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Democracy and Winds of Change in Hong Kong

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  • 1. DEMOCRACY AND WINDS OF CHANGE IN HONG KONG THEORIES OF GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: SA5101 MAPPM (TZ3 TEAM 4) • LUJAN ANAYA, Raul “Alex” (52915639) • CHEUNG, Wai Wah “Andy” (52154846) • CHEN, Yi “Chenyi” (52870513) • TAM, Ho Yan “Carol” (50711094)
  • 2. Nowadays, States across the world are struggling to BUILD and CONSOLIDATE democracy (UNDP); Develop institutions and processes RESPONSIVE to needs of ordinary citizens (including the poor) to PROMOTE DEVELOPMENT; Provide ACCESS TO JUSTICE and public administration; Deliver BASIC SERVICES to the needy and vulnerable. [http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/ourwork/democraticgovernance/ov erview.html] About Democratic Governance
  • 3. FOUR basic elements (Stanford): 1. Choosing and replacing government through FREE and FAIR ELECTIONS; 2. ACTIVE PARTICIPATION of people (citizens), in politics and civic life; 3. PROTECTION of HUMAN RIGHTS and basic freedoms; 4. RULE OF LAW in which law, its institutions and procedures serve equally to citizens. [http://www.stanford.edu/~ldiamond/iraq/WhaIsDemocracy012004.htm] But… What is “Democracy”?
  • 4. SEMI-DEMOCRATIC political structure; Designed to work by authoritarian and executive-led guidelines (starting with BASIC LAW); System continously clashed with the DEMOCRATIC AMBITIONS of its PEOPLE; Politically-ACTIVE population concerned about protecting its FREEDOMS and interests. Hong Kong, SAR: Democratic?
  • 5. Despite coming from a non-democratic regime (colony, DIRECT CONTROL from the UK), Hong Kong developed democratic ambitions BEFORE HANDOVER time and upon “the end of (British) empire” in 1997; Backgrounds: 1966-67 RIOTS, socio-economic GROWTH in 1970-80’s decades, education and awareness (ENLIGHTEMENT), liberal heritage and WAY OF LIVING from Britain, “TRIPOD of consents” (Scott, 2010); “LESSER OF TWO EVILS”: fear of oppression, migration to and from what was to be integral part of PR of China. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs6Md8a5wcQ&feature=g-vrec] [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesser_of_two_evils_principle] Democratic Ambitions?
  • 6. Meanwhile in WAN CHAI… JUNE 30, 1997. OH NO!! What are we gonna do now?… Everyone pack your bags! we’re LEAVING now… Terrible FEAR! The LESS EXPECTED moment!
  • 7. Things weren’t as terrible as many had especulated… As SAR of PRC (Art. 31, Chinese Constitution), Hong Kong benefits from “One Country, TWO SYSTEMS” regime; “High degree of AUTONOMY” (Art. 2, Basic Law, BL), its (capitalist-liberal) WAY OF LIFE remains unchanged, and upholds RULE OF LAW inherited from British system; Disadvantages: LEGITIMACY question, INTERVENTION of PRC in policy matters, power of final INTERPRETATION resting in National People’s Congress, NO IMMUNITY, LOOPHOLES , blurry limits of COMPETENCY spheres… Was there such need to worry?
  • 8. DISADVANTAGES of Hong Kong as SAR went extensive to its political structure (executive and legislative powers); NO universal suffrage: Chief Executive (CE) “APPOINTED” by internal organs; LIMITED SUFFRAGE allowed for election of Legislative Council (LEGCO) members (geographical constituencies); Will universal suffrage (as essential element of full- democracy) EVER BE IMPLEMENTED in the SAR? PROMISES of suffrage continously postponed: Election of CE (2017) and ALL LEGCO members (2020)… Matters of Polity in HKSAR
  • 9. 1980’s: Fight for the “irrational” (DIRECT elections); 1995: UN HR Commission determined LEGCO elections DID NOT COMPLY with International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (Arts. 25, 26); Functional constituencies should be abolished , FULL IMPLEMENTATION of universal suffrage for ALL LEGCO members; 2003: “JULY MARCH”; Fight for 2007-08 DUAL suffrage: CE and all LEGCO members… The Struggle for Universal Suffrage
  • 10. January, 2004: USA and UK expressed support for political reform in the HKSAR: Day Procession; March, 2004: “Report No. 1” issued by HK Constitutional Development Task Force; HK Constitutional Development Task Force issued a “Report No. 1”; April, 2004: NPC Standing Committee (SCNPC) agreed with CE and the LEGCO to produce decision of governing: “in 2007 (the CE) will not be elected by universal suffrage, the Legislative Council election in 2008, half elected by universal suffrage, and the other half by functional constituencies… universal suffrage has been delayed…” The Struggle for Universal Suffrage
  • 11. March, 2007: FIRST TIME in history, pan-democrats to participate in CE election, Alan Leong defeated by 123 votes to 649 by Donald Tsang, he said will continue to fight; December, 2007: SCNPC issued draft, pointing out that CE shall be elected by universal suffrage in 2017, and all members of LEGCO by 2020; Scheme of dual suffrage in 2012 rejected, but can be MODIFIED according to Basic Law, LEGCO functional constituencies, returned by geographical constituencies through direct elections proportions remained unchanged, half and half, all seats in LEGCO by universal suffrage in CE election. The Struggle for Universal Suffrage
  • 12. On dissatisfaction of pan-democratic camp, People’s Congress REJECTED universal suffrage in 2007; January, 2008: 7,000 people attended march organized by Civil Human Rights Front… SCNPC Answer: Sugar-coated Poison • “Too early to implement universal suffrage… Legislative Council’s election to implement universal suffrage as early as the Chief Executive’s election will make the Basic Law and the whole system of impact…” • “Universal suffrage in 2017… consistent with the actual situation in Hong Kong and the principle of gradual development…” QIAO XIAOYANG - 喬曉陽 SCNPC Vice Secretary-General; Committee for Basic Law of Hong Kong
  • 13. August, 2009: Survey by Asia-Pacific Studies of CUHK, reported 51.3% of respondents agreed on decision of SCNPC about universal suffrage in the SAR; DEMOCRATS have been advocating on striving to implement dual suffrage by 2012. ONLY 38.1% of respondents AGREED; 2007: SCNPC resolution, not to implement universal suffrage for 2012, rather POSTPONE election by universal suffrage of CE by 2017, and election of all LEGCO members by 2020; 60% of respondents expressed their ”CONFORMITY”; More consensus on the need of implementing dual suffrage: A SOCIAL DEMAND which CAN’T BE IGNORED… Survey by
  • 14. Universal Suffrage, Chinese Version? • “Personal understanding and views…” • “Universal suffrage”: Universal and equal suffrage…” • “Countries according to their actual situation of electoral system, to achieve universal and equal suffrage… The reality of today's international community…” • “Hong Kong community must be able to understand and support the central position… Safeguard the provisions of the Basic Law, to discuss the issue of constitutional development in Hong Kong, in the Basic Law and the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress "provisions track, and promote democracy in Hong Kong…” WE WON’T GIVE IN SO EASILY!
  • 15. Proposals: Pan-Democrats vs. NPC
  • 16. 1. Representative NOMINATING committee; 2. Nomination in accordance with “democratic PROCEDURES”; 3. Hong Kong universal suffrage, to PRODUCE CE candidates; 4. NEWSPAPER appointed by the central government; Result: CE candidates produced UNDER CONTROL of Central Government; Result is bound to be regardless of Hongkongers’ vote, election would be BEIJING FAVORED… “Free” Elections? The View of China
  • 17. PEOPLE’S CHOICE… OR BEIJING’S?…
  • 18. HEAD of (government in the) HONG KONG SAR, representative of the Region (Art. 43, Basic Law). He is ACCOUNTABLE to the Central Government and to the HKSAR (!)… The Chief Executive
  • 19. Historical concept: COLONIAL INHERITANCE; Political apparatus designed to promote social STABILITY “CHIEF EXECUTIVE” vs. “GOVERNOR”: People’s choice or appointment by political bodies?; Universal suffrage TIMETABLE: Since the handover, Hong Kong, as SAR of the PR of China, MAY (possibility) implement universal suffrage for election of CE in 2017 and ALL LEGCO members by 2020… Why, How to Choose the Leader?
  • 20. “MOCK POLL”: A. CY Leung: 17.8%; B. Henry Tang: 16.3%; C. Albert Ho: 11.4%; 54.6% of VOTES cast were BLANK (questionable reliability); “THE WORST SYSTEM, including all the others” (The Economist); SMALL-CIRCLE election (closed appointment). ART. 45 of the Basic Law… Criticism of “Election” in 2012
  • 21. May be selected by election or local consultations, and FINALLY appointed by Central People’s Government; According to the principle of “GRADUAL and ORDERLY progress”; ULTIMATE AIM: Universal suffrage upon nomination by broadly representative committee; The HKSAR CAN DECIDE its arrangements for electing CE and the LEGCO after 2007. UNDER CONDITIONS: 1. Consent by 2/ 3 of members of the LEGCO; 2. Consent of the Chief Executive; 3. Approval of the SCNPC. Election of the Chief Executive
  • 22. Context ISSUES to consider: 1. EXECUTIVE-LED government (authoritarian political design); 2. ELITE STRUCTURES (vested interests): “Business-State”; 3. HAND-TIED Legislature: Not a Parliamentary System; 4. (Political) DIFFERENCES between Pan-Democrats; 5. INTERVENTION by the Central People’s Government; 6. FEAR OF UNREST by government leaders in Mainland; 7. UNCERTAINTY: Reform or Conservatism?... TWO possible OUTCOMES: 1. Change in APPEARANCE: One person, one vote; 2. Change in ESSENCE: Limit candidate nomination. A Bleak Future, Issues and Outcomes
  • 23. FACTS AND EXPECTATIONS…
  • 24. FIFTH LEGCO since the establishment of the HKSAR; NEW STRUCTURE formed by constitutional reform passed in 2010; GEOGRAPHICAL Constituencies (GC): Expanded from size of 60 seats, to 70 seats in total: 35 seats are geographical constituencies (GC) elected by people’s suffrage; FUNCTIONAL Constituencies (FC): 30 seats unchanged, NEW 5 SEATS from a new constituency called DISTRICT COUNCIL (Second) for which candidates may be nominated by councillors, are elected by registered voters which don’t belong to traditional FC’s. Result of the Election
  • 25. PRO-DEMOCRACY camp: 1. Won 56.6% SHARE of popular vote; 2. 18/ 35 SEATS of GC’s; 3. Won 3/ 5 seats in the NEW DISTRICT COUNCIL (second) FC; 4. Votes for radical faction (People Power, PP, and Social- Democrats, SD) topped 264,000. Civic Party (CP) around 255,000 and Democratic Party 247,000; PRO-BEIJING camp: 1. Won 42.3% SHARE of popular vote; 2. Democratic Alliance for Betterment (DAB) and Progress Party remained the largest, winning 13 SEATS IN TOTAL; 3. ALL LISTS in GC were ELECTED, candidates split in several lists. Outcome Overview
  • 26. LACK OF COORDINATION: Failure to split votes among lists; DP was TOO AMBITIOUS in fielding 3 separate tickets in New Territories (NT) GC: Only Emily Lau was reelected; Civic Party VOWED TO GRAB two seats in HK-Island and New Territories West GC: Audrey Eu and Tanya Chan placed second, received over 70,000 votes, but not reelected; CP lawyers’ clique OVER-CONCERNED in constitutional, than livelihood issues to be major force; INFIGHTING: PP vs. DP and Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood supporting 2010 reforms; Pro-Democracy UNABLE TO EXPLOIT their share of vote. Pan-Democrats Election Setbacks
  • 27. Under the SCNPC decision issued in December 2007, the SOONEST for which CE and all LEGCO members can be elected by universal suffrage are YEARS 2017-20; CY Leung will have the opportunity to propose and adopt electoral reforms which FULFILL the “ULTIMATE AIM” of the election of HKSAR leaders by universal suffrage; According to the decision issued by the SCNPC, amending the election process involves a SIX-STEP PROCESS: 1. CE shall “prepare a REPORT” TO SCNPC about the need of amending election process in the HKSAR; 2. SCNPC WILL DICTAMINATE on issue for the need for amendment, but not on speficific changes; Election Perspectives for 2017-20
  • 28. 3. The government of the HKSAR shall introduce an INITIATIVE for bill of amendments before the LEGCO; 4. The LEGCO must pass the bill of amendments by quorum of at least 2/ 3 MAJORITY VOTE ; 5. The CE MUST CONSENT the bill which is to be passed by the LEGCO; 6. The bill shall be REPORTED to the SCNPC for its “FORMAL APPROVAL” when amending the election process CE, and “for the record” when amending the election process of LEGCO members. In accordance to Section III, Annex II of Basic Law… Perspectives, the Six Steps
  • 29. “…With regard to the method for forming the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and its procedures for voting on bills and motions after 2007, if there is a need to amend the provisions of this Annex, such amendments must be made with the endorsement of a two- thirds majority of all the members of the Council and the consent of the Chief Executive, and they shall be reported to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for the record…” Section III, Annex II of the Basic Law
  • 30. If Pan-Democrats (27 seats) remain UNIFIED, the coalition may block any proposal to amend the election process; However, COORDINATION among pro-democracy groups becomes more difficult, considering the RISE of new RADICAL factions, which seeks to pursue changes in policy by supporting strong protest acts to their grievances; Unlikely that Pan-Democrats can ATTRACT SUPPORT of the 20 members of the pro-Beijing camp to approve reforms acceptable to pan-democrats; If CE and LEGCO fail to NEGOTIATE a compromise acceptable to most members of BOTH CAMPS, the opportunity to achieve universal suffrage by 2017-20, may be lost… Political Projections in LEGCO
  • 31. Democracy in Hong Kong will DEPEND on the political orientation of the INCOMING Chinese LEADERSHIP; HONG KONG as ground for POLITICAL EXPERIMENT, and test viability of the “One Country Two System” regime; Chinese leaders may continue to intervene in polity matters of the SAR to ensure STABILITY and economic prosperity; Central Government may decide to WEIGH TO any election reform discussion, as it did in 2007; Indirectly, the Central Government would make moves to SAFEGUARD ITS INTERESTS (ie. preservation of selected FC’s, control of elegibility criteria for each FC);
  • 32. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! CITY UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG MAPPM 2012