A magazine journalist told me last week: 'You are making yourself irrelevant.' He was speaking in the context of whether the pro-democracy lobby should stick to its principle of fighting for a democratic government. His assumption was that many Hong Kong people did not share our desire for democracy and thus would not support our causes, particularly when it meant going against the wishes of the Chinese Government. And if we continued to demand the chief executive and the legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region be elected by universal and equal suffrage, something which Beijing has rejected, the people would dismiss us because we were engaging in a futile exercise. To anyone involved in a political movement, becoming irrelevant is a disturbing thought, and the reporter was not alone in sounding that warning. On the same day, a television executive told me that since the whole community was excited about the impending Chinese rule, how could the television stations be interested in covering the activities of the pro-democracy lobby, who were out of tune with the mood of society. In the Legislative Council elections in September last year, pro-democracy candidates won most of the seats. However in these turbulent and rapidly changing times, those results do not seem to matter any more. Again and again, we are told the Hong Kong people must learn the art of pragmatism: if you are not with the one you love, you love the one you are with. If we cannot have a democratically elected legislature, we should learn to live with the provisional legislature that the Chinese Government will foist on us. And if the Chinese say the selection of the chief executive is Hong Kong's first step towards democracy, everybody should act as if the contest is for real, although we all know the decision will be made by the Chinese Government alone. Almost with no exception, the media is giving extensive coverage to the so-called race, in which all the candidates were approved by the Chinese Government. Many are adamant the race is still wide open although the 'election' will take place in just a few weeks' time. Some hinted at a power struggle within the Chinese Communist Party which made the leaders unable to decide. This is plausible, but no one has advanced any evidence to show why Chinese President Jiang Zemin is unable to call the shots. Sycophantic reporting may be a hallmark of patriotism which will win the news organisations kudos in Beijing, but it is an insult to the intelligence of the public. Some commentators even likened the style of one candidate to that of the US presidential campaign. What a sick joke. How much lower can the media stoop? With several candidates coming forward, many people think there will definitely be an 'election' by the 400 members of the selection committee. This should not be taken for granted. Unless the Chinese are confident their candidate will win, they will not allow an election to take place. Even those who think some kind of voting will be held agree the result will be known in advance. However they think the Chinese want to make the process look credible. The Frontier is determined to expose such hypocrisy and will continue to campaign for democracy. If the media insist the pro-democracy lobby is irrelevant, our voices will be snuffed out even before the communist takeover. Although the future looks bleak, we are not going to jettison our principles for the sake of some media coverage and crumbs from Beijing.