← "Basic Law fractions" | Return to Main Page | "Top referrers and stats for November" → | TrackBack (1)
December 01, 2005
We interupt this broadcast
Hong Kongers were outraged last night when their normally woeful TV viewing was interupted by a 5 minute pleading from Donald Tsang, Beijing's cheerleader in chief in Hong Kong, to stay at home on Sunday and to pass his electoral reforms. There was much debate whether these 5 minutes counted against the compulsory API quota for the night. And did The Don thank George W. for the idea?
A senior Tsang aide said that if the broadcast turned out to be popular with the public, it might turn out to be a regular part of Tsang's political repertory.There is a certain irony in comparing Hong Kong's struggle for democracy with the American invasion in Iraq and Iraqi democracy. Obviously this public servant has had an irony by-pass.
The biggest question was whether this plea was an own goal or a canny move by The Don to head off the expected large turn-out for Sunday's democracy march? Has The Don blundered on the one thing Beijing trusted he would sort out? Only time will tell.
As a first test of political skill, this is a big one. The Don must have a contingency plan. Ideally he would firm up his previous pledge to announce a timetable for universal suffrage during his second term, after 2007. In other words, set a timetable for a timetable. The democrats must then be prepared to accept that offer and hold him to it. Beijing has to sit back and shut up about it, trusting their man in Hong Kong to do right by both them and the people he supposedly represents. It's all long odds. But the alternative is worse - because at this stage there is none.
Full text of Tsang's speech below the jump.
Fellow Hong Kong citizens, as far as I can remember, former governors or the former chief executive had rarely spoken directly to the community on television about constitutional development issues. I have chosen to do so tonight because democratic development in Hong Kong will soon enter a defining stage in December. Will we be able to stride ahead? Or will we be left marching on the spot, going nowhere? The Legislative Council will have to make a decision in three weeks' time. At this crucial juncture, I feel that I must speak to you personally about my thoughts. Our proposed constitutional development package is a democratic package. It can enable Hong Kong to take a big step forward along the road to universal suffrage. It significantly enhances the democratic element of the method for selecting the chief executive by doubling the size of the Election Committee from 800 to 1,600. All the 400 District Council members directly elected by more than 3 million registered voters will be included in the Election Committee. For the 2008 Legco, the number of seats will increase by 10. Five will be returned through direct elections in the geographical constituencies. The other five will be elected from among the district councillors, and will likewise have an electorate base of 3 million voters.
posted by Simon on 12.01.05 at 08:57 AM in the Hong Kong category.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Send a manual trackback ping to this post.
Hong Kong Constitutional Reform And Invasion Of Iraq
Excerpt: We borrowed the idea from the president
Weblog: Letters from China
Tracked: December 1, 2005 04:59 PM