In 2012, Ronny Tong Ka-wah proposed an amendment to a copyright bill on behalf of the pan-democrats in an attempt to reduce the chances of satirists falling foul of the new laws for making parodies. But his effort were attacked by internet users who accused him of backing the government's plan to beef up copyright protection in a way they said would stifle the creators of parodies. None of Tong's Civic Party colleagues stood up for him amid the storm, instead favouring much wider protection for parody. Two years later, Tong put forward a moderate plan for the 2017 chief executive election which did not allow voters to nominate hopefuls. Again, he got the cold shoulder from his allies. From the copyright controversy to the polarising electoral reform hullabaloo, Tong's experiences demonstrate the difficulties of a middle-of-the-road approach in Hong Kong. Giving Hong Kong people a choice is a necessary evil if it is an evil at all LAWMAKER RONNY TONG Tong, who in a dramatic gesture quit the party he co-founded nine years ago and resigned as a lawmaker last week in the wake of the reform plan's failure, conceded his departure had to a certain extent proved the failure of the moderate approach. "Unfortunately there are quite a few [members] in the Legislative Council who always say they are moderate and willing to stand with me," he told the South China Morning Post . "But they have not been brave enough to do it. From that sense … now there is no moderate in Legco." Tong is now ready to embark on a new adventure with his newly established think tank, Path of Democracy, in searching for a "third way" for Hongkongers. The think tank, comprising a team of professionals and scholars, will first study how the government's reform plan failed and then attempt to engage with Beijing officials. It also aims to send young representatives to contest all five geographical constituencies in next year's Legco elections, in a bid to win over democracy supporters who are frustrated at the major parties' tough line. Tong dismissed suggestions it was his changed ideology that had driven him to leave the Civic Party; rather it was the party changing its stance.. "I don't believe I have changed an iota because the work in Path of Democracy is exactly what I wanted to do with the Civic Party," he said. Watch: Ronny Tong on why he may not miss leaving Legco but will miss his party Instead, his resignation stemmed from his disappointment with the Civic Party - and the pan-democrats in general - over their obsession with winning everyone over. In 2013, the idea of allowing the public, rather than a nominating committee, to put forward candidates for chief executive in 2017, began to gain momentum among pan-democrats, despite Beijing ruling it out. The Civic Party was one group which signed a student-led charter to pledge that such a method of nomination was an "indispensable" element for genuine universal suffrage. But Tong had reservations as he believed it was a futile demand that would not be accepted. Tong said he remained wary of the parties' attitude of hoping to win support for its own sake and then getting drunk on the applause. "If … the way to win [young people] over is follow whatever they say and do whatever they like, I think that is the wrong way," he said. "You don't bend your ideals … to win over support." Tong said he believed a change in the political landscape was necessary if people truly wanted democracy in Hong Kong. "Giving Hong Kong people a choice is a necessary evil if it is an evil at all," he said. "But ultimately it will be up to the people to [say] if they want to see a change."