Labour Struggles

Say NO to censorship and fake universal suffrage Support to civil nomination

29

Nov 2013

Say NO to censorship and fake universal suffrage

Support to civil nomination

Chan Chiu Wai 

 

The incumbent Chief Executive C Y Leung was elected by 689 voters, while any student union leader might get more votes than he did. Worse than that, the 1,200 members of the Election Committee are mostly from the business sectors, who are elected by the heads of corporates and organizations. Such an electoral mechanism defines that the Chief Executive is picked the social upper class and interested groups, and the Chief Executive is, by default, serving his voters' interests. As universal suffrage of Chief Executive is promised by the Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45, the HKCTU and the pro-democracy camp are striving for a genuine universal suffrage in 2017. Yet, what is a genuine universal suffrage? The pro-Beijing camp has been indicating that a nomination committee should be installed, to select and ensure those candidates must be persons who love the country and love Hong Kong, in other words, not the pan-democrats in their logic. If that would be the case, Hong Kong people might only end up having the choice to vote for rotten oranges, smashed apples and spoiled watermelons. 

Until now, the Hong Kong SAR Government has been delaying to put out a universal suffrage proposal for public consultation, while it has become a heated debate in the civil society. The civil society is aiming to reach a consensus, to further advocate the Government to adopt a genuine universal suffrage method. In this issue of the HKCTU Newsletter, we are introducing some of the genuine universal suffrage methods. 

 

Method A

Method B

Method C

Formation of the nomination committee

Members included:

1.           District Council members (some 400 people)

 

2.           Based on 2012 election format

Election committee: about 1,100 members (including the Legislative Council members, after deducting some 100 seats from the District Council)

Total: 1,500

Members elected by  all citizens, by:

1.      dividing Hong Kong into 20 districts

2.      electing an average of 20 members from each district throughproportional representation system

Total: 400

Members included:

1.      District Council members (some 400 people)

2.      Legislative Council members (about 70 members)

Total: about 500

Nomination procedure

Nomination would be approved, when a candidate is meeting one of the following two requirements:

1.        Nominated by at least 10% of the nomination committee;

2.        Nominated by at least 2% of the registered voters of geographical direct elections (about 70,000 to 80,000 voters).

Nomination would be approved, when a candidate is nominated by at least 10% of the nomination committee.

Nomination would be approved, when a candidate is meeting one of the following two requirements:

1.        Nominated by at least 10% of the nomination committee;

2.        Nominated by at least 2% of the registered voters of geographical direct elections(about 70,000 to 80,000 voters).

Electoral procedure of universal suffrage

Two rounds of election:

-          First round: when a candidate gets more than half of the valid votes, s/he will be elected as the Chief Executive.

-          If none of the candidates get more than half of the valid votes at the first round, the two candidates have the most votes will enter the second round of election.

-          Second round: the candidate who gets most votes will be elected as the Chief Executive.

 

Cyd Ho: Civil nomination to avoid censorship

Both Methods A and C offer a way for general voters to nominate directly, which is commonly known as "civil nomination”. What exactly is it? Why is it essential? Legislative Council member Cyd Ho of the Labour Party explained us in an interview. 

"The Central Government and the Hong Kong SAR Government have been repeatedly blocking the democratic development in Hong Kong. Many Hong Kong citizens cast serious doubts on the universal suffrage in 2017, worrying that it would be a censored and fake election. One of the major worries is that Beijing would censer the candidacy though the nomination committee.  The formation method of nomination committee and eligibility of voters are indeed local regulations and the SAR Government could revise them by getting half of the Legislative Council members to pass its motion. With the help of the functional constituency at the Legislative Council, the Government and the pro-Beijing camp can manipulate the number and formation method of the nomination committee. As a result, an "obedient” committee is likely to remove candidates who are not blessed by Beijing, despite their popularity among the Hong Kong people. 

The civil nomination mechanism can guarantee candidates with wide support from the citizens to run for the election. Also, the nomination procedure is rather simply, the Government would only need to put the numbers of its requirement into its constitution, to make it a reliable electoral method. Some academics proposed a two-stage nomination, i.e. first openly nominated by the public and later to be reviewed by the nomination committee; yet, it would create two barriers for the candidates and violate the concept of open nomination by the citizens. 

In short, civil nomination can reassure the fairness of the election and should be included in the final electoral method. If the finalized electoral leaves it out, the people would lose confidence in Hong Kong's political reform.” 

Democratization of the political system is the key to strengthen the labour laws, to make changes in the unfair wealth distribution mechanism and to improve the living quality of the general public. The HKCTU has vowed to fight for the genuine universal suffrage and we need your support for our shared future.

 < 1 2