Hong Kong’s Legislative Council now attracts little media or public attention, has no debate, asks no awkward questions, and rubber-stamps the administration’s decisions. Even some loyalist lawmakers feel redundant. One result of Legco ‘working efficiently’ is that the government has been…
…acting too swiftly in seeking approval for funding requests for major infrastructure projects that would have previously been delayed by the opposition … projects were endorsed at such a speed that it resulted in high bid prices.
An HKFP op-ed looks at whether Beijing can contrive some shred of credibility for the body, for which ‘elections’ (restricted to Beijing-approved candidates) take place in December. The article includes a fairly full history of the CCP’s co-option of minority parties since the late 1940s before describing signs of a similar United Front approach in NatSec-era Hong Kong, after most leading pan-dems have been jailed.
The democratic survivors essentially have two choices. To take part is to signal a measure of acceptance, thereby lending legitimacy to the new national security regime. But to boycott is to remove themselves from the political arena altogether, lose whatever influence they might be able to exert, and risk sinking back into the political inertia of colonial days.
In reality, the first choice does not exist. There is no ‘political arena’ or influence on offer. The United Front will be inviting them to play a purely ceremonial role. That’s all the DAB and other loyalist and shoe-shiner lawmakers now have – like the stooges who rubber-stamp motions in the National People’s Congress every Spring.
Any argument along the lines that ‘moderates should continue to engage to have input into process’ is garbage: in a Leninist system, no-one outside the small, self-selected core – who do not share power – has input. Any rump Democratic/Civic Party elements conceited enough to join in this farce will be declaring themselves useful idiots. Holden ‘spot the brain cell’ Chow would be more deserving of your vote.
I am amused by the appointment of the billionaire Pan Sutong as the EC representative for the grassroots organisations. Inspired choice…
There’s irony for you: according to the SCMP article, some pro-establishment legislators are feeling lost without any opposition lawmakers to attack. Poor things!
I don’t know why you or Suzanne Pepper assume that the government is interested in having any moderate democrats in Legco at all. Judging by Macau’s total wipeout of their milquetoast democratic camp, the authorities will not allow anyone more critical of the government than James Tien to stand for office.
Ms. Pepper’s analysis has always been erudite, thoughtful, and consistently wrong.
The four o’clock knock is coming for bloggers too.
I think I remember this correctly.
I think Ronnie Tong once said, candidly, as if thinking aloud, that he wondered whether 90 people with the capacity to be Legislative Councillors could be found.
I think I remember this correctly.
I think that about a year ago Financial Secretary Ah Chan commented that the then run of good performance by the HK stock exchange/HSI showed investor confidence in the national security law.
I guess the recent self-inflicted poor performance of HSI is irrelevant to him since it seems that he and his family prefer to invest their lucre in sub-divided flats and agricultural land that has potential to be used for public housing estates.