Democracy in Hong Kong

Lack of political tolerance

Law professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting spearheaded the Occupy Central movement. Photo: Felix Wong

There was a time when injustices were rife, corruption a way of life, and wealth accumulated for the favoured few who were appointees to the legislative and executive councils, and who were mostly British. "Democracy" then was a dirty word to the British colonials.

Monday, 8 April, 2013, 2:04am 4 comments

Elsie Leung warns against 'stupid' votes in 2017 chief executive race

Elsie Leung

If Hongkongers are "stupid enough" to vote for a chief executive candidate who does not meet Beijing's criteria of "loving the country and loving Hong Kong", they should not blame Beijing for the consequences, former justice secretary Elsie Leung Oi-sie says.

8 Apr 2013 - 5:21am 15 comments

Young should take real risks before fighting for democracy

We have come to rely too much on the government and expect it to fix every problem, such as too expensive flats, for us. Photo: Bloomberg

You know why we are always rounding on our government? It's not just because it's undemocratic. Are we unfree and oppressed? Actually, we are freer and richer than most full democracies. What we don't admit is that we have come to rely too much on the government and expect it to fix every problem for us, right now!

8 Apr 2013 - 2:04am 41 comments

Qiao Xiaoyang, the politician who won his critics' respect

Qiao Xiaoyang, the politician who won his critics' respect

Qiao, 67, recently took centre stage when he discussed the city's electoral reform, which will decide the rules of the 2016 Legislative Council and 2017 chief executive elections.

8 Apr 2013 - 5:21am 2 comments

Determined hecklers shout down Hong Kong forum on universal suffrage

About 30 opponents succeeded in disrupting yesterday's forum on universal suffrage at City University, organised by the Alliance for True Democracy. Photo: Edward Wong

A universal suffrage forum organised by a pro-democracy group had to be abandoned after dozens of government supporters turned up and hurled abuse at participants.

8 Apr 2013 - 7:44am 4 comments

State media's long journey to a clear-eyed look at Hong Kong

Qiao Xiaoyang. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Whether someone who is regarded as "confronting" Beijing could be Hong Kong's future chief executive has been the subject of much debate recently. But it still came as a surprise to many that the overseas edition of the People's Daily ran a piece quoting criticism by pan-democrats of Beijing's latest stand.

8 Apr 2013 - 5:21am

What's being said on

Benny Tai Yiu-ting proposed the 'Occupy Central' mass protest plan. Photo: Felix Wong

On Beijing's warning to pan-democrats over possible mass protests, and the dock workers' dispute in Hong Kong.

3 Apr 2013 - 3:29am

Qiao Xiaoyang conjures a democracy of exclusion

Deputy Secretary General of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC), Qiao Xiaoyang. Photo: Robert Ng

Can you have one person, one vote while still backsliding on universal suffrage? The latest pronouncement by Qiao Xiaoyang seems to suggest this. The chairman of the National People's Congress' law committee said any chief executive candidate would need majority support from a nomination committee.

28 Mar 2013 - 3:30am 3 comments

Opponents must seek common ground on Hong Kong's universal suffrage

Qiao Xiaoyang. Photo: Robert Ng

Hong Kong is at last having the discussion that it has long needed. Qiao Xiaoyang, the chairman of the National People's Congress Law Committee, has laid out conditions for the chief executive election in 2017. Pan-democrats have articulated demands. It is early days and the sides are as far apart as could be, but for our city's sake the opposing sides have to find common ground.

27 Mar 2013 - 3:09am 2 comments

Occupy Central plan gets Hong Kong affairs chief's thumbs down

Wang Guangya (centre), director of Beijing's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office attends a seminar in Shenzhen with pro-establishment lawmakers. Photo: SCMP

Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, says Hongkongers prefer not to see the city being "messed up" when asked about a law academic's proposal to block roads in Central district.

25 Mar 2013 - 5:30am 2 comments

Pan-democrats fear party screening after Shenzhen meeting

Albert Ho Chun-yan. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Defeated pan-democratic chief-executive candidate Albert Ho Chun-yan, along with the pro-democracy camp, slammed Beijing for "screening out" from ruling the city those whom they consider as "confronting the central government".

25 Mar 2013 - 9:01am 1 comment

Pan-democrats demands for reform must be guided by reason

The first meeting of Pan-democrats new platform on political reform. Photo: David Wong

Upset by the government's reluctance to make an early start on constitutional reform, pan-democrat lawmakers have stepped up the campaign with an alliance pushing for genuine universal suffrage. The next challenge for them is to come up with a clear proposal - one that stands a good chance of winning support in Beijing and Hong Kong.

25 Mar 2013 - 2:37am 2 comments

Alliance a recipe for democratic impasse

Alliance for True Democracy. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

The pan-democrats put on a show of unity last week by forming the Alliance for True Democracy to fight for "genuine" universal suffrage. But despite all that hand-holding for the photo op, there is no unity in this camp. Just their sheer number - 12 political groups - gives away the charade.

25 Mar 2013 - 9:01am 7 comments

Letters to the Editor, March 23, 2013

A milk formula ad is displayed on a bus. Photo: David Wong

I refer to the letter from Clara Shek, of the Council of Public Relations Firms of Hong Kong ("Baby milk marketing ban a blunt weapon that will hurt HK", March 16).

23 Mar 2013 - 2:57am

Our democracy offers flaws for thought

The Alliance for True Democracy. Hong Kong should look to countries in northwestern Europe and Scandinavia for better models of democracy. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Is Hong Kong a flawed democracy? According to the 2012 Democracy Index, we are. The phrase is an oxymoron if ever there was one. But perhaps this is what democracy has to recommend itself: it is always flawed, but rarely catastrophically, unlike dictatorships and authoritarian regimes.

22 Mar 2013 - 4:00am 12 comments