September 27, 2005

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Non-party party members

The People's Daily waxes on the Communist Party's rural election reforms:

Election of secretary of village committee of the CPC will no longer an internal affair of the Communist Party of China (CPC), as non-Party people have been allowed to attend CPC's grassroots election...In past decades, secretaries of all levels of CPC committees were elected merely by Party members and they were the top leaders of their administrative regions. But normally in one village, there were only dozens of Party members out of over 10,000 non-Party people. How could guarantee that the secretary elected by dozens of Party members could reflect the common will of all villagers?
That's an excellent question. Indeed extending that logic has profound consequences. How can you guarantee the provincial or national secretaries and officials elected by thousands of Party members reflect the common will of all?

There's an answer of sorts in the same article.

"...allowing non-Party people to participate in CPC's grassroots election will consolidate CPC's ruling foundation," said Ding Junping, head of the public administrative college under the Wuhan University...

...more than 20 provinces have admitted non-Party people to CPC's grassroots election on trial.

The professor is saying that these non-Party elected officials are de facto Party members, because they've been elected to their posts. Co-opting these officials is the only way the Party will be able to maintain its grip on power. Villagers will quickly realise the discrepency between being able to vote for their village leaders but not for their county or provincial or even national leaders. While village government is the one with most immediate impact on their lives, the likelihood of growing frustration with the ever-growing income gap with their urban cousins will one day spill over to frustration with Government at higher levels.

Another reason the CCP's primary focus is on rural development and closing the income gap.

posted by Simon on 09.27.05 at 10:26 AM in the China politics category.


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