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Hong Kong political reform

Why Hong Kong may be waiting a long time for real democracy

  • If there are no constraints on government power, democracy will be eliminated as a threat to government
  • Hong Kong may find it difficult to see genuine democracy which allows politicians with different ideologies to participate in state affairs
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 December, 2018, 8:03am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 December, 2018, 8:03am

I refer to Mr Peter Lok’s letter, “City should be wary of trying to be ‘in’ with West” (November 29). Your correspondent claimed that “full democracy” may cause separatism, diverting readers’ attention from democratisation to anti-separatist actions. I kindly advise him not to play the useless straw man fallacy but do some fact-checking instead.

First, may I remind him that the United States Electoral College, which is cited as a reason to back Beijing’s 831 resolution, is elected by citizens of all states? Also, the numbers of candidates are not limited. However, our Election Committee is not elected by universal suffrage.

Mr Lok believes that there can be no democracy without a national security law, especially as a defence against separatism. Macau and the mainland uphold national security firmly. So, if his claim is true, why can’t mainlanders directly vote for the provincial-level legislators of National People’s Congress like the Vietnamese? Why does Macau just achieve some trivial progress on political reform like adding more seats to the election committee?

In my letter, “Beijing may not loosen its grip despite trust” (November 16), I hypothesised that the Communist Party of China will maintain full control over the country and hence do nothing for democratisation. Mr Lok fails to provide any persuasive evidence against my “paranoid” view.

In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the animals initially make decisions together. However, the pigs, with no limitations on their power, eventually scrap the other animals’ democracy. Indeed, if there are no constraints on government power, democracy will be eliminated as a potential threat to the government.

Ironically, President Xi Jinping told his officers to put the government’s “power in the cage of regulations”. As he talks the talk, but does not walk the walk, we will never see genuine democracy which allows politicians with different ideologies to participate in state affairs.

Henry Wong, Kennedy Town