October 20, 2005

You are on the invidual archive page of Daily linklets 20th October. Click Simon World weblog for the main page.
Daily linklets 20th October

The Hu's in control edition...

Hemlock on Hong Kong's democratic reforms:
Beijing issues a white paper declaring that there will be no barbarian-style democracy so long as the Chinese Communist Party stands. And maybe that goes for the Big Lychee too, judging by the Hong Kong Government’s exciting proposed constitutional reforms, released – by one of those uncanny, cosmic coincidences – on the same day.

The Big Boss briefs the morning meeting, reading from his Government-issued Line-to-Take, which is designed to counter pro-democrats’ claims that the proposals are insultingly lame. “On the subject of a timetable,” our pro-Donald Chairman intones, “it’s basically a matter of timing.” He looks up to survey the bemused faces of his senior management team. What the hell does that mean? “We first have to create favourable conditions and have all the building blocks in place,” he goes on, “like grooming political talent and um…” He looks down at the sheet of paper again and skips a couple of bullet points. “Oh yes – we can’t exclude appointed District Councillors from all of this because they have the same responsibilities as elected ones, and it would be unfair to discriminate against them.” He looks up again, as if to plead for understanding. He didn’t think this stuff up. “And, um, these proposals are firmly grounded on public views,” he reads out, “and represent a major step towards the ultimate aim of universal suffrage.” He shrugs slightly as he puts the paper down. “You’d have though they could come up with better arguments,” he admits.

The problem, it occurs to me, is that the most effective arguments would provoke opposition from the other side of the political spectrum, and maybe even to our north. The logic of the proposals is that the days of the small-circle functional constituencies are drawing to a close. Ship owners, dentists, employers, construction firms and other groups demanding a rotten borough in the legislature were snubbed. The new functional constituencies will be elected – albeit indirectly – by the people, diluting the influence of the corporate electors. Chris Patten would probably approve. But the Government can’t stress this, because it needs a two-thirds majority in Legco – the votes of odious Liberal Party boss James Tien and his cartel representative friends – to get the package through. In order to get the turkeys to vote for Christmas, the Government can’t talk up Christmas, leaving the pro-democrats looking at the gloomy side of the festival.
posted by Simon on 10.20.05 at 04:47 PM in the Daily linklets category.


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China, democracy and a place called Taishi
Excerpt: There have been two related developments in China's halting steps towards "democracy" in recent times. The first concerns a small village called Taishi. The excellent ESWN blog has a full chronology of events at Taishi....
Weblog: Winds of Change.NET
Tracked: October 20, 2005 03:24 PM


Hemlock might check to see what party the current District Council Functional Constituency Rep in LegCo belongs to.

There's a reason that James Tien isn't going to smash up his 911 over this proposal.

posted by: Tom - Daai Tou Laam on 10.20.05 at 05:27 PM [permalink]

By the way, if Hong Kong's education secretary were to come up with a standardized MP3 device for higher education, might we call it the 'Arthropod'?

posted by: HK Dave on 10.20.05 at 05:58 PM [permalink]

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