Most ‘moderate’ pro-democracy politicians in Hong Kong are either in jail or in exile, and most broadly pan-dem organizations, like unions, have disbanded. Then there’s the Democratic Party, which has members still at liberty who think they can and should keep going. This is despite the fact that some of their former colleagues have been arrested (like Albert Ho), they have virtually no chance of being allowed on ‘patriots-only’ ballots, and indeed argue about whether they should lend credibility to such elections. Plus they can’t book a restaurant (again).
Their latest attempt to battle on as if nothing had happened is to take part in the ritual offering of ‘suggestions’ for the government’s forthcoming Policy Address. Governments have never listened to outsiders’ ideas at the best of times, and the current administration will probably not even want to acknowledge the DP’s existence with a curt thank-you note. Still, the party tries some pre-emptive kowtowing by omitting any mention of representative government in its proposals.
Why are they bothering? Are they ‘trying to be relevant’? How can a pro-democracy group be ‘relevant’ within a system whose top leaders openly oppose open elections and separation of powers? At best, it’s extreme naivety. Unless they’re desperate for a few District Council seats in order to earn some money – in which case, good luck.