• Fri
  • Sep 19, 2014
  • Updated: 8:05pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 September, 2013, 3:29am

Alliance for True Democracy can still recognise political realities

Wow, there are still some adults in the pan-democratic camp! For a while, I thought they were letting the kids from Scholarism take over the whole movement.

The Alliance for True Democracy has proposed a half-decent plan for reforming the 2016 Legislative Council election as a step towards a fully elected legislature in 2020 or thereafter. The more sensible and realistic reform plans the coalition - or anyone else - draws up, the more pressure there will be on Hong Kong and Beijing to come up with counterproposals that may be acceptable to the public. In the end, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is the one who has to present reform blueprints for a vote in Legco.

But what's reasonable? Well, some ideas for reforms are so ludicrous as to be complete non-starters. Make all 3.5 million voters in Hong Kong members of the nominating committee for the chief executive? That effectively nullifies the committee as required by the Basic Law and is the idea tabled by Scholarism. Kids, let me give you a hint; the number of committee members has to be somewhere between 3.5 million and 1,200, which was the number of members sitting on the selection committee last year. You are just as much a bonehead for insisting on 3.5 million as a hardcore pro-Beijinger who wouldn't accept anything more than 1,200.

What is really sad is that this "civil nomination" is supported by the Civic Party, NeoDemocrats, the Neighbourhood and Workers Service Centre, the League of Social Democrats and People Power, run by people who are supposedly adults. At least they are not joined by the Democratic Party, the Labour Party and the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood.

Now all these groups are part of the alliance. And that gets us back to its proposal for Legco, which is to shrink the number of seats in the rotten- borough functional constituencies from 30 to 20; and to further dilute their influence, increase the number of directly elected seats to 60.

Why is this reasonable? We can argue over the numbers, but it shows that, in its more rational moments, the alliance can recognise reality, which is the impossibility of getting rid of the powerful rotten boroughs in one go, as radicals and idiots demand.


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This article is now closed to comments

John Adams
Mr Lo,
Doubtless you will get a load of B- S- / anti - comments and emails about articles like this.
But you are raising the right questions, and very correctly so .
Much rather that these issues which will determine our long-term future are fought out in the press (plus a few peaceful demonstrations and Long Hair banana-throws) than what is currently going on in the Middle East .
hard times !
my dear Alex Lo, the Scholarism which is formed by a group of high school students and local undergraduates has never been a partner /participant of the Alliance for True Democracy. How can you expect the noble organisation be taken over by these youngsters ? The proposal of Scholarism to have all people (qualified voters) to vote for the members of the upcoming Nominationg Committee in our Election of Chief Executive did not receive full support of the Alliance---the Democratic Party, the Labour Party and lawmaker,Mr.Fung Kim-kee's party did not buy the proposal at all ---------which shows the spilt of the pan-democratic camp and chuckled at by pro-establishment elements !
Lets thank Donald Tsang's administration for making the problem worse when the number of Functional Constituencies were increased during his administration. How to remove these rotten boroughs when everybody knows 'turkeys don't vote for Christmas'? It's now 4Q 2013 and still no sign of the CMAB's consultation paper and CY still insists there's plenty of time for discussion? We're sitting on a powder keg and nothing is being done to diffuse the situation.
The idea of an election/nomination committee comprising all 3.5m voters is effectively an open primary system, which is very common in the US. Earlier this year, the UK government came very close as well to implementing an open primary system for 200 parliamentary seats. This was originally a Cameron election promise, but plans seem to be shelved or at least paused for now, mainly out of concern about the expense of it all.

Either way, an open primary in Hong Kong may or may not be a good idea (I'd edge towards the latter), but Mr Lo ridiculing it says more about his own limited intelligence than it says about the proposal.

Childish, sneering and badly informed columns like this one are exactly what we don't need if we want an open, honest and meaningful public discussion about the pros and cons of the various possible ways of implementing formal democracy in Hong Kong.


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