• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 6:31pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 November, 2013, 4:32am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 November, 2013, 4:53am

Public nomination stance could hurt drive for democracy

Is Hong Kong not ready for democracy? This is a rhetorical question frequently asked by democrats. We all know the answer, so let's not get struck on it. A more realistic question is, "Is Beijing ready for Hong Kong to become a democracy?" I know the typical unthinking answer from our usual hate-China suspects would be a resounding, "NO!"

But let's pause for a moment. The answer to Beijing's readiness or not is actually far from clear. I am not sure our top leaders have a clear answer at this moment. Basic Law Committee head Li Fei has only presented a framework, not a fixed position.

It has been Beijing's strategy to slow, but not to halt, democratic development in Hong Kong. It has insisted, until now, on controlling the composition and numbers of the election committee which alone has the voting right to choose the chief executive. Beijing is now ready to transfer that voting right to every eligible voter in Hong Kong. Think about what that means for an authoritarian dictatorship to do that.

That is universal suffrage by any definition. It is, however, not fair or "real" suffrage, in the rhetoric of many pan-democrats, because of the screening of candidates. That Beijing will still influence the background, numbers and composition - indeed the very existence of a nominating committee - means that such a full suffrage will fall short of international practices. It is, however, right out of the Basic Law. I don't deny the pan-democrats may win out yet. Bear in mind that sovereignty-obsessed Beijing was willing to grant considerable sovereignty-like powers to the two SARs, a subject I discussed previously. That could mean it could go all the way on democracy too. However, it is a no less valid position, held by many Hong Kong people but demonised by most pan-dems, that it is ok to accept a "broadly representative" nominating committee for 2017, with the proviso that it is not the endpoint, but a stepping stone, to full and FAIR democracy.

That would get the ball rolling on negotiations by focusing on the composition of the committee.

The all-or-nothing demand of many, but not all, pan-dems on public nomination is becoming a distraction; it may get us everything - or, more likely, nothing.

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321manu
World Bank 2012 GDP growth data: China 7.8%; Egypt 2.2%; HK 1.5%; India 3.2%; Italy (-)2.4%; Japan 1.9%; Russia 3.4%; Singapore 1.3%; Spain (-) 1.4%; UK 0.3%; US 2.2%. Google it if you want the rest of the list. Obviously, and as you have even acknowledged, China is at a much different point in development. Excepting China, in the rest of those states listed here, HK was a median performer. It was also one of 2 without universal suffrage, but it was arguably one of 8 with rule of law, an independent judiciary, and other pillars of democracy.
Furthermore, obviously, sectarian violence and racial upheaval are non-issues in HK.
So what/where is the basis for your reflexive knee-jerk doom and gloom assessment of HK's future with political democratization? What makes you think that her growth will fall off the cliff with universal suffrage? Will making HK politically in greater resemblance to that cohort suddenly make her much less successful than that cohort?
Now, obviously, HK benefits from doing business with CHina. She does so now. What will change if HK gets further democratic rights? Sure, HK might want to "harmonize" (classic CCP buzz-word if I ever heard one) business practices with CHina. But what stops her from doing so while progressing with democracy? Note the political divergence between HK and China in the last 16 years, and the sky has not fallen. If it's "facts" you seek (and i'm never so sure with your type), nothing demands political convergence.
lexishk
You immediately invalidate your entire argument by cherry-picking democracies that have various issues at this point in time. Many more democracies in the world do not have such issues. IF Chinese society also had no issues, and her history was not "littered with disasters" resultant from her own political system, then you might have a point. But every intellectually honest person knows this is far from the case.
whymak
Camel:
No use to rebut people obsessed with a single issue – a McCarthyite hate-China fixation. They want chaotic elections with morons standing for political office because anarchy enhances their chance to seize power. With HK as a base, then they could subvert China.
One more word from you that China is not evil incarnate, you will get an immediate eviction-from-HK threat and exile-to-mainland notice.
The “science guy” jousting with you is even more economically illiterate than democrat Yeltsin. Yeltsin declared freedom for all Russians. Never mind his intent, the result was unlimited license for a few obligarchs to steal resources and raid capital stock. The result: the disintegration of social fabric and economic meltdown after Yeltsin democracy.
Yeltsin couldn’t run trains, let alone manage the economy. Yet he was universally praised by Democracy cultists. Imagine someone like Yeltsin become HK CE?
Why do I call this science guy an economics illiterate? He sought to display sanity by quoting single period GDP growth figures. However, he achieved just the opposite effect – singing looney tunes to qualify for the asylum.
Does a sane person use a single period revenue or profit to determine market value of a firm? Obviously, he knows nothing about business cycles of countries, or the ABC of growth economics.
Let him have the last word. The more he sings, the sooner will the warden who discharged him last catch up with him?
johnyuan
PCC,
.
I enjoy reading your posts (comments) and respect of your convictions in being encompassing and fair. Your adios is premature. Take a break but come back soon.
.
John Yuan
pslhk
whymak has written what may prove
this year’s best discourse on democracy
-
Hong Kong students will benefit enormously
if Education Bureau publishes an anthology of whymak’s comments
and makes it an required reading for English and Liberal Studies classes
-
In contrast, pandem’s shibboleths all read like eight-legged classics
When may copycat “intellectuals” learn to develop their own best courses
and not to blindly rush into outlandish graves made for other people’s destinies
whymak
"...the proviso that it is not the endpoint, but a stepping stone, to full and FAIR democracy." I am surprised Mr. Lo the philosopher uses such loose, worst of all, vacuous language.
Since we don't have a definition for FAIR & TRUE Democracy, let alone an operational definition with thought experiments, I will play the devil's advocate by citing an exhaustive list of attributes from existing democracies, US, Spain, India, Italy, Egypt, etc.
Here are the results: slow growth, mountains of debt, poverty, governance gridlocks, political polarization with sectarian, racial violence aplenty. Feel free to quote me intangibles such as freedom and happiness. Talk to me again when you have valid measurements.
I've shown you this Promised Land. Should we traipse, worse, rush mindlessly down the primrose path leading to it?
China is trailblazing her own socio-economic, political path because she saw how Western history, as well as hers, is littered with disasters. HK starts out from an advanced stage of development, our aspirations and plans should be substantively different from China's.
Yet HK's economic and security dependence requires us to explore future convergences that could result in optimized welfare for us -- harmonized development with China's developing systems and processes.
In governance evolution, HK & China are still a tabla rasa. Why do we want to rush headlong into predestined failure - historic ruins of democracy?
321manu
Furthermore, HK and China are not comparable in terms of "governance evolution". HK has key features which China still painfully lacks, like the aforementioned rule of law and judicial independence. HK has far greater readiness now for further democratization than China. If you want to argue that China isn't ready for it, be my guest. But your contention that HK is not ready for it, is not rooted in reality.
Now, as part of China, HK will never be completely on par with those other states, simply because constitutional rights will be at Beijing's direction. But at least HK will be able to uphold China's constitution in a far more transparent way than China does herself. And that should certainly not be an impediment to further democratization for HK.
So sure, in terms of governance, both HK and CHina have to evolve. But HK is far ahead of China in that process, and there is no need to wait around for China to catch up (cuz who knows how long that will take, if ever).
pslhk
Borelli
-1/2-
You contradict yourself alleging
“whymak has hardly provided any analysis whatsoever”
You posted your analytic attempts (25Nov 11am)
in reply to whymak’s analysis of (25 Nov 6am)
-
Your analytic endeavor was full of holes partly because
you asked questions already addressed by whymak
in his many comments posted in this forum
-
Ignorance may be cured
if one listens or reads humbly and carefully
But your blindness seems incurable
such blindness aggravated by unusual and seemingly
uncontrollable antagonism so manifest in your comments
-
You can’t learn on your own
so I’d help you and clarify my observation of you being stuck
“in the operative’s level of procedural analyses “
You need idiot-friendly analyses
with someone holding your hand to lead you along in baby steps
and idiot-friendly analyses are what you expect from others
-
Have you found out why you’re Borelli?
困而學之,又其次也;
困而不學,民斯為下矣
pslhk
- 2/2 -
-
That’s why you are a hollow man
-
full of holes which you fill with all sorts of antagonism
lack of friends (see, no one put in a word for you)
lack of interesting hobbies (dull taste and intelligence)
lack of vision (seeing the world thru 19th century political ideologies)
-
Now you may see why I keep responding to your rubbish
though there are all other interesting things I need or want to do
-
孟子•論四端
乍見孺子將入於井,皆有怵惕
-
Go play ball
or if you still intend to develop your analytic skills
submit further analytic attempts on non-personal matters
no more rubbish please
and see if whymak still has the patience to correct your papers
whymak
Camel:
The economics illiterate’s obsessive compulsion didn’t disappoint us. He’s continuing to spill more beans of cult rage and ignorance.
In Solow’s neoclassical growth theory - the gold standard for GDP growth accounting, the system variable is GDP per capita. The progression of this value, and savings rate, total factor productivity – what can’t be accounted for by capital and labor – together will yield a picture of economic development.
The science guy showed irrelevant figures – average GDP and he keeps asking: Why do you ignore my questions. Well you should.
What is the meaningful period for averaging? He doesn’t know it’s a dynamic problem with a steady state – conditional convergence.
We have a cultist nut case. Like many low IQ bananas who can write fluent English but can’t think, his economic illiteracy betrays low awareness and a cultist fixation.
His derangement shows. Like Jesus freaks, every point begins and ends why you can’t accept Jesus (elections). The be-all-end-all argument is: Morons like him coagulated together instantly via an election will become a fountain of wisdom and good government. We know better. Give Conquistadors swords, we would be first beheaded then baptized.
I am beginning to enjoy this voice ensemble, which is developing into a Mozart opera buffa rather than Verdi.
Oops, I forgot. Universal value blockheads don’t appreciate Western art, literature and music.

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