Direct Democracy

Academics' petition adds pressure on by-elections

Almost 140 academics have signed a petition urging the government not to scrap by-elections.

Friday, 23 September, 2011, 12:00am

Valuable vote

The Hong Kong administration is going to great lengths to prevent a repeat of what happened last year, when five legislators resigned in an attempt to hold a 'de facto referendum'. In fact, the government is going further; it wants to be able to block individuals with certain political views from running in and possibly winning an election.

17 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Sincerity the key to consultation

A fresh public consultation on the arrangements for mid-term vacancies in Legco has finally been launched. Propelled by an outcry against the government's controversial plan to scrap by-elections, the belated exercise appears, at first glance, to be an attempt to get back to basics.

26 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Reform plan for by-elections is just spitting the dummy

Last year, five members of the pan-democratic camp did a very foolish thing. They resigned their Legislative Council seats to force by-elections and create what they hoped would be seen as a 'referendum' on political reform.

23 May 2011 - 12:00am

Debate significant but irrelevant in big picture

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen took everyone by surprise when he announced he would debate constitutional reform with Civic Party chairwoman Audrey Eu Yuet-mee live on television. Not so surprising, perhaps, was that Eu, a trained advocate and experienced politician, put in the more polished performance.

19 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

The principled and smart approach to democracy

It is hard to imagine the unctuous constitutional affairs secretary, Stephen Lam Sui-lung, being even more unctuous or pleased with himself but, frankly, he has got a lot to be pleased about.

From his perch in a department dedicated to slowing down the pace of constitutional change, things appear to be going very well.

21 May 2010 - 12:00am

Spoiled ballot

An event of great folly will play itself out on Sunday. Some of us will choose to participate in it, most others will probably sit it out, but we are all required to finance this folly with our tax dollars. It's not so much the HK$150 million cost of the Legislative Council by-elections that makes them foolish. It's that the instigators of the by-elections didn't think the matter through.

10 May 2010 - 12:00am

Pursue dialogue with Beijing, Lee tells party

Veteran Democrat Martin Lee Chu-ming has urged his party to continue communications with Beijing even after Legco's vote on the government's constitutional reform package.

25 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

By-election follies

The nomination period for the upcoming by-elections, or de facto referendum, triggered by the mass resignation of pro-democracy lawmakers is over. With 26 candidates in the running, the by-elections will take place next month no matter how many in the pro-Beijing and pro-establishment parties boycott them.

17 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Poll suggests by-election turnout as low as 25pc

As few as one in four eligible voters may turn out for the Legislative Council by-elections, say pollsters who have been tracking attitudes to the government's electoral reform proposals and the May polls, which supporters see as a de facto referendum on democratisation.

30 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Ill-conceived arguments on polls are not needed

Beijing's declaration that the by-elections to be held in May are unconstitutional has put our city's officials in a most uncomfortable position. They have to give at least tacit support for the official line that this so-called referendum, triggered by the resignation of five democrat lawmakers, somehow contravenes the Basic Law.

29 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Democracy haters are taking aim at our liberties

Short-term political expediency poses a very real danger to Hong Kong's freedoms and rule of law. Yet, as the Legislative Council by-elections draw close, the government and its allies are conjuring a small storm of measures that will both undermine Hong Kong's practice of free and fair elections and challenge a fundamental principle underpinning the legal system.

26 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

The 'referendum' poll as a novel experiment

The recent resignations of five legislators from the Civic Party and the League of Social Democrats, and their plan to turn the by-elections into a referendum, have obviously touched on the sensitivities of mainland authorities.

23 Feb 2010 - 12:00am

Uncontested by-elections still a win, Eu says

The Civic Party will declare a walkover if rivals do not contest the polls and its candidates are re-elected without ballots being cast, its leader, Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, said yesterday.

18 Feb 2010 - 12:00am

Radical confrontation and slogans condemned by Tsang

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen yesterday stopped short of encouraging people to vote in forthcoming by-elections, while condemning 'vicious radical confrontation' and 'radical slogans' as stalling political development.

1 Feb 2010 - 12:00am