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Hong Kong reforms prevent 'dictatorship of the majority', pro-Beijing lawmaker says

Economy Mar 06, 2021 09:15AM ET
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© Reuters. Pro-democracy protesters hold signs during a march under Hong Kong flags outside the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, China

By Yew Lun Tian

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's proposal for Hong Kong electoral reforms could prevent a "dictatorship of the majority", pro-Beijing Hong Kong lawmaker Martin Liao told Reuters on Saturday.

The Chinese parliament is discussing plans to overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system to ensure Beijing loyalists are in charge. Hong Kong representatives, in Beijing for an annual session, say the change is necessary and desirable.

"Many people in Hong Kong are politically immature," Liao, who sits on both Hong Kong's and China's legislature, said in a telephone interview.

"They think 'one man one vote' is the best thing, and they take advice from countries that don't even have 'one man one vote'," Liao said, referring to how neither the U.S. President nor the British Prime Minister is elected by a popular vote.

The proposed changes, which include expanding the city's Election Committee from 1,200 to 1,500 people and expanding the city's Legislative Council from 70 to 90 seats, will make Hong Kong's electoral system more "representative", and less prone to "dictatorship of the majority", Liao added.

Critics say that Beijing would be able to stack the two bodies with even more pro-establishment members, to gain the numerical superiority needed to influence important decisions such as the election of the city's Chief Executive, leaving Hong Kong voters with less direct say in who they want to lead them.

People from new industries and services, such as information technology, telecommunications and healthcare, should be brought in as additional members of Hong Kong's electoral collage, said Maria Tam, a senior Hong Kong politician who works with China's parliament on matters relating to Hong Kong's mini-constitution.

People who can help Hong Kong's youth take advantage of China's economic development, such as through the national Five Year Plan and plan for the Greater Bay Area, should also be included, she told Reuters by telephone.

Tam dismissed concerns that the reforms, aimed at ensuring "patriots govern Hong Kong" will crimp the space for opposition.

"I don't think it is just going to be unicolor," she said.

"Anybody who can draw the line between themselves and those who act against the interests of China and Hong Kong would have no problem whatsoever running for election, and winning," she said.

Tam Yiu-chung, the only Hong Kong representative in China's top lawmaking body, the National People's Congress Standing Committee, said separately: "If you are not a patriot, it's going to be hard for you to get in."

Hong Kong reforms prevent 'dictatorship of the majority', pro-Beijing lawmaker says
 

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Comments (10)
Anthony Anthony
Anthony Anthony Mar 06, 2021 11:27PM ET
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We don't really care. Those people are just tools at our disposal to make China look bad.
Randy Randy
randy00 Mar 06, 2021 1:42PM ET
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Amusing.
David David
David9 Mar 06, 2021 12:02PM ET
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Just go watch on YouTube, their CCP central committee, is transparent... thousands of their leaders meet, no shouting, no fighting, they all have pen and papers ready to take notes, they talks goals and take orders, this is true governance at work....
Daniel Hall
Daniel Hall Mar 06, 2021 12:02PM ET
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there's a reason for that. if you have a dissenting argument from the majority, you disappear. Disagreement is important, it causes your views as well as theirs to evolve or at least be refined
David David
David9 Mar 06, 2021 12:02PM ET
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Daniel Hall I don't think so.... give us an example of someone disappearing, and don't get the report from Adrian Zenz or some ***report like that...
David David
David9 Mar 06, 2021 11:44AM ET
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I told you guys... the world needs to study and learn how China governs. They have the latest greatest way to govern... tell me which country focuses on getting rid of poverty, no drugs, no homelessness, mega cities and projects, education, etc... these people are real problem solvers. They are solving Hong Kong at the speed of light....
Josh OBarr
Josh OBarr Mar 06, 2021 10:17AM ET
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"Dictatorship of the majority" now that's some word gymnastics right there.
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Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Mar 06, 2021 10:17AM ET
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I read the entire federalist papers. It is you who are misrepresenting intent of the writing of others. What Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton were referring to was the necessary acceptance of an unavoidable lesser of many evils. In other words, while tyranny of the majority **** tyranny of less than the majority ****more. There is no other workable options except in fantasy. Their main fear even then was the manipulation of the un-intelligent masses of 'just-want-to-be-happies'. Like in America now.
Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen Mar 06, 2021 10:17AM ET
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American government had no interest in Democracy until Woodrow Wilson. That's why the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States is "to the REPUBLIC, for which it stands"
Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen Mar 06, 2021 10:17AM ET
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Joseph I think you are confusing Majority Rule with Self Governance. Liberty comes with necessary risks in order to have just representation in government. Majority Rule literally is tyranny of the majority. 51% determines law for all, including the 49% minority without representation.
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Mar 06, 2021 10:17AM ET
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Do you even think about the stuff you spew?
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Mar 06, 2021 10:17AM ET
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Democracy is about everyone getting an equal say. Our founding fathers did not form a democracy because it is unworkable. Thus, we have what was hoped would be a democratic republic. Why? because if 6 people want to play a game on the only field in existence, 5 want kickball and one want football, you go with the majority. Why? Because in real life 5 disgruntled people will hold up the use of the field a lot longer than one. There is no such thing as fair to all, so majority tyranny is better than the only other 'real' option- minority tyranny!!!!
Karl Blumhorst
Karl Blumhorst Mar 06, 2021 10:14AM ET
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Sounds a lot like the USA's democrat party's election reform.
Loan Pham
Loan Pham Mar 06, 2021 10:11AM ET
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Democracy in China. Give me a break. Communist is dictatorship by party and they workship their leaders like god....Look at home and building, see pictures of their leaders hung on the walls.Do not be fooled by communist.
Karl Blumhorst
Karl Blumhorst Mar 06, 2021 10:11AM ET
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Should we be surprised the Reuters MSM propaganda arm is spinning China's action in a positive way?
David David
David9 Mar 06, 2021 9:42AM ET
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I think China did the right thing here. This is correct...
Tyler Phillis
Tyler Phillis Mar 06, 2021 9:42AM ET
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It's consistent...right and wrong are arbitrary in China. "Right" is whatever the party says it is...
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Mar 06, 2021 9:33AM ET
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Nobody is buying it China.
David David
David9 Mar 06, 2021 9:33AM ET
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Have you look at the stats? China is still the world's factory.... China will remain the world's factory for decades to come.... they spent trillions and trillions building up the infrastructure so 100% no one can match China on the large scale of productions...
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Mar 06, 2021 7:05AM ET
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Why have rule by majority, when rule by the minority, the very few-or what the ********rule by the one is so much better.
Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen Mar 06, 2021 7:05AM ET
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There are more than two options for government. Equal representation for all cultures and ideologies, as closely as can be achieved, is what good governance looks like. Not unlimited power by majority rule
 
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