Democracy in Hong Kong

2017 election is part of China's march to modernity

There was uproar in Hong Kong about Beijing's possible interference in 2017 chief executive election. Photo: Nora Tam

I spent the first two weeks of March in Beijing, attending the National People's Congress session, alongside the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. This year was special, in that we saw election formalities for the new leadership. In other respects, it was similar to previous years.

Friday, 22 March, 2013, 4:00am

Hong Kong upgraded to 'flawed democracy' on Economist index

People queue outside a polling station to vote during the 2012 Legislative Council elections. Photo: Nora Tam

The improvement was credited to an increase in the level of influence that the general electorate had over the outcome of last year’s Legislative Council elections. Voter turnout was also higher than in 2008, the report said.

21 Mar 2013 - 12:48am 2 comments

Letters to the Editor, March 18, 2013

People watch fireworks in a Beijing street. Photo: AFP

After studying how the topic has been discussed over the last 20 plus years, I realise that, like what the experts say about grief over a lost loved one, there are five stages Hongkongers have experienced in their thinking on universal suffrage, although some have occurred simultaneously and not necessarily always in the following order.

18 Mar 2013 - 1:41am 7 comments

Compromise by CY Leung could avert Occupy Central threat

Leung Chun-ying. Photo: Simon Song

The proposed Occupy Central demonstration is over a year away and many things are scheduled to happen before it kicks off. But already it constitutes a clear and present danger both for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the pan-democrats, although the latter seem not to recognise the fact yet.

7 Jun 2013 - 11:40am

Hong Kong needs to start talking now about universal suffrage

The recent debate over the need for a screening mechanism for chief executive candidates has fuelled emotions and unnecessary speculation. Photo: Sam Tsang

With another four years to go before the city is due to choose its leader by one person, one vote, the government seems to think it is in no hurry to flesh out the 2017 electoral arrangements for public discussion. The question of how to move towards a democratically elected legislature by 2020 appears to be even more remote. 

17 Mar 2013 - 2:21am 6 comments

Letters to the Editor, March 16, 2013

Michael Lynch's optimism is justified. Photo: Edward Wong

The lack of a Chinese medicine teaching hospital in Hong Kong has crippled education in this very important field for the past 15 years.

16 Mar 2013 - 2:40am 3 comments

'Occupy' genie is out of the bottle

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

As sure as anything can be in politics, you can be almost certain there will be Occupy Central 2.0. The question is when and how large the protest crowd will be.

16 Mar 2013 - 2:40am 1 comment

Defeatist talk on democracy is contrary to Hong Kong spirit

Deng Xiaoping. Photo: AP

Everyone with half a brain knew that the authorities in Beijing were never going to willingly fulfil the original promise of Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong by democratic means and, indeed, the earliest declarations on this subject, from Deng Xiaoping downwards, indicated that talk of elections was very much in a qualified context.

16 Mar 2013 - 2:40am 2 comments

Hysteria will not hasten democracy

Hysteria will not hasten democracy

So a Beijing-friendly figure had an off-the-record lunch with a bunch of hacks from Hong Kong in which he or she mentioned having "a screening mechanism", like a nominating committee, to pick candidates for the chief executive post in the 2017 election.

13 Mar 2013 - 3:00am 7 comments

Lawmaker Albert Ho may sacrifice 'super seat' for democracy fight

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

Former Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan has thrown his weight behind a plan to occupy Central to press for democracy, saying he may quit his "super seat" in the legislature to trigger a by-election on the issue.

9 Mar 2013 - 5:10am 2 comments

Occupy Central plan amounts to tyranny of minority

Benny Tai Yiu-ting. Photo: SCMP

Unlike Occupy Wall Street - a "leaderless resistance movement" of the 99 per cent against the "greed and corruption of the one per cent", as it proclaims on its website - Occupy Central is more a campaign than a movement. It is not concerned with social and economic inequality, but with one-man-one-vote elections.

1 Mar 2013 - 3:32am 2 comments

Fast-track for Benny Tai's blockade for universal suffrage?

Albert Chan Wai-yip. Photo: Sam Tsang

A controversial plan to occupy the roads in Central in demand of universal suffrage may be rehearsed on July 1, lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip said.

25 Feb 2013 - 5:27am 1 comment

China's claim to greatness must rest on its ethics

China's claim to greatness must rest on its ethics

China has the potential to be a force for tremendous good in the world. Already, it is using its considerable fiscal reserves to invest heavily in economic and transport infrastructure in Africa and Latin America, supporting the construction of roads, railways, ports and mines.

22 Feb 2013 - 4:07am 4 comments

A democracy protest worth joining

It looks like we will have another Occupy Central as a campaign to press the government and Beijing for full democracy. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

So it looks like we will have another Occupy Central. Only this time it will be for real, run by people who hopefully know what they are doing, as a campaign to press the government and Beijing for full democracy. This is the brainchild of Benny Tai Yiu-ting, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong. 

20 Feb 2013 - 4:12am 4 comments

Letters to the Editor, February 19, 2013

Pull-up ads like this abound on the streets. Photo: David Wong

The English Schools Foundation's intended change of its admission system is procedural and not substantive. ("ESF to end admission priority for non-Chinese speakers", February 5).

19 Feb 2013 - 5:26am 27 comments