Hong Kong Politics

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.

Friday, 22 March, 2013, 4:00am 12 comments

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.

22 Mar 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

'China dream' and 'Hong Kong dream' need to be put into practice

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Xinhua

The "China Dream" evoked by newly elected President Xi Jinping has, unsurprisingly, generated different interpretations, ranging from building a better future for 1.3 billion people to an ambitious goal of reviving the nation's ancient glories. Meeting Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying for the first time in his new capacity on Monday, Xi extended his hopes to the Hong Kong public. 

20 Mar 2013 - 3:11am 4 comments

Message from Xi to Hong Kong: think of national interest

Xi Jinping. Photo: Xinhua

"Compatriots in the Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions should put emphasis on the country, Hong Kong and Macau's overall interest," Xi told delegates at the closing session of the National People's Congress in Beijing yesterday.

18 Mar 2013 - 9:47am 16 comments

Message within CPPCC chairman's remarks bears a reminder

Yu Zhensheng. Photo: Simon Song

Reading between the lines was a technique Western analysts used to find out what the Soviet Union was really up to during the Cold War when there was a dearth of reliable information.

18 Mar 2013 - 4:44am

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

CY Leung to meet Xi Jinping in Beijing and explain cross-border policies

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has some clarifying to do.

Leung arrived in Beijing yesterday, just as the new central government line-up was announced. He will spend the next few days meeting new ministers and heads of departments whose work is related to Hong Kong.

17 Mar 2013 - 5:39am

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

'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

Beijing not interfering if Hong Kong asks for Basic Law interpretation

Protestors who support the right of abode of foreign domestic workers are seen outside Court of Final Appeal in Central as the case proceeds in the court. Photo: Edward Wong

To many people, an interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress Standing Committee is something to be avoided at all costs because, they believe, it constitutes interference in Hong Kong affairs.

13 Mar 2013 - 3:00am 1 comment

Small issues could grow into big trouble

Wen Jiabao established close connections with Hong Kong, constantly reminding the city to tackle its 'deep-rooted' social conflict. Photo: AP

As reporters gathered in Beijing last week for the National People's Congress, one of the phrases we heard most was "milk powder".

11 Mar 2013 - 5:18am 1 comment

Heavyweight Elsie Leung defends idea of primary race for top job

Elsie Leung Oi-sie. Photo: Simon Song

The deputy director of the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee and a National People's Congress (NPC) deputy, made the remarks in Beijing after Ming Pao newspaper cited a source saying a primary may be held for the next leadership race.

11 Mar 2013 - 8:59am 3 comments