A senior member of the Democratic Party has sent a mass letter to his party colleagues, urging them to push through amendments to the government’s political reform package instead of voting it down altogether. The letter by former lawmaker and founding party member Law Chi-kwong was sent ahead of a party meeting planned for Thursday evening in which members are to discuss the government’s reform plan. In the letter, seen by the South China Morning Post, Law said the party would be better off seeking to amend the current government blueprint because the election methods it proposes, despite amounting to “fake universal suffrage”, would still raise the recognition of future chief executives. He said those amendments could include the so-called “blank vote” proposal and two others earlier suggested by HK2020, a think-tank led by former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang. Under the “blank vote” plan, an option for “none of the above” would appear on ballots. If that option accounted for 50 per cent of the vote or more, it would force a new election. It is intended to put pressure on the candidates, handpicked by a 1,200-strong nominating committee, to lobby for support from the public as well as from the committee members. The two other proposals by HK2020 include one that suggests replacing all corporate votes with individual votes in the nominating committee to increase public representation. Another of its proposals suggests that all candidates who have secured one-tenth of votes from the nominating committee can have their names appear on the ballot paper. If one of these candidates turns out to be among the top two in the final public vote, and that candidate’s support rate from the nominating committee is lower than 50 per cent – the government’s proposed qualifying benchmark – the committee will have to re-select candidates to hold a second time of vote by the public. Law said surveys suggested that more than two-thirds of the public would support the government’s proposal if it included these amendments. “If the Legislative Council does not pass the amendments, then it is acting against public opinion,” he said. Law, seen as a moderate pan-democrat, said the Democrats had a second choice aside from rejecting the government proposal, an option he said would lead to a “slow death” of his party. “No matter [whether] the government and the Legislative Council will accept the proposals in the end, the Democratic Party will have made their last efforts, both in terms of its responsibility and political terms,” Law said. “Whether it succeeds or not, [the party] could face Hong Kong and ourselves without shame,” he said. He also said that by proposing the amendments, the Democrats would very likely come under fire from some colleagues in the pan-democrat camp. But, he said, “the Democratic Party should not consider this question now” Law serves on a number of government advisory committees, including the Commission on Poverty and the Community Care Fund. He is also an executive committee member of the Council of Social Service.