlightening vision please. How much information does the current system of CE selection capture? What kind of mandate for a city of 7 million is a largely pre-determined vote by a self-selecting group of 1,200 kleptocrats?
impala
Yes indeed. And therefore, it is really odd that Mr Lo attempts to use the 'silent majority' argument to make a point that 'we' ('they,' as in: the 'silent majority') don't need (or rather: don't really want) democracy based on universal suffrage.

If anything, it is a great argument in favour if it. With any form of a one-man-one-vote system of proportional representation in the legislature, and a clear mechanism by which the executive power needs majority support from that legislature, or any variant of such arrangement, there will be much less need for marches, protests, demonstrations, hunger-strikes, shouting and so on. Sure, fringe and minority-interest groups may still do this, and that is fine, but at least we can then clearly point to a government that has a mandate to implement whatever policy is at stake. And that will be a mandate precisely from 'the silent majority' (assuming they are not too silent to vote once every 5 years).

If Mr Lo is indeed convinced that there is a large silent majority in Hong Kong that is more or less happy with the DAB line of policy, including the slow but certain rapprochement vis a vis the mainland, then implementing universal suffrage and proportional representation should be a piece of cake. The DAB candidate would then win the first CE election hands-down.

And then we won't have to rely on the likes of Mr Lo to provide us with anecdotal evidence of what may or may not be the opinion of the 'silent majority.'
ngsw
One of the organisers when asked why they do not deploy academic bodies to do the counting said these bodies are NEUTRAL for academic reasons, and the crowds were happy with the 430000 they announced. I prefer 380000, in which 3 and 8 are lucky numbers, and they can manipulate the number and still holding integrity when they declare they stand for democracy. I like democracy, as I can do anything after I have persuade enough people to stand on my side.

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