• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 7:16pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 September, 2013, 2:21am

Support moderates who compromise

I went into the third and last Leung Chun-ying "consultation" dinner thinking it would be a waste of time. I came out more hopeful that a deal is possible to achieve universal suffrage by 2017.

Judging by their presence at the gathering, the moderates among the pan-democratic and pro-establishment/Beijing camps are closer to each other than they are respectively to the hardliners on the mainland and the youngish democracy radicals in Hong Kong. Indeed, we can no longer allow ourselves to pigeonhole politicians and activists with such simplistic and outmoded political labels. Among the moderates on both sides, there have emerged roughly shared ideas about what the election system for the chief executive in 2017 would look like.

They mostly agree there can be no screening or disqualifying of pan-democratic candidates solely on the basis of their ideology or party affiliation. However, the idea of making all 3.5 million voters members of the nomination committee - a proposal made by the activist group Scholarism and the Civic Party, among other pan-dem groupings - is a non-starter. Such a committee is mandated by the Basic Law and the proposal will do away with it in all but name.

However, it will have to be "broadly representative" of Hong Kong society. Yes, but how?

Moderates agree there are no real conflicts between "the democratic procedures" mentioned in the Basic Law and general criteria in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) under the United Nations. In truth, Article 39 of the Basic Law recognises the provisions in the ICCPR, which protect universal and equal suffrage and the right and opportunity without undue restrictions to vote and to be elected. Yet, a false impression has been created in Hong Kong because democracy radicals often quote the ICCPR against pro-Beijing figures while mainland officials and their local allies cite the Basic Law to mean whatever they want it to mean.

Many Hong Kong people don't care about politics and belong to neither camp. But now is the time to stand up and support those moderates who are willing to negotiate and compromise. We must speak out now before our future is hijacked by extremists and hardliners on both sides.


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This article is now closed to comments

Illogical twadle. If all 3.5 million voters get to nominate candidates, then by definition the much vaunted ''silent majority'' get their say and the ''hardliners and extremists'' on both sides are marginalised. Simples. Look, it is quite obvious, a one-party state knows no other way of doing its political business than, at the very least, knowing who will win the election before the election takes place. Democracy, like life, is messy. Dictators like power and will do anything to hang on to it. Get real and stop trying to dress up brown nosing with arguments that are beneath you Alex.
John Adams
Very good article Mr Lo.
I agree with you and I am sick and tired of the extremists
CY Leung invited me to dinner, we had a lovely meal and a few glasses of wine, and I now see that he's a perfectly reasonable nice guy and we should all support him.
What is a "democracy radical", exactly? Someone who wants the vote? What an outrageous demand!
You've been going on and on about this meal for weeks Alex, but still we don't know what was on the menu. Sounds a bit like the Government's plans for 2017, doesn't it? Does this thought make me an extremist or a moderate?
I am not into extremists or hardliners but they sometime wake us up to perform accordingly. Can more views and belief of the moderates come up or reveal to support the majority HKers? Time for unity to make HK better.
i know! these frigging extremists want to be able to vote for their leader! its ridiculous! i am so sick of these unreasonable people too!
hard times !
it is no surprise that Mr.Alex Lo was invited to the third dinner party on consutlation of the political reforms since his comments used to be considered moderate and can be 'accepted' by the Leung administration---he may be considered as a moderate pro-establishment element in both C.Y.fans and pan-democrats' eyes.Right ? Of course, moderates should dominate our future politcal reforms since it is the best solution to all those scuffles on our promised universal suffrage.No restriction on the candidates but no public nomination as suggested by the ideal Scholarism (as students,their idealistic thought can be understood).Yet anyway,the formation of the Nominating Committee should be enlarged and widely represent all sectors of the society so that their nominations can be trustworthy and acceptable.
Great article Alex. I particularly like the last bit where you called on people to support moderates on either side who are willing to compromise and negotiate.
Ofcourse, that should be 'twaddle'' witha double 'd'!


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