Keen to lead - but for how long? One thing you'd expect lawyers to be very clear about is laws - or in this case, rules. But the worthy barristers at the core of the Civic Party seem unclear on one important point: how long can party leaders serve? One year, two years, or forever? The question arose the other day when lawmakers Ronny Tong Ka-wah and Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee were discussing the succession question with the media in light of elections for leader and chairman due at the end of the year. Tong said party rules stated that people could serve a maximum of two two-year terms in either post. Ng said she couldn't remember what the rules said on the matter, which turned out to be the better answer. Secretary general Kenneth Chan Ka-lok was even more confused, saying he thought the limit was written in at first but scrapped at an extraordinary general meeting in March 2008. It turned out that although the founders discussed setting a time limit when the rules were drafted in 2006, it was not written into the party constitution. The confusion was finally clarified last night, after Chan dug through all the documents. 'Of course, the principle was not to let anyone stay for all eternity,' Ng said. Boosting cross-strait ties all a matter of faith Religion isn't supposed to have any place in Chinese politics but that hasn't stopped Beijing from using it in its efforts to promote cross-strait ties. Leading Buddhist organisations on the mainland and Taiwan, backed by the State Administration of Religious Affairs, are organising a mass forum to discuss how the religion with the largest number of Chinese believers has changed since the 1911 revolution that toppled the Qing dynasty. Hundreds of leading monks from the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong will gather here next month. 'Buddhism transcends party politics,' said Wang Zhiyuan, vice-president of the Chinese Buddhism Cultural Centre, which is the main organiser. 'There may be two sides across the strait, but there is only one Buddhism, which has positive effects on national reunification.' DAB throws a bone for a worthy cause The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong seems to be trying to brand itself as a lover of animals as well as a friend of the government. During a meeting on Tuesday it called on the chief executive to create 'animal police' in his policy address this year to look after the welfare of our furry friends and punish those who abuse them. How times have changed. Yesterday, images of a street banner (below) put up by the office of DAB lawmaker Ip Kwok-him a few years ago started to circulate on the internet. It screams: 'Successfully demanded - the Agricultural and Fisheries Department catches five stray dogs.' It referred to a round-up behind some residential buildings in Kennedy Town. So why this sudden love for animals? 'Oh, at the time, we didn't know the dogs that were caught would be destroyed if nobody claimed them,' Ip said. 'Now we have found out and think it is a terrible practice. We have always loved animals.' Woof, woof.