• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 9:05pm
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POLITICAL REFORM

Most still want public to name leader: HKU poll

Majority of Hongkongers want power to pick candidates for 2017 election, rather than leaving it to nominating committee, survey reveals

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 November, 2013, 5:07am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 November, 2013, 11:06am

Despite a thumbs-down from Beijing loyalists and officials, a poll has found that most Hongkongers favour the pan-democrats' proposal that all voters should be able to nominate chief executive candidates.

A Hong Kong University poll of about 1,000 residents found 62 per cent favoured the idea of "public nomination" for the 2017 election, when universal suffrage is due to be introduced. Only 27 per cent said candidates should continue to be put forward by a nominating committee.

The Alliance for True Democracy, which commissioned the poll, has vowed to table its own electoral reform plan, based on the findings, early next year.

"The survey clearly demonstrated that Hongkongers … are seriously concerned about the political [screening] role of the nominating committee," said Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, convenor of the alliance of 26 pan-democratic lawmakers.

Christopher Lau Gar-hung of radical group People Power called the result a "slap in the face" for the Civic Party's Ronny Tong Ka-wah. Tong tabled a more moderate proposal last month after Beijing-loyalists claimed public nomination contravened the Basic Law.

"I hope he can turn back and promote public nomination with us," Lau said.

The Basic Law states that chief executive candidates should be nominated by a "broadly representative" committee. But pan-democrats have been advocating public nomination because they fear such a committee could screen out candidates unacceptable to the central government.

The idea has been condemned by pro-Beijing figures including Zhang Xiaoming, the head of Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong.

Tong had proposed expanding the nominating committee by adding all district councillors because the 1,193-strong panel that nominated and elected the city's leader last year was dominated by Beijing loyalists.

About half the poll respondents said they supported the idea of having a 400-strong nominating committee chosen by a citywide election.

A 1,500-strong nomination committee, an idea similar to Tong's, received only 29 per cent approval, while 39 per cent opposed the idea.

Cheng said since respondents could be inclined to be idealistic in polls, the alliance would discuss technical issues and details before incorporating the ideas into a proposal.

"There were worries that [if we were to directly elect the nominating committee,] there would be too many elections," he said.

"But at least these findings reflect the people's most basic and honest voices."

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This article is now closed to comments

ianson
The NC is in the Basic Law; there's no getting around that. "Public nomination" would require an amendment - fat chance. So why not focus on working within the law to make the NC democratic? Using DCs is a good idea but only provided that they themselves are fully democratically elected, which they are not at present. So why not take all the democratically elected Legislative Councillors (i.e. exclude all FCs) and all democratically elected DCs and have them constitute the NC or give them multiple nomination rights to appoint NC members?
whymak
Will the self-appointed representative of HK morons, who mindlessly regurgitates the term True Democracy, please stand up and tell us the consistent set of attributes defining it? What differentiates True from False Democracy?
How can his army of morons argue his case if they don't know what True Democracy is and why it embodies all governance virtues?
Or is he just one of those religious fanatics after the fashion of Benny Tai, who affirms his Christian faith -- an implication that his God is the true one while others like Allah are fakes?
With academics like these, what hope could we have for our university students?
whymak
Readers speaking personal preferences below demonstrate an inability to think because they argue everything on self-destructive passion: the majority is always right.
Hindsight is 20-20. Past majority passions provoking and initiating wars are never correct in retrospect. Yet Western democracies' wars of aggression always have blessings by an overwhelming majority.
From Thailand to Egypt to Libya, all majority riots traumatize nations with unspeaking violence for decades, and some well over a century. France, arguably the most civilized, took 1 1/2 centuries - from Robespierre's Reign of Terror to de Gaulle, before it finally achieved stability by a majority ruled government.
Due to corruptions unavoidably linked with populism - bribing voters with entitlements and pleasures in foreign wars, many Western nations have become deadbeats and are highly dysfunctional with frequent government gridlocks.
Should the Spirit of Hong Kong be one accommodating our predominant Chinese culture, one filled with destructive dynastic struggles, tyrannies and so much human misery, or the primrose path of guaranteed failure of the West, or a third rail - a cautious trial and error method based on knowledge and reason?
HK is now ungovernable. It takes only 1% activists out of 10%, about 7,000 people, who disagree with one administrative decision, to stage a noisy demonstration. If you have to "listen to these people," you have no time for anything else.
Wake up, HK Morons!
andao
When 62 percent of the population opposes a law, no matter how Basic it is, it should be changed.
At the very least, can Beijing and DAB stop the farce that they are representing the will of the HK people? It's been proven false time and time again, and insulting to HKers' intelligence. None of this "broadly representative nominating committee" nonsense. Just say "we will stack the NC with people we like, because Beijing has sovereignty over Hong Kong and its our right to do so." Honesty is a virtue.
321manu
" Beijing-loyalists claimed public nomination contravened the Basic Law."
---OMG OMG the sky is falling! Everyone knows Basic Law can simply not be contravened, lest unicorns will roam the earth and pigs will come flying out of CY Leung's backside. "Beijing-loyalists" are a funny breed.
Anyway, this will be an early litmus test before 2017 even comes around. Will it be "genuine democracy", or "genuine democracy with Chinese characteristics"?

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