Saturday, June 27, 2015

Michael Davis on What Next for Hong Kong Leaders after Reform Veto

South China Morning Post
27 June 2015
A lot of recent attention has focused on Hong Kong pan-democrats and what they should do after their failed attempt to secure democracy. This attention might be better focused on the Beijing and Hong Kong governments. Last week's Legislative Council vote was a disastrous end to a nearly two-year campaign to push through alleged democratic reform. Soul-searching by our top officials is clearly needed.
     While opinion polls seemed to suggest equal support for and opposition to the bill, in fact, supporters often acknowledged that the proposal was flawed. Their support was often based on the premise of future changes - hardly a resounding endorsement if this is not a realistic possibility. Given the level of foot-dragging over democratic reform in the past 17 years, one would have to be pretty gullible to expect further significant reform to institute genuine democratic elections.
     Rather, public support for the bill was probably based on the intimidation factor; many were prepared to accept an undemocratic model to avoid further contention. But what is the source of this contention? Laying the blame at the feet of protesters hardly seems fair. The protests were driven by the efforts to block genuine reform. Beijing, in its white paper and its August 31 decision, clearly aimed to block pan-democrats from being presented to voters... Click here to read the full article.

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