Pan-democrats must choose wisely for HK

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-6-9 23:53:01

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on June 17 will submit its reform package, which is based on  China's top legislature's decision on August 31, to the Legislative Council for a vote. With only one week to go, the time is right for some sober thinking.

The political reform package hasn't met the demands of the pan-democratic camp. The nominating committee is similar to the current Election Committee, but the chief executive will be elected through a "one person, one vote" system by 5 million eligible voters. Doesn't this represent big progress? If it is vetoed, the Hong Kong political mechanism will remain as it is now.

Will the central government yield to the pan-democratic camp if the reform plan is vetoed? Probably not. Pan-democrats could precipitate a crisis through refusing the plan. However, such a crisis will bring no good to Hong Kong society, nor will it benefit the pan-democratic camp. If the political reform package is vetoed, the consequences will be unbearable to Hong Kong society, since it will be torn by a political standoff and confidence in the city will be shattered.

The pan-democrats should position themselves correctly in the political landscape of the whole country. Hong Kong is a special administrative region with high autonomy, but it is not an independent entity. The region's relations with the mainland and the central government are the life-blood of its development and prosperity.

Hong Kong's chief executive should be accepted both by Hong Kong society and the central government. He or she will face difficulties in governance if they have the support of only one side. Hong Kong is a pluralistic society which accommodates different political opinions. But there should be a limit for political competition where society should not be split by political confrontation and the competitiveness of Hong Kong in the global economy must not be sacrificed.    

Even with opposition from the pan-democratic camp, the central government did not abandon the reform plan and choose to keep the status quo. Instead, it has been persuading the pan-democratic camp to accept the plan. It demonstrates Beijing's sincerity to improve Hong Kong's democracy. But the opposition camp would rather stall the development of the city by denying the reform. It wants all Hong Kong to pay the price, but lays the blame on the central government.

Democratic politics takes the form of competition, but rests on the fundamental principle of pragmatism. Hong Kong's pan-democratic camp shouldn't put its will above everything else. It is a political misjudgment. If they cast their vote next Wednesday with this attitude, all Hong Kong society will be forced to pay the price for their caprice. We hope rationality and responsibility will play their role in the final moments, helping pan-democrats make the right choice.

Posted in: Editorial

blog comments powered by Disqus