Legco elections, Beijing style

OF course Beijing's Preliminary Working Committee on the future of Hong Kong affairs would prefer a proportional representation (PR) system for elections to the Legislative Council of the future SAR.

The key feature of PR systems is that party bosses, not electors, decide the order of candidates on party lists, and therefore can choose who actually gets elected.

The beauty of this is that someone (like the PRC government, for instance) wanting to manipulate the composition of Legco need only nobble a few key people in a few key parties, and then the citizens can vote however they like without having any undesirable or awkward impact on the election results.

The problem with single seat constituencies is that the electors have a dangerous tendency to elect the individual candidates that they prefer, and those successful candidates often feel an irritating obligation to represent the interests and opinions oftheir constituents.

PR was for decades used by corrupt party machines and mafia interests to manipulate the electoral system in Italy, for which very reason the citizens of that country recently chose to move towards a constituency-based electoral system.

Beijing's cynical attempt to foist the same system on Hong Kong, with the connivance of its political lackeys in Hong Kong, should be firmly rejected by both the Hong Kong Government and all political parties committed to the development of even the mostlimited democratic processes here. TED MARR Mid-Levels