Chief Executive election: Pan-democrats' dream is a luxury we cannot afford

Chief Executive election: Pan-democrats' dream is a luxury we cannot afford

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Pro-democracy lawmakers protest against Beijing's proposals for the chief executive election.
Pro-democracy lawmakers protest against Beijing's proposals for the chief executive election.
Photo: Dickson Lee

I have lost all hope in Hong Kong’s future.

It’s not the “autocratic regime”, or the “communistic agendas” of the Hong Kong government which has caused me to renounce my faith in the city’s well-being, it’s the so-called “pro-democracy” camp. 

Ever since the inception of the Occupy Central movement, members of the camp have been continuously bickering about the need for a system which functions in accordance with the “international standards” of democracy. Guess what? Such a thing does not exist. 

What’s more, these wishful thinkers believe that the civil-disobedience campaign will actually force Beijing’s hand and bring us the right of civil nomination; the right for the public to nominate Chief Executive candidates. 

Since when did we acquire a taste for such luxuries? It’s naive to think that such an absurd proposal could be properly achieved and implemented in any part of the world, let alone in a country which has yet to get a taste of universal suffrage. 

Take a look at the United States, “land of the free”, where civil nomination is possible on paper, but never in practice. At the end of the day, the two main political parties throw up a candidate each and let the voters decide which of the two is less of a villain.

Why now? Why have we, all of a sudden, decided to call for universal suffrage?

Let’s cast our minds back to the time when Hong Kong was under British colonial rule: the economy was going well, nearly everyone was capable of getting a job and, as a result, most people lived a happy life. There wasn’t any universal suffrage and no one cared. 

Two decades later, the city becomes a much gloomier place. The population is now two million heads larger and the influx of mainlanders isn’t helping. It’s much harder to live a happy life, now that it takes 14 years for an average household to save enough to buy the most modest of flats. Understandably, people are very much upset by this change.

To my understanding, there are three groups of people in the pro-democracy camp: the “leaders”, who use it as a cheap way of gaining votes; the ordinary citizens, who choose to vent their frustration through the protests; and those who truly believe that universal suffrage is the key to solving our economic problems. 

The attempt to “fight for democracy” by the pan-democrats is like a pathetic attempt to kill a wasp. Not only will they never be able to hit it, they’ll also anger the giant wasp in the process, making it feel more inclined to strike back. 

Yes, Hong Kong is entitled to universal suffrage just like any other developed region in the world. However, we must stop being so stubborn when it comes to negotiating terms with the central government. 

We’re already lucky to have the chance to vote for the city’s paramount leader. It’s a privilege our economic competitors, such as casino-land Macau and authoritarian Singapore, cannot enjoy. 

We should stop squabbling before Mr Xi and friends decide to take it all away from us.

 

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
The myth of democracy

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1 comment

Cheung Yiu Him

17:18pm

So,according to your view, it is reasonable for us to have the universal suffrage like the one in North Korea,right?

If all Honkongers stop fighting for democracy, who else in China can do it for us?

If Hong Kong as a leading city of China, and we can't demonstrate how true democracy works,how can China follow and improve her political system?

Please don't be so short-sighted. If all of us are thinking in your way, we will lose all the precious core value of Hong Kong. Encounter with unfair situation,what we have to do is fighting instead of looking on with folded arms. I'd like to use this poem to sum up everything.

First they came by Martin Niemöller

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I sincerely hope that you can understand my message. Sorry for my poor English.