Sunday, October 5, 2014

A lesson in democracy from Hong Kong!

Tens of thousands Hong Kong Chinese are demonstrating in the streets for democracy.   What is this all about?   The Chinese authorities are happy to let them elect a new Chief Executive for Hong Kong on the basis of One Person One Vote.   However only four candidates can stand and they have to be agreed beforehand.   This of course is a distortion of democracy.   Why can't anyone stand?
The supreme irony in all this is that it was agreed with the Chinese authorities by ex Conservative Party Chairman Chris Patten.   Why irony? Because this same system of election is used by the Conservative and the Labour parties in this country.   In a genuine democracy any member of the Conservative Party would be able to stand as a candidate, but what happens?   The Committee on Candidates (Chairman appointed, so unaccountable to the members) decides whether anyone can be on the candidates list.   There is then a sifting process at the end of which four names are put forward to be elected either by the public (so called open primaries) or by party members.
When can we expect demonstrations in the streets of the United Kingdom against this distortion of democracy?   What a shame that we are given a lesson in democracy by people in a far away land.