The Alliance for True Democracy (Alliance), a coalition of opposition lawmakers, yesterday put forward its draft proposal for the Chief Executive election in 2017 with a so-called "seven-point consensus" for public consultation. It claimed this could become the ground rules for the 2017 CE election.
The SAR Government has yet to unveil its blueprint for the 2017 CE election. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying had earlier repeatedly pointed out that at present there were more urgent economic and livelihood issues to be dealt with, and all social sectors should concentrate on such issues. The government would unveil a blueprint for the election in an appropriate time, and citizens would definitely have amble time to speak out their opinions.
However, in order to get a head start in influencing public opinion and misleading citizens, the opposition camp has an itch to get on with the matter. At first, Benny Tai Yiu Ting announced an "Occupy Central" movement plan, then the Alliance was formed with Joseph Cheng Yu-shek as the convener to seek a consensus of the "pro-democratic camp" and work out a draft blueprint for public consultation. So much so that if the SAR Government's upcoming election proposal is not in accord with theirs, they would accuse it of being "against public opinion" and not "true democracy". Their intention to pass off fish eyes for pearls and to exercise pressure on the SAR and Central Government is laid bare. Their ulterior motive could be said really malicious.
Now they have "let the cat out of the bag" – as a saying puts it. If the Alliance really had the slightest intention to discuss the 2017 CE election in accordance with the law, it would be nothing serious for them to make a foul play with time. However, in view of their draft proposal as put forward yesterday, none of the seven-point consensus is in accord with the Basic Law, with the earlier speech by Qiao Xiaoyang - the chairman of the Law Committee under the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress – in Shenzhen, nor with the principle of "one country two systems – let alone showing any respect to the Central Government's constitutional power. Such a "seven-point consensus" should rather be called their anti-China and trouble-making "consensus" on the issue of universal suffrage than any "consensus" on 2017 CE election.
Of which, nothing is more absurd than the proposal that "the nominating committee (for CE candidates) should be chosen by the people of Hong Kong under a one- man, one-vote system," and that "the nominating committee should be abolished in the long-run as it is against the democratic principle of popular and equal participation."
Article 45 of the Basic Law stipulates:"The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures."
What is "a broadly representative nominating committee"? On this, Chairman Qiao Xiaoyang, in his speech on meeting with some Hong Kong lawmakers in Shenzhen on March 24, made it very clear: the nominating committee could be formed with reference to rules stipulated in Annex 1 of the Basic Law on composition of the Election Committee for CE.
According to Annex 1, the current CE Election Committee "shall be composed of" members from the four major sectors: Industrial, commercial and financial sectors; the professions; labour, social services, religious and other sectors; and the political sectors. Members are elected by institutional and individual voters in the respective sectors. It is without doubt that such a "quadrifid committee" is broadly representative and legally grounded.
If members of the nominating committee are to be chosen – as the Alliance requested - by the people of Hong Kong under a one- man, one-vote system, then one may ask: how could "balanced participation" by the industrial, commercial and financial sectors; the professions; labour, social services, religious and other sectors; and the political sectors be achieved? And how could "broad representativeness" be attained?
Following their proposal, we would elect a nominating committee by "one man one vote" and then elect the CE again by one man one vote. Isn't it redundant and overlapping, like a child's play? Doesn't such a move simply regard the Basic Law and Qiao Xiaoyang's speech as nothing?
The "seven-point consensus" also proposes that "no conditions without objective standard should be set" for participating in the CE election, such as "loving the country and loving Hong Kong" and "not to oppose the Central Government". Surely there is no clear-cut formula like "1 + 1 = 2" to define "loving the country and loving Hong Kong" and "not to oppose the Central Government". Nor this may be possibly stipulated with strict legal terms. But whether one loves the country and Hong Kong, whether one opposes the Central Government and whether one is suitable to take the CE office, "citizens have their criteria in their hearts" – as Qiao Xiaoyang put it. In this regard, people are clear-minded and can hardly be fooled.
09 May 2013