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HK election aims to pressure Beijing for democracy [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-5-16 20:33:07 |Display all floors
By MIN LEE
The Associated Press
Sunday, May 16, 2010; 12:39 AM

HONG KONG -- Hong Kongers voted Sunday in territory-wide special elections triggered by five opposition legislators who resigned in the hopes of pressuring Beijing to implement full democracy in this former British colony.

The five former lawmakers, who represent each of Hong Kong's five major electoral districts, quit in January with the intention of setting up a showdown against pro-Beijing candidates that will serve as a de facto referendum on democracy.

While Hong Kong has continued to enjoy Western-style civil liberties under Chinese rule, its top leader is picked by a committee stacked with Beijing loyalists and its 60-member legislature is half-elected, half chosen by interest groups.

Beijing has condemned the democracy activists' campaign and Hong Kong's leading pro-China political parties announced a boycott.

With the five ex-legislators likely to win re-election overwhelmingly against a smattering of unknown candidates, political analysts question if the campaign will influence the Chinese government. Still, the democracy activists have pressed ahead, arguing that a strong turnout on Sunday will pressure Beijing.

The five candidates made a last-minute appeal for votes on Sunday, canvassing restaurants where locals were enjoying dim sum - Cantonese bite-size snacks - and touring the territory in cars.

Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Hong Kong bishop and an outspoken democracy advocate who's frequently critical of Beijing, was among the early voters on Sunday. Zen told reporters Hong Kong's lack of democracy was at the root of problems like a big rich-poor gap and the government's pro-business bent.

"People's lives won't improve without a democratic system," he said. "I hope everyone will come out today and take advantage of this opportunity to express our anger peacefully."

The referendum campaign, however, has drawn mixed responses. Independent polls have consistently shown more opponents than supporters.

Technician Tim Lau said he planned to cast his ballot because "the power of a vote is far greater than staging demonstrations."

"The government should acknowledge Hong Kong people's desire for true democracy," the 35-year-old said.

Mak Ling-jen, 55, said she was disgusted by what she called a "political game."

"Is this a joke - resigning and then participating in elections again? It is a waste of taxpayer dollars and public resources," Mak said. "This whole thing is wrong and I am deeply unsettled by it."

Toeing Beijing's line, the Hong Kong administration has called the referendum campaign unnecessary, with leader Donald Tsang saying Friday that he and his senior officials won't vote in the special election. But the government has gone ahead and organized the contest as required by law.

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Post time 2010-5-16 22:57:59 |Display all floors
Originally posted by Kbay at 2010-5-16 21:47
oh sh!t, I just had my evening meal...

sick all over my wooden floor!

Now what am I gonna...


All silly questions to laren

Chao Ren VFP

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Post time 2010-5-17 03:38:20 |Display all floors

Chinese way trumps democracy in HK

Less than 17 percent of HKs 3.4 million voters cast a ballot, well below the 30 percent that democracy activists had hoped would vote.

Just put this number into perspective, in the US, about that many percents of people want racial segregation back.

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Post time 2010-5-17 04:16:17 |Display all floors

Democracy is an unattractive norm?

Having to read the comments posted above, does that mean that you folks are advocating for a complete dictatorship in hong kong? Or, pondering on the question, is democracy and human rights an unattractive norm for China? If so, why?

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Post time 2010-5-17 04:32:40 |Display all floors
Originally posted by chinawatcher at 2010-5-17 04:16
Having to read the comments posted above, does that mean that you folks are advocating for a complete dictatorship in hong kong? Or, pondering on the question, is democracy and human rights an unat ...


The Western concept of Human Rights is rooted in their religion and culture. For a Westerner grows up in religious up brings, it is impossible for it to escape the self-supremacist views. Their narrowly defined human rights are triviality in Chinese culture. Their democracy is a childish joke from a Chinese understanding. The West is pushing their nonsense onto Chinese civilization which is the only nonreligious civilization. Now the West is failing in all aspects, no one will listen to these alcohol-brain-damaged slaves under their imagined Santa namely Ghod.

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Post time 2010-5-17 05:23:41 |Display all floors

cultural crash?

Originally posted by timbatu at 2010-5-16 20:32


The Western concept of Human Rights is rooted in their religion and culture. For a Westerner grows up in religious up brings, it is impossible for it to escape the self-supremacist views. Their ...




RE: Timbatu

That is a very good point actually. The concept of democracy may fits awakwardly with Chinese culture has always been controversial. We then asks: "what is chinese culture?"  Taoism? Confucian? Chinese new year? respecting our parents? How does this crash with democracy?

western culture is very much rooted in the Christian religion. For it says in the Bible "everyone is equal before God" - which is where the concept  of "equality" comes from. Since everyone is equal, everyone is subjected to the law...everyone has only 1 vote in each election, and etc.

What then is the conflict between chinese culture and the western democratic thoughts? If by chinese tradition and values, you mean 'corruption' - then yes, we probably shouldn't have corruption for corruption is rooted in our culture. Thus, we then have grounds to suggest demoracy is not for China. And it is an "attack" on chinese "culture".




P.S. What amused me the most [on this election] is the pro-CCP began to use the term ""暴民政治". Haha, this just makes me laugh soo much. For the term translating into [netural] English/Chinese would probably be "the politics of pressure from the majority" or "多數人政治" (i.e. democracy, the majority rules). It is very amusing how the pro-China party refuse to use any phrase ... See moresuch as "anti- 民主". For 民主 (democracy) is a very positive, possibly very marketable word. Thus, they adoped the phrase "暴民政治" - and i was like wow the terminology is highly manipulative. Whoever comes up with this must have a degree in Chinese language/ literature. No wonder so people get fooled by these propaganda.

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Post time 2010-5-17 05:50:05 |Display all floors

cultural crash?

Originally posted by timbatu at 2010-5-16 20:32


The Western concept of Human Rights is rooted in their religion and culture. For a Westerner grows up in religious up brings, it is impossible for it to escape the self-supremacist views. Their ...




Interesting perspective. Perhaps it would be constructive to examine the differences between western cutlural thoughts and chinese cutlural thoughts.

1) Chinese cultural thoughts mainly lies upon buddism (eg, be peaceful), taoism (eg, worship god), confucion (eg, respect our parents)

2) Western cultural thoughts mainly lies upon Christainity. For their Bible tells us "everyone is equal before God". This leads to their "equality" principle, everyone is subjected to the law, and everyone has only 1 vote in an election.

Results: we then ask, what aspects of the two are crashing against each other?? If none, then why shouldn't we adopt democracy and human rights if it would improve our lives so much better?? These are questions that worth pondering upon.

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