May 04, 2006

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Scenes from a dysfunctional democracy

Some snippets from the SCMP, demonstrating the blossoming democracy that is Hong Kong:

A motion calling for the commemoration and vindication of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest was defeated yesterday in the Legislative Council for the ninth time since the handover...Directly elected legislators voted by 16 to seven in favour of the motion, moved by Democratic Party vice-chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, but functional constituency legislators ensured its defeat.
That's voice of the people for you. Now to part 2.
Legislators late last night rejected a motion calling for a comprehensive fair-competition law.

After a five-hour debate, functional constituency legislators rejected the motion by 13 votes to 10, with one abstention. The directly elected legislators supported the motion 15-2, with five abstentions, but a majority of both needed to support the motion for it to be passed.

You read right - a total of 28 voted for it, only 12 against with 5 abstaining. Yet it still gets knocked down thanks to the distorted system. Yet, to the surprise of some, it turns out the democrats who voted against the proposed political reforms last year are being blamed by the public for it. That's as it should be - the ones that voted against should carry the blame.

But the final and most curious result in this distorted "democracy":

Four in five people want to see competition for the post of chief executive next year, according to a survey commissioned by a US-funded think-tank.

Still, 73 per cent support Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's re-election.

Is that what they mean by a competition law? If the survey is to be believed, Hong Kongers want more than one candidate for Chief Executive, just so they can vote for Donald Tsang in overwhelming numbers. It's a backhanded compliment to The Don...the people want to make a race of it so he can win by a mile. Beijing must be happy.

With a democracy like this, who needs voting?

posted by Simon on 05.04.06 at 10:22 AM in the Hong Kong democracy/politics category.


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it just goes to show , that in ademocracy people's voice has to be given agreater priority over that of vested political motives and interests. if people's voice is ignored , as happens in china , it really shows that democratic values fall in grave danger.

posted by: sam on 05.04.06 at 02:41 PM [permalink]

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