18 January 2010

On Election


So much has been said about the 'mass resignation' in Hong Kong. But why the controversy? What makes it an inevitable option to bring about democracy in Hong Kong? Because our government and the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong are filled with congenital liars who try to convince us they are working towards a better future for Hong Kong. Our government, of course, is no Communist. But given the fact that our Big Brother in Peking is the master and our shoe-shining ruler Sir Donald Tsang his slave, he has no choice but to submit to his master's suggestions. How uncommon a gentleman labelled as 'Sir' is seen equal to a Communist. But we are all no stranger to Chinese history. The Chinese has been under dictatorship for over 3000 years and it is no surprise that the slavery instinct is imprinted on their minds. That is why our only respected political parties in Hong Kong decided to mass resign from the Legislative Council but at the same time worry at length whether they will get 50% of votes. This worry is of no tiny matter and it deserves the utmost attention.

Year after year, I see few people voting. But it does not spring from the fact that we admire the Communist ideology, but because our previous colonial empire has educated us well enough not to care for politics. Back in the colonial period, the British government had everything handled and assured us living in stability devoid of worries. Though we were not given the freedom to vote for our governors, they promised us with the best degree of freedom out of all Chinese communities. 1997 marked the end of the colonial empire and for the first time, our destiny is in our own hands. Our colonial master left, yet our British Complex remains. Thirteen years from now, we are at loss how to manage a tiny little city in Asia properly.

If a change in the Legislative Council is to be expected, voting should be made compulsory. Whoever refuses to vote should be severely penalised. My dear reader might ask, 'is it not contrary to the very idea of a free society?' No, I should reply, this is no tyranny. It has everything to do with liberty. Think of the Communist China where people are deprived of every bit of possible freedom. Think of Iran where the Taliban regime is in power. Think of North Korea where people are deluded by Kim Jong-il that they are living in an Utopia. Think of the democratic Russia where people have become stringed puppets. There is not a single moment the people of Hong Kong are deprived of freedom anywhere close to this. They have failed to understand how important and valuable freedom is. Had they lived to witness the horrors of The Great Leap Forward, had they lived to experience the persecution of The Cultural Revolution, none of them would have been so reluctant to vote.

Through compulsory voting, we may assure our only respected political parties to have at least 50% of votes. Though some of the people in Hong Kong may have secured an admiration for the Communist regime, but based on the political sentiment of the people in Hong Kong, their heroic act is likely to be rewarded.

W

5 comments:

  1. Voting should not be made compulsory, it would only force those who do not clearly understand the issue, or the system, to be wooed by people who don't particularly care about the people.

    What Hong Kong lacks is a history of democracy, and that's why they're so easily steered by the siren songs sung by many. They are so easily swayed by people who present democracy as the panacea, the silver bullet to repel the government, the Communists, etc...

    "The bureaucrats don't listen to us! If we have universal suffrage now, and if you vote for us, we will always listen to you." Fact of the matter is, even with a democratic government, they will do things that are seemingly against the will of the people. Obama is quite clearly doing that with the health care reform, since there's a hell a lot of public opinion against it. If we strictly believe that our elected officials should only do what the electorate wants, then Obama should clearly be ousted right this minute.

    But why aren't anyone saying that? Spare a couple of nutjobs in the States, no one's going to suggest that they should oust an government that doesn't listen to its people.

    As a government, there are lots of things that are politically unsavoury that needs to be implemented to ensure future prosperity. A minimum level of health coverage, a reasonably broad tax base, or even a severe bloodletting of government programs to stop a decade of deficits - those can be thankless jobs that a government must implement, yet can easily send a politician's approval onto a tailspin. Democratic governments such as US, Britain, or Canada often achieve these acts in majority governments, where the governing party runs unopposed, even if everyone else gangs up on them; majority governments easily catches the ire of the electorate, and can be overthrown for pushing certain agendas that the public isn't particularly happy about.

    To blindly think or say that the abolition of the functional constituency, with universal suffrage would stop a government from disobeying public opinion is just being politically immature.

    I welcome the day when the pan-democrats are in charge, and they would have to push through some project that no one wants to do (broadening the tax base would be a lovely candidate), and get tarred and feathered over it.

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  4. I think voting should be made compulsory because it's a duty as a citizen. If one refuses to care for where he lives, he doesn't deserve to live there.

    What you are suggesting sounds like the paradox of democracy that people might vote for a sort of government that doesn't care for the people. I think that's precisely the reason why voting should be made compulsory. Democracy does not just promise us the right to vote for a desired political party, but it also gurantees our right to vote a party out when it fails to keep its promise. Democracy never promises us a good government, but it helps us to eliminate what is evil or at least what we think is evil.

    You may ask, 'What if people are constantly deluded by a bad government?' Though I don't think this is very likely to happen, but I guess all we have to do is just keep voting because this is the essence of democracy- a scientific attitude, which allows us to learn from experience. If we vote for a bad government, then we should revise our mistakes and correct them and hope we can achieve a better result next time like doing an experiment.

    I am not saying that voting should only be made compulsory in order to secure a good government, but it should be made compulsory to eliminate what is bad. It is never a democratic ideal to achieve what is good, but to ward off as much as evil as possible.

    W

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  5. I agree almost entirely with calyth. That's the political truth.

    Yes, peeps in HK are a bit politically immature I think. They tend to think that democracy is the cure to all shits. And they're more "educated" to like populism.

    A pair of concept may help in understanding this matter: direct democracy vs. representional democracy. Peeps in HK imagine they want direct democracy, and that the politicians elected will always listen to them.

    It's the fault of the Democratic Party in HK.

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