• Wed
  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 4:41am
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Survey shows support for screening out 'unpatriotic' chief executive hopefuls

Hongkongers slightly in favour of committee weeding out anti-Beijing chief executive hopefuls

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 February, 2014, 3:49am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 February, 2014, 4:56pm

Pan-democrats might do well to sit up and take notice of the latest survey on political reform - more Hongkongers support than oppose screening out "unpatriotic" chief executive hopefuls.

The survey found 38 per cent of locals favoured allowing the nominating committee for the 2017 election to screen out candidates it deemed unpatriotic and confrontational to Beijing.

Some 36 per cent objected to the idea, said the Alliance for True Democracy, a grouping of 26 out of 27 pan-democratic lawmakers that commissioned the poll.

"It is a warning signal to us," alliance convenor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek said yesterday. "We need to work very hard to convince and explain to Hongkongers the danger of political vetting. It seems Hongkongers are unsure of the intention of screening."

This was the first time the Alliance had posed this question to the public.

Researchers at the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme, which interviewed 1,030 people from January 23 to 29, cautioned against reading too much into the difference of about 2 percentage points.

The support and opposition rates could be perceived as equivalent, statistically, as the margin of error in the study was plus or minus 3 per cent, the programme's research manager Frank Lee Wai-kin said.

The survey also found half of the interviewees believed the nominating committee should be required to endorse candidates who had secured enough nominations from the public, while 18 per cent disagreed.

About 40 per cent said the government should not cap the number of candidates, against 33 per cent who disagreed.

Interviewees who opposed modelling the nominating committee on the composition of the election committee dropped a significant 11 percentage points to 42 per cent, compared with the programme's first study on the topic, conducted in October. About 21 per cent of respondents backed the idea.

The results might be a product of recent government propaganda on the ongoing public consultation on electoral reform, Cheng said.

The election committee which elected Leung Chun-ying in 2012 had 1,193 members. The committee is often criticised as being unrepresentative.

As for the Legislative Council election in 2016, 47 per cent called for all functional constituencies to be abolished by then. Only 15 per cent said the seats, which represent trade and professional sectors, should be kept.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

nmp_inc
No civic nomination essentially means "Beijing people ruling Hong Kong" not "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong." The SCMP's omission of the heavy mainland official and local SAR government political campaign to frame the political exclusion of pro-democracy candidates as 'normal,' 'natural,' 'legitimate' and consistent with the Basic Law speaks volumes. Self-censorship is bad enough, but manipulation of the public through selective presentation of 'facts' is worse. Essentially SCMP becomes part of the united front by the local and central governments to force Hongkongers to accept the authoritarian position that the Basic Law allows screening of candidates based on political reasons - which it does not. Not even the NPCSC decisions or interpretations to date have been so explicit albeit quite clearly this is the intent, i.e. to exclude Hong Kong's political undesirables, the pan-democrats. Something which SCMP seems to be passively aiding and abetting.
laurencecheukyingrahamwells
SCMP, I protest your misleading title to this article, which says that the result of the survey, according to Joseph Cheng, are "statistically equivalent", but the title clearly gives the impression that there is significantly more support for weeding out so-called "unpatriotic" candidates. People read the headlines first, and don't always have time to even glance at the article. It is your responsibility to act in a professional manner. The title should the concise, highlighted, short summary of the article.
 
 
 
 
 

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