I HAVE just had an idea that would resolve the Hongkong constitutional crisis at a stroke. The aim of the Patten proposals is to strengthen democracy, that is, the power of elected representatives vis-a-vis the executive arm of government. Their weakness is that they are cumbersome, and are opposed by China on the grounds that they contravene existing agreements. The way out is to leave everything as it is structurally, but introduce a rule that no law can be passed when opposed by a majority of the directly-elected legislators. In that way, China's objections would be met, and Patten's basic aim achieved. After all, the number of seats is secondary; the primary thing is the power they represent.