• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 8:25pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 4:37am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 4:37am

Reform Legco's functional constituencies

Two government reports on electoral reforms offer no specific proposals, but purport only to provide summaries of public views. But what they don't say offers clues as to what Hong Kong and mainland officials are aiming at. I am afraid it does not augur well for a truly representative nominating committee for chief executive candidates.

Many people realise public nomination is a non-starter. That's why many pan-democrats' fight for it is both quixotic and counterproductive. The reports are not wrong to minimise a method that has almost zero chance of being realised, even though it has been the focal point of the most confrontational activists.

But many people still hope to have a nominating committee that is democratically representative enough to satisfy any reasonable definition of universal suffrage. This is a fight worth fighting and the reports should set alarm bells ringing.

Notice there are five sections on the method of choosing the chief executive in 2017 and only one about forming the Legislative Council in 2016.

"We need to focus on reforming the chief executive election because it involves complicated procedures, but there is no need to amend the 2016 election method," Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said yesterday. Accordingly, he made the same recommendation to the standing committee of the National People's Congress.

The stated rationale is that the chief executive election is more important. But the unstated reason is that by not reforming the Legco election, the government can keep the existing functional constituencies largely intact. This is clearly what Beijing wants.

Why preserve those rotten boroughs if the goal is to achieve a fully elected Legco in 2020? The simple answer is that the functional constituencies are needed to preserve their own membership in the future nominating committee.

It would be exceedingly odd to get rid of many if not most of them in Legco while allowing those trades to continue representation in the committee. But their heavy presence risks undermining the committee's legitimacy. The real - and realistic - democratic fight should be to dilute their presence and influence in the nominating committee and Legco.


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This article is now closed to comments

I fully agree with you and gunzy. We should work together to change the system, with animosity and distrust nothing can be changed
As you said, the 2 reports are useless and the whole exercise was a waste of time. The Basic Law won't be amended, at least not with this much animosity.
A few other "waste of time":
-The HKUPOP vote referendum
-The various protest rallies and sit-in's
-The point of protesting the New Town planning board
-The point of protesting HKTV
-The arrests on July 1st
-The radical lawmakers (more like lawbreakers)
-The antics of the radical lawmakers
-Practically everything to do with Occupy Central (was this ever going to go anywhere?)
Instead of working within the system to make it better, we have wasted time opposing one another.
Instead of changing things within the system, we have wasted time protesting on issues that were deadends from the start instead of spending that time reviewing how to properly reform LegCo.
We only have ourselves to blame for how slowly things have progressed in terms of Legislative reform.
John Adams
The FCs are indeed rotten to the core.
They have long out-lived their use-by date and are a sick blight on our legislative process
This is why these 2 reports are useless - retention of the FCs completely unjustifiable in terms of democratic development. The whole exercise was a complete waste of time. The Basic Law needs to be amended but this won't happen and so the existing completely skewered and dysfunctional system remains in place.
Dai Muff
Dump them. The reason Leung wants to keep them is because they will affect the nominating committee and ensure a non-representative nominating committee.
Alex and guys, any takers for a joint letter to the Chief Secretary/Chief Executive on yesterday's electoral reform report?
Yes, I agree we need to reform Legco's functional constituencies. We should either get rid of it altogether or if this is too drastic by 2016, at least increase the geographical proportion from 50% to 75-80% to give better representation for the public.
There are several aspects of the government's report on electoral reform I find disappointing. The main one being leaving the make-up of Legco intact for 2016. The other is the government not being pro-active enough to represent the wishes of Hong Kong people to Beijing. What I mean by this is they should have made a recommendation on universal suffrage rather than just leaving it for Beijing to decide.
What we really need is an enthusiastic government to act on our behalf and not a mere messenger!


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