A couple of surveys show that the majority of Hong Kong people believe the 1,200-strong Election Committee, which formally chooses the city’s Chief Executive, is not representative of the population. The shock here is that a significant minority (28-40%) seem to imagine that the rubber-stamp body does somehow reflect the community.
Civil Servant-turned-National People’s Congress deputy Fanny Law is among them. (Actually, as someone with sufficient intelligence to get into the administrative stream of the civil service, she probably isn’t. But as a true pro-Beijing convert she has to claim to be.) The current EC is representative, she reads from the official script, because it involves ‘balanced participation’.
We haven’t heard this phrase for a while, but perhaps it is about to make a come-back. It was popular at one stage among defenders of the functional constituencies who argued that a system that represents only citizens as individuals, rather than group interests like business as well, is imbalanced. By which they mean exploitative and privileged minorities are outnumbered.
There is plenty here for pro-democrats to get their teeth into: Fanny is in effect supporting a system designed to allow property tycoons and their cartels to rip off the broader community. But no, the pan-dems have to blather on about abstract, academic tedium that numbs the minds of the rest of the population. Benny Tai of Occupy Central fame counters by complaining that the electorate that chooses the Election Committee comprises only 200,000 voters.
That’s 10,000 times what you need. Grab 20 passengers from the top deck of a tram and a couple of taxis and you’ve got a pretty fair sample of Hong Kong. The number is irrelevant; the issue is how you select them. Lots of us are qualified to vote in an Election Committee subsector (register now!), but there is no point in actually doing so: the process is minutely rigged. For every participant who is a normal tram/taxi passenger, there will be one fishermen’s association boss whose members are dependent on state handouts, one religiously devout adherent of the Communist faith from birth, one grasping businessman who colludes with his rivals and has Mainland investments, and one shoe-shiner on the make with a name like Bunny – or Fanny, come to think of it. You could have 7 million people vote this way via ‘various sectors’ and still come up with a body that rubber-stamps Beijing’s decision.
Accepting that the Chief Executive candidates in 2017 must, under the Basic Law, be nominated by a ‘broadly representative’ committee, the pro-democrats propose a one-man-one-vote method to select that body. By this, they mean something without the sectors, corporate votes and other gerrymandering. Under such a purely and direct democratic system, the first round of voting – for the nomination committee – would be superfluous. The pro-Beijing camp will indeed be able to portray it as illogical, before going on to recite the mantra: even the US has its Electoral College that allows the guy with the fewer popular votes to become President, and the UK has a parliamentary system that lets a party with a minority of popular votes to form the government, blah, blah, blah.
The reality is surely that the Basic Law – or the Chinese Communist Party, to be exact – requires some sort of filtering system. What it does not necessarily require is a filtering system that results in a Chief Executive who primarily serves property tycoons. Demand a nomination committee that screens out such people, who are no less injurious to Hong Kong as any CIA/KMT stooge, and you will get every tram/taxi/MTR/ferry passenger jumping up and down in agreement with you. Sadly, the pro-dem establishment are themselves no more ‘broadly representative’ of the community than Fanny and her buddies.
I wrote a script for TV called Fanny Law…they changed the name to Female Paralegals. It’s on the Rutland Digital Channel.
“The reality is surely that the Basic Law – or the Chinese Communist Party, to be exact – requires some sort of filtering system.”
Read more Dostoevsky: ” The price of harmony has been set too high, we can’t afford the entrance fee.” (Karamazov Brothers, Oxford World’s Classics p. 306-7).
@ Bela “I wrote a script for TV called Fanny Law…they changed the name to Female Paralegals.”
Nice one, Bela.
The endless bashing of the pro-dems is just. so. draining. They are out there trying to achieve universal sufferage – you know, the foundation of any liberal democratic society – being endlessly snarky seems so, well, nihilistic. Beijing always backs down to a show of force, so let’s give them one.
Anyway, how exciting would a good ol’ confrontation be? think of the danger sex….
I agree with you unreservedly.
The bashing of the pro-dems by Hemmers, and by Bela and RTP, his two most prolific and loyal contributors, is dispiriting. It’s a shame, as otherwise all three have good things to say, often garnished with wit and verve.
But one learns after a while to let it go. It comes with the territory, I’m afraid.
I clicked on the link above which explain whether I’m qualified to vote for the EC as part of a FC My company is in I/E but we don’t belong to any industry association ( i.e. don’t I/E dutiable goods, or fish , or shrimp paste or whatever ) . We deal in Industrial products, but we don’t belong to any Industrial Association : how on earth can the HKGCC help us except milk us for annual sub fees? Our products are highly IT- related : in fact there would be no IT semiconductor chips and touch screens without our company’s products but….. same story .
I am a chartered engineer (from the West) but I resigned as a member of the HK Asscn of Chartered Engineers years ago (not worth the annual fee).
And I guess I should fairly qualify for a at least a couple of other FC categories
Is there an association of real tax payers ?
After all we tax payers DO pay for the whole EC charade!
PS : Nice pic of the female paralegal ! I just wish Ms Law would speak out personally on the ICAC – tim tong affair
Thank you. I will be like a Tory whip’s buttocks: glowing all day.
I bash everyone. They all mostly deserve it. I also believe fervently in equality (not equality of opportunity) and democracy. The Womble Democrats have done no good service to democracy by being essentially liberal, bourgeois, wishy-washy and unable to reach out to the Lumpenproletariat. Peking couldn’t have designed a better set of counter-insurgents. The Summer Of Love Occupy Central movement is similarly doomed by an anachronistic, muddled, built-in Desire To Fail. If you don’t kick them, they will never change.
@Sojourner & Gooddog.
Well, I suppose that’s the price you pay for freedom of speech. People with different opinions openly expressing their views. Of course, you always have the option to set up your own blog although I would hope that you continue to contribute here so that we can have a diverse and frank exchange of views in a polite manner, with the occasion bit of humour.
I suppose that like many here I previously considered myself a pro Democrat supporter. However, in recent years their actions have caused me despair. They have shown an incompetence that is surprising to behold by constant infighting. Unfortunately, they are not a coherent or realistic group that could be trusted to run this place. I’ve heard them claim that because of united-front tactics they are held in check. I’m afraid it’s they own failings that are responsible, but they will never see that.
C’mon Hemmers, her maiden name was Fan. Therefore…
It’s not that any of us hate the Dems, it’s just that we expect better. None of us have any expectations about the DAB, but the Dems, well, they are more ‘us’. If they can’t get their act together on moving forward, then little will happen. Its more frustration than anything else.
Actually, I wouldn’t mind going a couple of rounds with Fanny Law. She’s quite hot in a buttoned-up kind of way.
@ Bela : I hope you were not referring to whipping the buttocks of Tory MP Nigel Evans…. otherwise we should have our reservations about getting too close to you