Democracy goes astray when the law is broken
The so-called ideal democratic system some people are now advocating, such as “civil nomination” and similar proposals do not conform to the Basic Law. They depart from Hong Kong’s real circumstances and could be very destructive if forcibly implemented. Those behind the “Occupy Central” campaign often scare people by claiming Hong Kong will not be democratic in future if we don’t fight for it today. Such tactics are contrary to the spirit of most Hong Kong people.
Hong Kong’s democratic development and implementation of universal suffrage must be carried out under the framework of rule of law, namely, the Basic Law and relevant decisions by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC). Only through rational discussion can we reach a format which conforms to this and achieves the ultimate goal of electing the Chief Executive by universal suffrage.
While some debate the method for selecting the Chief Executive by universal in 2017, I have heard many local people say they want to have CE elections by universal suffrage according to the Basic Law as soon as possible. To do so, the format for nominating CE election candidates must follow the Basic Law and public discussions must conform to the rule of law. Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to reach a consensus and progress toward universal suffrage.
Many Hong Kong residents also believe it is pointless to promote CE election nomination
rule of law is the cornerstone of democracy. Without it, democracy cannot work effectively or last long.”
formats which do not conform to the Basic Law, or to express views by illegal means such as the “Occupy Central” movement. Such actions make it impossible to build a consensus and may actually delay democratic development. Popular wisdom like this deserves the attention of all parties concerned about Hong Kong’s constitutional development.
The Basic Law and decisions of the NPCSC have established rules on the 2017 CE Election by universal suffrage. This includes “nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures”. The NPCSC also decided in 2007 that formation of the nominating committee can be based on the existing CE Election Committee. Local residents describe these two rules as “four main sectors” and as “institutional nomination”.
A CE election by universal suffrage can only be implemented after two-thirds of legislative councillors vote for it, and the CE and central government give their consent. Therefore, I believe the “four main sectors” and “institutional nomination” are more feasible than any other formats. They best reflect balanced participation and broad representation.
Some people have proposed different nomination formats and are confident theirs comply with the Basic Law. But I believe not everyone is qualified to interpret the Basic Law. It is better for everyone to stick to the Basic Law and relevant decisions of the NPCSC instead of discussing their own ideas without agreement. This will ensure a consensus can be reached on the 2017 CE Election by universal suffrage.
Some individuals advocating the illegal “Occupy Central” campaign have gone so far as to call for a “revolution”. This is an attempt to cause chaos and blackmail the central government into accepting their political demands. Many local people are deeply worried about such behavior. They fear it will undermine the rule of law, which has been instrumental in maintaining Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. I could not agree more.
The rule of law is the cornerstone of democracy. Without it, democracy cannot work effectively or last long. Some people demand an ideal form of democracy but do not respect the rule of law. They have been urging the public to fight, by breaking the rule of law and even launching a revolution if necessary, to satisfy their own political ambitions. The great majority of Hong Kong residents should think very carefully about the consequences of such self-serving actions.