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Democracy in Hong Kong: An Update

Diqiucun_Cunmin
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6/18/2015 9:54:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
We've got off international radar for a while, since the high-profile Occupy protests are over, but I thought I'd share here an update on our road to democracy. Why? Because there's something very interesting going on here - the government's semidemocratic package failed to pass under suspicious circumstances.

Sooo... first, a disclaimer. I'm not complaining or anything. I watch politics like it's a soap opera, unless it's related to issues that actually affect people (e.g. environmental policies, fiscal policies). When it comes to political reforms, I just sit back and enjoy the show.

Okay, where to start? Well, for those who didn't know, what triggered the protests was a political reform package from the government. Beijing set up a framework for the semi-democratic reform package, which in essence means we'll get universal suffrage, but the candidates will be pre-selected. The pro-democracy guys were not happy because they worried that this 'fake universal suffrage', as they call it, will grant the government legitimacy, and so we're stuck with 'fake universal suffrage' forever. This was what triggered last year's high-profile Occupy movement - they wanted 'real universal suffrage', as they call it, where the general populace gains the right to nominate and to be nominated as well - not just the right to vote.

Has the package been passed? Well, I first need to explain how our mini-parliament works. The number of democratically elected seats in our mini-parliament, called the Legislative Council or LegCo, has been increasing over the years, and depending on the count, they take up either 35/70 or 40/70 of the LegCo. I can explain this difference if anyone wants, but that's not the main point. The LegCo is divided into 35 functional constituencies and 35 geographical constituencies. The former is elected by small circles, and the latter by the general populace. To pass the package, it must receive 2/3 of the votes.

Pro-Beijing legislators are the majority in the functional constituencies, but pro-democracy legislators are the majority in the geographical constituencies. Pro-democracy politicians retain a right to veto as they take up 1/3 of the seats. Now, last time they tried to implement a political reform, they eventually managed to 'convince' some of the pro-democracy legislators to their side. This resulted in huge public backslash against those pro-democracy legislators, as well as the passing of the package, which is why we didn't get universal suffrage in 2012.

With that background aside, let's move on to the juicy scoop. The strange thing about the LegCo meeting was, before they were about to vote on the proposal, the vast majority of the pro-Beijing legislators left the meeting. What the heck? Aren't these people going to support the package? Well, the official story is that they didn't want to vote without Mr Lau Wong-fat, a generally pro-Beijing legislator and the chairman of my school's School Council. They wanted to delay the meeting to allow Mr Lau to vote. There are several problems with this story:

1) Mr Lau has a tendency to be absent in meetings, and generally votes only for issues directly related to him.
2) Mr Lau is in poor health.
3) They can't delay the meeting without the Liberal Party (a pro-Beijing party that defends business interests) leaving too. The legislators should be perfectly aware of that, so why didn't they call the Liberal Party? And besides, why did a single legislator from the pro-Beijing Federation of Trade Unions remain?

Eventually, the reform package lost by a huge margin, with all pro-Democracy legislators (28) against, and eight remain pro-Beijing legislators in favour.

All this is highly suspicious. Some people called the pro-Beijing legislators amateurs who didn't know the rules of the LegCo, but there were many experienced legislators among those people. They're supposed to knows the rules like the backs of their hands.

The plot thickens as Leung Kwok-hung, an outspoken pro-democracy legislator, declared that a man tried to bribe him into supporting the reforms. The ICAC, our anti-corruption agency, contacted Leung to investigate the case. What the heck? The ICAC rarely actively reaches out like that, especially against pro-Beijing people. Besides, government officials generally get away with ICAC investigations, unless your name is Rafael Hui.

The plot thickens even more when I saw on Facebook a blogpost by Jasper Tsang, the pro-Beijing chairman of the LegCo, titled 'A tooth for a tooth'. The article went into detail about the Prisoner's Dilemma. The post was dated yesterday of all times.

What was happening?

There have been many interpretations, but I'll share with you all my Dad's. His theory was that Beijing never wanted to pass the semidemocratic package in the first place. The reason is that even though it won't be real universal suffrage, it will be a real referendum, meaning that if the majority of voters cast blank votes, the government will lose all the legitimacy it has, which will be embarrassing for Beijing and the government alike. The whole reform thing was just a show, and thus the pro-Beijing legislators were instructed to leave the LegCo in such a fashion to ensure that the reforms could not pass.

Now, you might be wondering, why are they doing this when the pro-democracy legislators, which are over 1/3 of the LegCo, will vote against it? Well, it's obvious - there was bribing done by clueless pro-Beijing people who genuinely thought Beijing wanted the reforms passed. If they had bribed a few pro-democracy legislators to vote for the proposal, it would pass. Leung Kwok-hung exposed the bribery, which is why the ICAC decided to reach out to him - they wanted to know who the idiot was.

All of these are, of course, but speculations. They could be far from the truth, but they offer one interpretation of the seemingly inexplicable event that happened yesterday.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
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Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Harper
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6/19/2015 11:45:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/18/2015 9:54:25 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
Sooo... first, a disclaimer. I'm not complaining or anything. I watch politics like it's a soap opera, unless it's related to issues that actually affect people (e.g. environmental policies, fiscal policies). When it comes to political reforms, I just sit back and enjoy the show.
Lol, same here.

but the candidates will be pre-selected.
By who? The government?

The pro-democracy guys were not happy because they worried that this 'fake universal suffrage', as they call it, will grant the government legitimacy, and so we're stuck with 'fake universal suffrage' forever. This was what triggered last year's high-profile Occupy movement - they wanted 'real universal suffrage', as they call it, where the general populace gains the right to nominate and to be nominated as well - not just the right to vote.
I can see why they wouldn't be happy with such a package.

All this is highly suspicious.
Indeed.

There have been many interpretations, but I'll share with you all my Dad's. His theory was that Beijing never wanted to pass the semidemocratic package in the first place. The reason is that even though it won't be real universal suffrage, it will be a real referendum, meaning that if the majority of voters cast blank votes, the government will lose all the legitimacy it has, which will be embarrassing for Beijing and the government alike. The whole reform thing was just a show, and thus the pro-Beijing legislators were instructed to leave the LegCo in such a fashion to ensure that the reforms could not pass.
Sounds like it could in fact explain the situation.

All of these are, of course, but speculations. They could be far from the truth, but they offer one interpretation of the seemingly inexplicable event that happened yesterday.
This post was quite educational, actually.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,337
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6/19/2015 12:03:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
What would the implications be security wise for Hong Kong if the government of Hong Kong were ever led by an anti China-puppet party?
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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6/19/2015 8:17:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 11:45:37 AM, Harper wrote:
At 6/18/2015 9:54:25 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
Sooo... first, a disclaimer. I'm not complaining or anything. I watch politics like it's a soap opera, unless it's related to issues that actually affect people (e.g. environmental policies, fiscal policies). When it comes to political reforms, I just sit back and enjoy the show.
Lol, same here.
Haha, we're on the same wavelength then.
but the candidates will be pre-selected.
By who? The government?
A committee of mainly pro-Beijing people would be the simplest way of understanding it. The committee itself is elected by small circles.
The pro-democracy guys were not happy because they worried that this 'fake universal suffrage', as they call it, will grant the government legitimacy, and so we're stuck with 'fake universal suffrage' forever. This was what triggered last year's high-profile Occupy movement - they wanted 'real universal suffrage', as they call it, where the general populace gains the right to nominate and to be nominated as well - not just the right to vote.
I can see why they wouldn't be happy with such a package.

All this is highly suspicious.
Indeed.

There have been many interpretations, but I'll share with you all my Dad's. His theory was that Beijing never wanted to pass the semidemocratic package in the first place. The reason is that even though it won't be real universal suffrage, it will be a real referendum, meaning that if the majority of voters cast blank votes, the government will lose all the legitimacy it has, which will be embarrassing for Beijing and the government alike. The whole reform thing was just a show, and thus the pro-Beijing legislators were instructed to leave the LegCo in such a fashion to ensure that the reforms could not pass.
Sounds like it could in fact explain the situation.
Haha, yeah. He was really excited about his theory yesterday. He spent the whole morning telling me about it yesterday and how all missing pieces of the puzzle fit together under his theory.
All of these are, of course, but speculations. They could be far from the truth, but they offer one interpretation of the seemingly inexplicable event that happened yesterday.
This post was quite educational, actually.
Thanks :)
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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6/19/2015 8:27:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 12:03:35 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
What would the implications be security wise for Hong Kong if the government of Hong Kong were ever led by an anti China-puppet party?

I doubt that would ever happen. Even if we get direct democracy where people have the right to nominate, the pro-Beijing side (=/= the government) still has several techniques to ensure success for pro-Beijing candidates. The first is something they've always been doing: Pro-Beijing parties, primarily the DAB and the FTU, make themselves popular, primarily among the elderly at the neighbourhood level, using techniques which critics sarcastically call 'snake feasts, vegetarian feasts, mooncakes and rice dumplings' (it sounds catchier in Cantonese). Then they ask the senior citizens, who don't know what elections are and usually can't even read or write, to vote for them. People have photographed senior citizens carried in buses to polling stations. Once, they even managed to put stickers on their hands with the name of their candidate so they easily cast the right vote. This technique has gained them quite a few votes, and it isn't direct bribery, so they generally get away with it.

The government also have a way to ensure success by pro-Beijing candidates, and that's gerrymandering. They've been toying with the idea of a gerrymandering proposal to decrease the number of pan-Democrats in the LegCo.

Finally, any candidate that passes elections will eventually have to be appointed by Beijing, so really, there's no reason to think that such a situation will ever happen.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
THEBOMB
Posts: 2,872
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6/19/2015 10:20:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/18/2015 9:54:25 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
We've got off international radar for a while, since the high-profile Occupy protests are over, but I thought I'd share here an update on our road to democracy. Why? Because there's something very interesting going on here - the government's semidemocratic package failed to pass under suspicious circumstances.

Okay, where to start? Well, for those who didn't know, what triggered the protests was a political reform package from the government. Beijing set up a framework for the semi-democratic reform package, which in essence means we'll get universal suffrage, but the candidates will be pre-selected.

I heard about this. Wasn't the overall idea that Hong Kong citizens would be allowed to vote for candidates who were vetted by a committee of pro-Beijing politicians/regulators/whatever you want to call it?

The pro-democracy guys were not happy because they worried that this 'fake universal suffrage', as they call it, will grant the government legitimacy, and so we're stuck with 'fake universal suffrage' forever.

I mean I doubt the Central Committee is EVER letting go of Hong Kong, like I mean ever. The PRC Central Committee cares about stability, and until Hong Kong becomes unstable, there won't be much in the way of reform. Much of the steam (at least from I've been reading in the US, I don't know what it is like in China) has died down in H.K.

This was what triggered last year's high-profile Occupy movement - they wanted 'real universal suffrage', as they call it, where the general populace gains the right to nominate and to be nominated as well - not just the right to vote.

Has the package been passed? Well, I first need to explain how our mini-parliament works. The number of democratically elected seats in our mini-parliament, called the Legislative Council or LegCo, has been increasing over the years, and depending on the count, they take up either 35/70 or 40/70 of the LegCo. I can explain this difference if anyone wants, but that's not the main point. The LegCo is divided into 35 functional constituencies and 35 geographical constituencies. The former is elected by small circles, and the latter by the general populace. To pass the package, it must receive 2/3 of the votes.

Is the LegCo like the National People's Congress for mainland China where they essentially rubber stamp most decisions by China's "executive branch"? Or do they actually have debate on issues, oppose executive decisions, etc.? I don't know much about how Hong Kong's executive is selected (I know it's somewhat different from how China's president is selected.)


Pro-Beijing legislators are the majority in the functional constituencies, but pro-democracy legislators are the majority in the geographical constituencies. Pro-democracy politicians retain a right to veto as they take up 1/3 of the seats. Now, last time they tried to implement a political reform, they eventually managed to 'convince' some of the pro-democracy legislators to their side. This resulted in huge public backslash against those pro-democracy legislators, as well as the passing of the package, which is why we didn't get universal suffrage in 2012.

With that background aside, let's move on to the juicy scoop. The strange thing about the LegCo meeting was, before they were about to vote on the proposal, the vast majority of the pro-Beijing legislators left the meeting. What the heck? Aren't these people going to support the package? Well, the official story is that they didn't want to vote without Mr Lau Wong-fat, a generally pro-Beijing legislator and the chairman of my school's School Council. They wanted to delay the meeting to allow Mr Lau to vote. There are several problems with this story:

1) Mr Lau has a tendency to be absent in meetings, and generally votes only for issues directly related to him.
2) Mr Lau is in poor health.
3) They can't delay the meeting without the Liberal Party (a pro-Beijing party that defends business interests) leaving too. The legislators should be perfectly aware of that, so why didn't they call the Liberal Party? And besides, why did a single legislator from the pro-Beijing Federation of Trade Unions remain?

Eventually, the reform package lost by a huge margin, with all pro-Democracy legislators (28) against, and eight remain pro-Beijing legislators in favour.

All this is highly suspicious. Some people called the pro-Beijing legislators amateurs who didn't know the rules of the LegCo, but there were many experienced legislators among those people. They're supposed to knows the rules like the backs of their hands.

The plot thickens as Leung Kwok-hung, an outspoken pro-democracy legislator, declared that a man tried to bribe him into supporting the reforms. The ICAC, our anti-corruption agency, contacted Leung to investigate the case. What the heck? The ICAC rarely actively reaches out like that, especially against pro-Beijing people. Besides, government officials generally get away with ICAC investigations, unless your name is Rafael Hui.

The plot thickens even more when I saw on Facebook a blogpost by Jasper Tsang, the pro-Beijing chairman of the LegCo, titled 'A tooth for a tooth'. The article went into detail about the Prisoner's Dilemma. The post was dated yesterday of all times.

What was happening?

There have been many interpretations, but I'll share with you all my Dad's. His theory was that Beijing never wanted to pass the semidemocratic package in the first place. The reason is that even though it won't be real universal suffrage, it will be a real referendum, meaning that if the majority of voters cast blank votes, the government will lose all the legitimacy it has, which will be embarrassing for Beijing and the government alike. The whole reform thing was just a show, and thus the pro-Beijing legislators were instructed to leave the LegCo in such a fashion to ensure that the reforms could not pass.

Now, you might be wondering, why are they doing this when the pro-democracy legislators, which are over 1/3 of the LegCo, will vote against it? Well, it's obvious - there was bribing done by clueless pro-Beijing people who genuinely thought Beijing wanted the reforms passed. If they had bribed a few pro-democracy legislators to vote for the proposal, it would pass. Leung Kwok-hung exposed the bribery, which is why the ICAC decided to reach out to him - they wanted to know who the idiot was.

All of these are, of course, but speculations. They could be far from the truth, but they offer one interpretation of the seemingly inexplicable event that happened yesterday.

Or: I know that President Xi has been cracking down on corruption recently, I don't know how the efforts are perceived in China or if they will be successful. I believe one of the biggest names so far in the crackdown has been Zhou Yongkang. Whomever tried to bribe the idealists (assuming such a bribe occurred) had to have known that these people wouldn't just toss their principles away, and they were right. By forcing Beijing to divert resources away from the anticorruption campaign in the mainland, it provides more wiggle room for corrupt officials in the mainland to operate since the ICAC is doing more in Hong Kong. Maybe this is a stretch, but who knows (we're talking about people with billions to lose, as well as a potential life sentence).

Or: Leung Kwok-hung is lying and nobody tried to bribe him. He is a politician. If there's one thing politics in the US has taught me: politicians will lie to get what they want. He could always tell the ICAC that it was an anonymous offer. What does he want? Democracy. Saying that the Beijing politicians are corrupt makes them more illegitimate.

Or: they were trying to break quorum to force activities of the legislature to cease for the day (don't know if they have quorum or wh
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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6/19/2015 11:10:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/19/2015 10:20:34 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
At 6/18/2015 9:54:25 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
I heard about this. Wasn't the overall idea that Hong Kong citizens would be allowed to vote for candidates who were vetted by a committee of pro-Beijing politicians/regulators/whatever you want to call it?
Somewhat, that's the simplified way of saying it.

I mean I doubt the Central Committee is EVER letting go of Hong Kong, like I mean ever. The PRC Central Committee cares about stability, and until Hong Kong becomes unstable, there won't be much in the way of reform. Much of the steam (at least from I've been reading in the US, I don't know what it is like in China) has died down in H.K.
Steam died down? Lol, hardly. The Occupy movement, with huge public support, has certainly dissolved. The peaceful protests, however, were replaced with non-peaceful ones started by the localist movement. Although these protests have never received as much support as Occupy, they do serve to escalate tensions between HK and the Mainland, as well as among HK's pro-democracy camp.

Is the LegCo like the National People's Congress for mainland China where they essentially rubber stamp most decisions by China's "executive branch"? Or do they actually have debate on issues, oppose executive decisions, etc.? I don't know much about how Hong Kong's executive is selected (I know it's somewhat different from how China's president is selected.)
The latter. As I said, half of the seats are democratically elected. About 1/3 of the seats in the LegCo belong to the opposition, i.e. the pan-democrats.

On most issues, they tally up the votes from the geographical and functional constituencies and a motion must get over half of the votes from both sides to pass. This is why a lot of policies have failed to pass despite public support (such as a labour rights policy I can't remember the details of).

Or: I know that President Xi has been cracking down on corruption recently, I don't know how the efforts are perceived in China or if they will be successful. I believe one of the biggest names so far in the crackdown has been Zhou Yongkang. Whomever tried to bribe the idealists (assuming such a bribe occurred) had to have known that these people wouldn't just toss their principles away, and they were right. By forcing Beijing to divert resources away from the anticorruption campaign in the mainland, it provides more wiggle room for corrupt officials in the mainland to operate since the ICAC is doing more in Hong Kong. Maybe this is a stretch, but who knows (we're talking about people with billions to lose, as well as a potential life sentence).
I think this is a bit of a stretch, lol. The kind of bribery Leung revealed isn't exactly of a large scale. To achieve the effect you spoke of, you'd need a far more significant case of bribery. Plus, the ICAC operates independently of the Mainland's anti-corruption campaign, which is a completely different kettle of fish.
Or: Leung Kwok-hung is lying and nobody tried to bribe him. He is a politician. If there's one thing politics in the US has taught me: politicians will lie to get what they want. He could always tell the ICAC that it was an anonymous offer. What does he want? Democracy. Saying that the Beijing politicians are corrupt makes them more illegitimate.
Leung could very well be lying, but it doesn't explain the ICAC's odd actions.
Or: they were trying to break quorum... (this was cut off by DDO)
The strange thing is that they left just enough people in the council not to break quorum. According to my Dad's theory, pro-Beijing members who remained did so in order to ensure that it would not be broken.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
THEBOMB
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6/20/2015 12:33:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm coming at this from the perspective that Beijing is like the puppeteer using a really complicated puppet. While strings may get tangled and bunched up (causing different movements), ultimately, they're the one's making the initial decision, so to speak. I'm interpreting political moves as being somewhat associated with decisions by individuals in the upper echelons of the Communist Party.

I heard about this. Wasn't the overall idea that Hong Kong citizens would be allowed to vote for candidates who were vetted by a committee of pro-Beijing politicians/regulators/whatever you want to call it?
Somewhat, that's the simplified way of saying it.

If you want to elaborate, I would be happy to hear.

I mean I doubt the Central Committee is EVER letting go of Hong Kong, like I mean ever. The PRC Central Committee cares about stability, and until Hong Kong becomes unstable, there won't be much in the way of reform. Much of the steam (at least from I've been reading in the US, I don't know what it is like in China) has died down in H.K.
Steam died down? Lol, hardly. The Occupy movement, with huge public support, has certainly dissolved. The peaceful protests, however, were replaced with non-peaceful ones started by the localist movement. Although these protests have never received as much support as Occupy, they do serve to escalate tensions between HK and the Mainland, as well as among HK's pro-democracy camp.

Interesting. I was unaware of largish scale violent protesters. I wonder if the vote could be an attempt to keep stability. If the measure was that unpopular, it's passage would only lead to more instability.

On the flip side, most people like stability and are likely just trying to live their lives peacefully. So, they discourage violence. The passage while leading to violence could ultimately benefit Beijing as it would turn individuals on the fence toward the Beijing faction and away from the democratic faction (I'm making an assumption about people's general mentality though which could be very wrong.) I don't know how well educated people are when it comes to politics in Hong Kong, and if individuals make simple associations (like in the US).


Is the LegCo like the National People's Congress for mainland China where they essentially rubber stamp most decisions by China's "executive branch"? Or do they actually have debate on issues, oppose executive decisions, etc.? I don't know much about how Hong Kong's executive is selected (I know it's somewhat different from how China's president is selected.)
The latter. As I said, half of the seats are democratically elected. About 1/3 of the seats in the LegCo belong to the opposition, i.e. the pan-democrats.

I mean in practice is there much debating? Does legislation move quickly or slowly (generally speaking) through the legislature?


On most issues, they tally up the votes from the geographical and functional constituencies and a motion must get over half of the votes from both sides to pass. This is why a lot of policies have failed to pass despite public support (such as a labour rights policy I can't remember the details of).

Or: I know that President Xi has been cracking down on corruption recently, I don't know how the efforts are perceived in China or if they will be successful. I believe one of the biggest names so far in the crackdown has been Zhou Yongkang. Whomever tried to bribe the idealists (assuming such a bribe occurred) had to have known that these people wouldn't just toss their principles away, and they were right. By forcing Beijing to divert resources away from the anticorruption campaign in the mainland, it provides more wiggle room for corrupt officials in the mainland to operate since the ICAC is doing more in Hong Kong. Maybe this is a stretch, but who knows (we're talking about people with billions to lose, as well as a potential life sentence).
I think this is a bit of a stretch, lol. The kind of bribery Leung revealed isn't exactly of a large scale. To achieve the effect you spoke of, you'd need a far more significant case of bribery. Plus, the ICAC operates independently of the Mainland's anti-corruption campaign, which is a completely different kettle of fish.

A prominent politician - let alone one who is against Beijing - saying they were bribed to support legislation which Beijing may not support would attract some kind of attention, even if it was not large scale. I'm not familiar with the ICAC (who runs it, who they report to, who the people who run it know within the CCDI and the Central Committee -- if anyone, etc.), but given the attention corruption in China is getting in recent years, I find it hard to believe there would be no cooperation between the ICAC and the CCDI as Hong Kong likely has it's fair share of corruption and there likely are connections between Hong Kong's corruption and the mainland's corruption (to give broad strokes, of course.)

Or: Leung Kwok-hung is lying and nobody tried to bribe him. He is a politician. If there's one thing politics in the US has taught me: politicians will lie to get what they want. He could always tell the ICAC that it was an anonymous offer. What does he want? Democracy. Saying that the Beijing politicians are corrupt makes them more illegitimate.
Leung could very well be lying, but it doesn't explain the ICAC's odd actions.

Perhaps, this was a really strange situation, so the ICAC is acting strangely in response (I'm guessing it's not every day that all, but 8 members of a party just walk out during session.) They're probably just as confused as everyone else and trying to figure out what happened.

It could also be power politics. I don't know if the ICAC is more pro-Beijing or pro-democracy (I'm assuming it's a somewhat politicized agency), but if they're more pro-Beijing, any whiff of bribery around a person who Beijing would be more than happy to rid themselves of would lead to inquiries. I don't know if a scenario like this with the same politician has happened in the past.

Or: they were trying to break quorum... (this was cut off by DDO)
The strange thing is that they left just enough people in the council not to break quorum. According to my Dad's theory, pro-Beijing members who remained did so in order to ensure that it would not be broken.

There could be some disagreement amongst the pro-Beijing party (whatever it is called) about what to do. Dissonance amongst the ranks. Evidence of this would likely be found if some whip or leader or the person who selects the pro-Beijing legislatures whatever they're called in the H.K. system (legislative leadership does exist, right?) is quietly replaced or resigns or, in the next reassignment, the legislators are shuffled around.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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6/20/2015 9:30:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/20/2015 12:33:01 AM, THEBOMB wrote:
Sorry for the late reply. I'd read your post long ago, but I was forcing myself to complete the arguments for the debate I'm in.
I'm coming at this from the perspective that Beijing is like the puppeteer using a really complicated puppet. While strings may get tangled and bunched up (causing different movements), ultimately, they're the one's making the initial decision, so to speak. I'm interpreting political moves as being somewhat associated with decisions by individuals in the upper echelons of the Communist Party.
That makes sense.
If you want to elaborate, I would be happy to hear.
It's selected by an election committee.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

The seats in the election committee are elected by people and corporations. Because of the byzantine rules regarding who can apply for votership, there is little transparency about how the election was formed, but judging by how they choose HK's leaders, it's common knowledge that the sectors were tampered with to ensure that the majority of votes belong to pro-Beijing people. Not long ago, a video by an online media platform (we have tons of Huff Post equivalents in HK) revealed that a lot of the voters also don't have anything to do with the sectors in which they vote.
Interesting. I was unaware of largish scale violent protesters. I wonder if the vote could be an attempt to keep stability. If the measure was that unpopular, it's passage would only lead to more instability.
Usually not violent, but always non-peaceful: They walked up to Mainland tourists and shouted abuse at them, for example. You're right, though. They could have decided not to let the reforms pass for stability. Some of those localist guys were caught 3D-printing bombs to use if they passed... (The non-localist pro-democracy people, i.e. Facebook comments, scoffed that they had learnt from Yeung Kwong https://en.wikipedia.org....)
On the flip side, most people like stability and are likely just trying to live their lives peacefully. So, they discourage violence. The passage while leading to violence could ultimately benefit Beijing as it would turn individuals on the fence toward the Beijing faction and away from the democratic faction (I'm making an assumption about people's general mentality though which could be very wrong.) I don't know how well educated people are when it comes to politics in Hong Kong, and if individuals make simple associations (like in the US).
The older generation tend to make simple generalisations - a lot of the elderly cannot even read and write. (My grandmother is an interesting exception, but she has children who talk politics with her.) Baby boomers have a tendency to generalise as well. Not Generation X or Y, though. For them and politically aware baby boomers, the recent events have represented a split in the democratic movement: the localists and the 'Great China faction', as they call it. The former is violent, radical and cares only about Hong Kong issues. Some localists have even suggested that China can never have democracy, or Hong Kong will lose its. The 'Great China' people, on the other hand, wish to cooperate with China's democratic movement.

I mean in practice is there much debating? Does legislation move quickly or slowly (generally speaking) through the legislature?
There is much debating, and legislation moves slowly. Slightly above half (I forgot the exact figure, but it's remained at the same level over the years) of the proposals never pass the LegCo. In recent years, some pan-democrats have started to exploit the filibustering possibility. However, each time they filibuster, the Chairman eventually cuts the filibuster short, so they never force the government to comply. They tried to take this to the courts, but the judge ruled that the court was in no position to interfere in the legislature.

I think this is a bit of a stretch, lol. The kind of bribery Leung revealed isn't exactly of a large scale. To achieve the effect you spoke of, you'd need a far more significant case of bribery. Plus, the ICAC operates independently of the Mainland's anti-corruption campaign, which is a completely different kettle of fish.

A prominent politician - let alone one who is against Beijing - saying they were bribed to support legislation which Beijing may not support would attract some kind of attention, even if it was not large scale. I'm not familiar with the ICAC (who runs it, who they report to, who the people who run it know within the CCDI and the Central Committee -- if anyone, etc.), but given the attention corruption in China is getting in recent years, I find it hard to believe there would be no cooperation between the ICAC and the CCDI as Hong Kong likely has it's fair share of corruption and there likely are connections between Hong Kong's corruption and the mainland's corruption (to give broad strokes, of course.)
The ICAC reports to the Chief Executive. MacLehose made it so, to ensure they would be independent and relatively free of corruption themselves. I'm also sure that the ICAC and CCDI cooperate. In fact, Timothy Tong, the previous ICAC chief, came under fire by the Audit Commission (which, from my observations, has remained impartial over the years) for treating Mainland officials to too many meals... However, I don't think it's possible for this incident to divert resources from the Mainland - we've had much more high-profile corruption cases involve more money in the past few years...
Leung could very well be lying, but it doesn't explain the ICAC's odd actions.

Perhaps, this was a really strange situation, so the ICAC is acting strangely in response (I'm guessing it's not every day that all, but 8 members of a party just walk out during session.) They're probably just as confused as everyone else and trying to figure out what happened.
To clarify, the ICAC reached out to Leung before the LegCo incident.
It could also be power politics. I don't know if the ICAC is more pro-Beijing or pro-democracy (I'm assuming it's a somewhat politicized agency), but if they're more pro-Beijing, any whiff of bribery around a person who Beijing would be more than happy to rid themselves of would lead to inquiries. I don't know if a scenario like this with the same politician has happened in the past.
It's impartial up to a point, but there have been more worries of politicisation in recent years as high-ranking government officials repeatedly got away with cases despite what appeared to be damning evidence, i.e. they lean pro-Beijing. I'm also not sure how investagtions would rid them of Leung; maybe they'd reveal he was lying, but he's a long-time activist with quite a bit of prestige - last election, he got more votes than any other candidate in his geographical constituency.
There could be some disagreement amongst the pro-Beijing party (whatever it is called) about what to do. Dissonance amongst the ranks. Evidence of this would likely be found if some whip or leader or the person who selects the pro-Beijing legislatures whatever they're called in the H.K. system (legislative leadership does exist, right?) is quietly replaced or resigns or, in the next reassignment, the legislators are shuffled around.
There could be disagreements, true, though it would be weird if Beijing doesn't drop them a hint at what they're supposed to do, faced with an important issue like this. I'm not sure what legislative leadership means, either. The LegCo chairman is voted on by the legislators, and Jasper Tsang usually gets the job. He's a mathematician-turned-politician who, unlike most pro-Beijing legislators, has gained considerable respect among pro-democracy politicians.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

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THEBOMB
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6/20/2015 10:09:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm coming at this from the perspective that Beijing is like the puppeteer using a really complicated puppet. While strings may get tangled and bunched up (causing different movements), ultimately, they're the one's making the initial decision, so to speak. I'm interpreting political moves as being somewhat associated with decisions by individuals in the upper echelons of the Communist Party.

It's selected by an election committee.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

The seats in the election committee are elected by people and corporations. Because of the byzantine rules regarding who can apply for votership, there is little transparency about how the election was formed, but judging by how they choose HK's leaders, it's common knowledge that the sectors were tampered with to ensure that the majority of votes belong to pro-Beijing people. Not long ago, a video by an online media platform (we have tons of Huff Post equivalents in HK) revealed that a lot of the voters also don't have anything to do with the sectors in which they vote.

That system seems very complicated. I can imagine it wouldn't take much for a communist official to tamper with it. None of that surprises me really. I'll have to read that wiki page later lol. Don't have time right now. Thanks for the source.

Usually not violent, but always non-peaceful: They walked up to Mainland tourists and shouted abuse at them, for example. You're right, though. They could have decided not to let the reforms pass for stability. Some of those localist guys were caught 3D-printing bombs to use if they passed...
On the flip side, most people like stability and are likely just trying to live their lives peacefully. So, they discourage violence. The passage while leading to violence could ultimately benefit Beijing as it would turn individuals on the fence toward the Beijing faction and away from the democratic faction (I'm making an assumption about people's general mentality though which could be very wrong.) I don't know how well educated people are when it comes to politics in Hong Kong, and if individuals make simple associations (like in the US).
The older generation tend to make simple generalisations - a lot of the elderly cannot even read and write. (My grandmother is an interesting exception, but she has children who talk politics with her.) Baby boomers have a tendency to generalise as well. Not Generation X or Y, though. For them and politically aware baby boomers, the recent events have represented a split in the democratic movement: the localists and the 'Great China faction', as they call it. The former is violent, radical and cares only about Hong Kong issues. Some localists have even suggested that China can never have democracy, or Hong Kong will lose its. The 'Great China' people, on the other hand, wish to cooperate with China's democratic movement.

I mean in practice is there much debating? Does legislation move quickly or slowly (generally speaking) through the legislature?
There is much debating, and legislation moves slowly. Slightly above half (I forgot the exact figure, but it's remained at the same level over the years) of the proposals never pass the LegCo. In recent years, some pan-democrats have started to exploit the filibustering possibility. However, each time they filibuster, the Chairman eventually cuts the filibuster short, so they never force the government to comply. They tried to take this to the courts, but the judge ruled that the court was in no position to interfere in the legislature.

I think this is a bit of a stretch, lol. The kind of bribery Leung revealed isn't exactly of a large scale. To achieve the effect you spoke of, you'd need a far more significant case of bribery. Plus, the ICAC operates independently of the Mainland's anti-corruption campaign, which is a completely different kettle of fish.

A prominent politician - let alone one who is against Beijing - saying they were bribed to support legislation which Beijing may not support would attract some kind of attention, even if it was not large scale. I'm not familiar with the ICAC (who runs it, who they report to, who the people who run it know within the CCDI and the Central Committee -- if anyone, etc.), but given the attention corruption in China is getting in recent years, I find it hard to believe there would be no cooperation between the ICAC and the CCDI as Hong Kong likely has it's fair share of corruption and there likely are connections between Hong Kong's corruption and the mainland's corruption (to give broad strokes, of course.)
The ICAC reports to the Chief Executive. MacLehose made it so, to ensure they would be independent and relatively free of corruption themselves. I'm also sure that the ICAC and CCDI cooperate. In fact, Timothy Tong, the previous ICAC chief, came under fire by the Audit Commission (which, from my observations, has remained impartial over the years) for treating Mainland officials to too many meals... However, I don't think it's possible for this incident to divert resources from the Mainland - we've had much more high-profile corruption cases involve more money in the past few years...

It is an important piece of legislation, from what you're saying.

Leung could very well be lying, but it doesn't explain the ICAC's odd actions.


It's impartial up to a point, but there have been more worries of politicisation in recent years as high-ranking government officials repeatedly got away with cases despite what appeared to be damning evidence, i.e. they lean pro-Beijing. I'm also not sure how investagtions would rid them of Leung; maybe they'd reveal he was lying, but he's a long-time activist with quite a bit of prestige - last election, he got more votes than any other candidate in his geographical constituency.

Investigations put pressure on people which leads them to do things and moderate their behavior. Politicians, at least in the US, would prefer to not have investigators digging into their past. If the agency is becoming more political, perhaps they warned him (not in the exact words) that they would put greater scrutiny on him.

There could be disagreements, true, though it would be weird if Beijing doesn't drop them a hint at what they're supposed to do, faced with an important issue like this.

Is Beijing divided on the issue?

I'm not sure what legislative leadership means.

In the US system, the House has 435 members divided between 2 parties (246 Reps, 188 Dems). That's a lot of people. So each party elects a party leader (the person who leads the politicking against the other party), and a whip (the person who collects votes among the party). The majority party elects the Speaker (or Chairman) of the House - they have considerable power. The senate's a bit different as the president of the senate is technically the US VP, but normally is selected from the majority party - nobody wants to preside over the senate lol. Caucuses, committees (where stuff happens)and various coalitions amongst legislatures make things complicated (435 house reps, 100 senate).

Current Speaker: John Boehner (GOP - OH);
GOP leader: Kevin McCarthy (CA);
GOP whip: Steve Scalise (LA)
Dem leader: Nancy Pelosie (CA)
Dem whip: Steny Hoyer (MD)

Committee system: https://en.wikipedia.org...

in the House, Ways and Means is perhaps the most powerful committee (purview over all revenue collection programs, every bill goes through Ways and Means at some point.... they can kill any legislation they want.) Appropriations, Budget, Finance, and Armed Services are also way up there. Ethics probably has the least power, ironically. Lol.

Is there anything like that in this in the HK LegCo?
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6/20/2015 11:04:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/20/2015 10:09:29 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
The ICAC reports to the Chief Executive. MacLehose made it so, to ensure they would be independent and relatively free of corruption themselves. I'm also sure that the ICAC and CCDI cooperate. In fact, Timothy Tong, the previous ICAC chief, came under fire by the Audit Commission (which, from my observations, has remained impartial over the years) for treating Mainland officials to too many meals... However, I don't think it's possible for this incident to divert resources from the Mainland - we've had much more high-profile corruption cases involve more money in the past few years...

It is an important piece of legislation, from what you're saying.
It sure is, though I still don't think it would divert resources away from the Mainland in any way, given their separate operations and the relatively small scale of the incident.
Leung could very well be lying, but it doesn't explain the ICAC's odd actions.



It's impartial up to a point, but there have been more worries of politicisation in recent years as high-ranking government officials repeatedly got away with cases despite what appeared to be damning evidence, i.e. they lean pro-Beijing. I'm also not sure how investagtions would rid them of Leung; maybe they'd reveal he was lying, but he's a long-time activist with quite a bit of prestige - last election, he got more votes than any other candidate in his geographical constituency.

Investigations put pressure on people which leads them to do things and moderate their behavior. Politicians, at least in the US, would prefer to not have investigators digging into their past. If the agency is becoming more political, perhaps they warned him (not in the exact words) that they would put greater scrutiny on him.
True, though all pro-democracy politicans in HK are well aware that their every move is closely scrunitised, so I doubt it will make a difference...
There could be disagreements, true, though it would be weird if Beijing doesn't drop them a hint at what they're supposed to do, faced with an important issue like this.

Is Beijing divided on the issue?
Hmmm... I don't think it's possible for us to know that XD
I'm not sure what legislative leadership means.

In the US system, the House has 435 members divided between 2 parties (246 Reps, 188 Dems). That's a lot of people. So each party elects a party leader (the person who leads the politicking against the other party), and a whip (the person who collects votes among the party). The majority party elects the Speaker (or Chairman) of the House - they have considerable power. The senate's a bit different as the president of the senate is technically the US VP, but normally is selected from the majority party - nobody wants to preside over the senate lol. Caucuses, committees (where stuff happens)and various coalitions amongst legislatures make things complicated (435 house reps, 100 senate).

Current Speaker: John Boehner (GOP - OH);
GOP leader: Kevin McCarthy (CA);
GOP whip: Steve Scalise (LA)
Dem leader: Nancy Pelosie (CA)
Dem whip: Steny Hoyer (MD)

Committee system: https://en.wikipedia.org...

in the House, Ways and Means is perhaps the most powerful committee (purview over all revenue collection programs, every bill goes through Ways and Means at some point.... they can kill any legislation they want.) Appropriations, Budget, Finance, and Armed Services are also way up there. Ethics probably has the least power, ironically. Lol.

Is there anything like that in this in the HK LegCo?

No, unfortunately. We do have committees; quite a few of the in fact. However, as far as I'm aware, there's no such leader/whip system.

---

Uther still needs to do some research on my future debate with him. Would you like to start the light/heavy debate earlier?
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
THEBOMB
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6/21/2015 2:09:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The ICAC reports to the Chief Executive. MacLehose made it so, to ensure they would be independent and relatively free of corruption themselves. I'm also sure that the ICAC and CCDI cooperate. In fact, Timothy Tong, the previous ICAC chief, came under fire by the Audit Commission (which, from my observations, has remained impartial over the years) for treating Mainland officials to too many meals... However, I don't think it's possible for this incident to divert resources from the Mainland - we've had much more high-profile corruption cases involve more money in the past few years...

It is an important piece of legislation, from what you're saying.
It sure is, though I still don't think it would divert resources away from the Mainland in any way, given their separate operations and the relatively small scale of the incident.

I'll take your word for it; you know more about this than me.

It's impartial up to a point, but there have been more worries of politicisation in recent years as high-ranking government officials repeatedly got away with cases despite what appeared to be damning evidence, i.e. they lean pro-Beijing. I'm also not sure how investagtions would rid them of Leung; maybe they'd reveal he was lying, but he's a long-time activist with quite a bit of prestige - last election, he got more votes than any other candidate in his geographical constituency.

Investigations put pressure on people which leads them to do things and moderate their behavior. Politicians, at least in the US, would prefer to not have investigators digging into their past. If the agency is becoming more political, perhaps they warned him (not in the exact words) that they would put greater scrutiny on him.
True, though all pro-democracy politicans in HK are well aware that their every move is closely scrunitised, so I doubt it will make a difference...

That's a good point.

There could be disagreements, true, though it would be weird if Beijing doesn't drop them a hint at what they're supposed to do, faced with an important issue like this.

Is Beijing divided on the issue?
Hmmm... I don't think it's possible for us to know that XD

Lol. True. Does the Central Committee (and other major players in the CPC) generally put on a united face - they do make public statements to the media every once in a while - when it comes to legislation? Or does it depend on the content?

I'm not sure what legislative leadership means.

In the US system, the House has 435 members divided between 2 parties (246 Reps, 188 Dems). That's a lot of people. So each party elects a party leader (the person who leads the politicking against the other party), and a whip (the person who collects votes among the party). The majority party elects the Speaker (or Chairman) of the House - they have considerable power. The senate's a bit different as the president of the senate is technically the US VP, but normally is selected from the majority party - nobody wants to preside over the senate lol. Caucuses, committees (where stuff happens)and various coalitions amongst legislatures make things complicated (435 house reps, 100 senate).

Current Speaker: John Boehner (GOP - OH);
GOP leader: Kevin McCarthy (CA);
GOP whip: Steve Scalise (LA)
Dem leader: Nancy Pelosie (CA)
Dem whip: Steny Hoyer (MD)

Committee system: https://en.wikipedia.org...

in the House, Ways and Means is perhaps the most powerful committee (purview over all revenue collection programs, every bill goes through Ways and Means at some point.... they can kill any legislation they want.) Appropriations, Budget, Finance, and Armed Services are also way up there. Ethics probably has the least power, ironically. Lol.

Is there anything like that in this in the HK LegCo?

No, unfortunately. We do have committees; quite a few of the in fact. However, as far as I'm aware, there's no such leader/whip system.

Interesting. Are there informal political power centers? Like if one legislator in the pan-Democrats or Communists were to make a statement on a piece of legislation, would that induce others to follow in their footsteps? Could outside political actors have the same effect?

This is just another question, but what is the relationship like between the Chief Executive and the legislature? Does the executive abide by what the legislature considers to be important at the time, or does he do his own thing? I know, in the US at least, the interpretation and implementation of legislation takes hundreds of executive departments, agencies, and interpretation can much of the times fall outside of Congressional intent (or at least walk a very thin line) which is where legislative oversight comes into play, how does it work in Hong Kong - will executives "twist" words to achieve their own political ends?

---

Uther still needs to do some research on my future debate with him. Would you like to start the light/heavy debate earlier?

Yea, for the one about developing heavy industry in South East China. Could you send me the challenge on like monday or tuesday?
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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6/21/2015 5:04:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Is Beijing divided on the issue?
Hmmm... I don't think it's possible for us to know that XD

Lol. True. Does the Central Committee (and other major players in the CPC) generally put on a united face - they do make public statements to the media every once in a while - when it comes to legislation? Or does it depend on the content?
Yeah, I believe they do like their image of a unified party working towards a common goal. Whatever disagreements happen behind closed doors, they're unlikely to show it (although they had a slip a while ago...)
I'm not sure what legislative leadership means.

In the US system, the House has 435 members divided between 2 parties (246 Reps, 188 Dems). That's a lot of people. So each party elects a party leader (the person who leads the politicking against the other party), and a whip (the person who collects votes among the party). The majority party elects the Speaker (or Chairman) of the House - they have considerable power. The senate's a bit different as the president of the senate is technically the US VP, but normally is selected from the majority party - nobody wants to preside over the senate lol. Caucuses, committees (where stuff happens)and various coalitions amongst legislatures make things complicated (435 house reps, 100 senate).

Current Speaker: John Boehner (GOP - OH);
GOP leader: Kevin McCarthy (CA);
GOP whip: Steve Scalise (LA)
Dem leader: Nancy Pelosie (CA)
Dem whip: Steny Hoyer (MD)

Committee system: https://en.wikipedia.org...

in the House, Ways and Means is perhaps the most powerful committee (purview over all revenue collection programs, every bill goes through Ways and Means at some point.... they can kill any legislation they want.) Appropriations, Budget, Finance, and Armed Services are also way up there. Ethics probably has the least power, ironically. Lol.

Is there anything like that in this in the HK LegCo?

No, unfortunately. We do have committees; quite a few of the in fact. However, as far as I'm aware, there's no such leader/whip system.

Interesting. Are there informal political power centers? Like if one legislator in the pan-Democrats or Communists were to make a statement on a piece of legislation, would that induce others to follow in their footsteps? Could outside political actors have the same effect?
Not really, I don't think. Generally, the decision to support or oppose a policy happens at the party level, and there are lots of parties on both sides. Major ones are the Democrats, Civics, Labour, LSD and People Power on democratic side, and the DAB, FTU, Liberals and NPP on the other. Even the minor parties are as significant as, say, FN in France. All parties consider their own interests. Of course, the pan-democrats also need to consider getting votes, and pro-Beijing parties also need to consider, well, Beijing.
This is just another question, but what is the relationship like between the Chief Executive and the legislature?
They hate each other, lol. The democrats have always hated them, and there have been signs of pro-Beijing legislators starting to dislike him, too.
Does the executive abide by what the legislature considers to be important at the time, or does he do his own thing? I know, in the US at least, the interpretation and implementation of legislation takes hundreds of executive departments, agencies, and interpretation can much of the times fall outside of Congressional intent (or at least walk a very thin line) which is where legislative oversight comes into play, how does it work in Hong Kong - will executives "twist" words to achieve their own political ends?
HK's system is executive-led. Bills have to be approved by the Executive Council before the LegCo can debate and vote on it.
---

Uther still needs to do some research on my future debate with him. Would you like to start the light/heavy debate earlier?

Yea, for the one about developing heavy industry in South East China. Could you send me the challenge on like monday or tuesday?
Sure.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
THEBOMB
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6/21/2015 9:29:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Is Beijing divided on the issue?

Lol. True. Does the Central Committee (and other major players in the CPC) generally put on a united face - they do make public statements to the media every once in a while - when it comes to legislation? Or does it depend on the content?
Yeah, I believe they do like their image of a unified party working towards a common goal. Whatever disagreements happen behind closed doors, they're unlikely to show it (although they had a slip a while ago...)

I'd like to get behind those doors lol. Doubt that will ever happen. What was the issue?

I'm not sure what legislative leadership means.

In the US system, the House has 435 members divided between 2 parties (246 Reps, 188 Dems). That's a lot of people. So each party elects a party leader (the person who leads the politicking against the other party), and a whip (the person who collects votes among the party). The majority party elects the Speaker (or Chairman) of the House - they have considerable power. The senate's a bit different as the president of the senate is technically the US VP, but normally is selected from the majority party - nobody wants to preside over the senate lol. Caucuses, committees (where stuff happens)and various coalitions amongst legislatures make things complicated (435 house reps, 100 senate).

Current Speaker: John Boehner (GOP - OH);
GOP leader: Kevin McCarthy (CA);
GOP whip: Steve Scalise (LA)
Dem leader: Nancy Pelosie (CA)
Dem whip: Steny Hoyer (MD)

Committee system: https://en.wikipedia.org...

in the House, Ways and Means is perhaps the most powerful committee (purview over all revenue collection programs, every bill goes through Ways and Means at some point.... they can kill any legislation they want.) Appropriations, Budget, Finance, and Armed Services are also way up there. Ethics probably has the least power, ironically. Lol.

Is there anything like that in this in the HK LegCo?

No, unfortunately. We do have committees; quite a few of the in fact. However, as far as I'm aware, there's no such leader/whip system.

Interesting. Are there informal political power centers? Like if one legislator in the pan-Democrats or Communists were to make a statement on a piece of legislation, would that induce others to follow in their footsteps? Could outside political actors have the same effect?
Not really, I don't think. Generally, the decision to support or oppose a policy happens at the party level, and there are lots of parties on both sides. Major ones are the Democrats, Civics, Labour, LSD and People Power on democratic side, and the DAB, FTU, Liberals and NPP on the other. Even the minor parties are as significant as, say, FN in France. All parties consider their own interests. Of course, the pan-democrats also need to consider getting votes, and pro-Beijing parties also need to consider, well, Beijing.

How does party decision making occur? Do they have party caucuses and committees with their own chairs and agenda settings?

This is just another question, but what is the relationship like between the Chief Executive and the legislature?
They hate each other, lol. The democrats have always hated them, and there have been signs of pro-Beijing legislators starting to dislike him, too.

Some things never change over counties lol.

Does the executive abide by what the legislature considers to be important at the time, or does he do his own thing? I know, in the US at least, the interpretation and implementation of legislation takes hundreds of executive departments, agencies, and interpretation can much of the times fall outside of Congressional intent (or at least walk a very thin line) which is where legislative oversight comes into play, how does it work in Hong Kong - will executives "twist" words to achieve their own political ends?
HK's system is executive-led. Bills have to be approved by the Executive Council before the LegCo can debate and vote on it.

Interesting. So a Beijing-dominate committee would approve the agenda which the legislature then debates and votes on.

This is another question altogether about the corruption campaign: there are two main theories amongst academics about how political reforms get going -

1) Top down, network approach: in this approach, top leaders think up strategies to achieve whatever goal is pressing at the time. They then, to see if it would even be effective, bring the strategy to the local level to be implemented. If successful, they bring it to say the county level, prefecture level and finally provincial level, so on so forth. Extra "incentives" are provided to officials and companies to implement and follow the program and, overall, to "grease" individual networks. Contractual systems also exist (follow the contract -> promotion), but sometimes incentives can work better. There is of course a lot of bribery which is negative, but some is needed with this model.

2) Bottom-up, local approach: the idea here is that local leaders develop programs say to increase economic development. If successful, a top leader may take note, endorse it and send it up the ladder to a higher level. Contracts are used to ensure that each individual is incentivized to use the best possible program and the idea is that the upper level officials will want to explore effective programs developed at the lower level because it benefits them personally to develop their region. Bribery in this system hurts China since it provides incentives for officials to do things which aren't necessarily in China's interest.

Which do you think is more reasonable? If either.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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6/23/2015 12:29:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/21/2015 9:29:58 AM, THEBOMB wrote:
Is Beijing divided on the issue?

Lol. True. Does the Central Committee (and other major players in the CPC) generally put on a united face - they do make public statements to the media every once in a while - when it comes to legislation? Or does it depend on the content?
Yeah, I believe they do like their image of a unified party working towards a common goal. Whatever disagreements happen behind closed doors, they're unlikely to show it (although they had a slip a while ago...)

I'd like to get behind those doors lol. Doubt that will ever happen. What was the issue?
I've... completely forgot. I think I only read the headline and lede. Some official spoke against Li Keqiang.
I'm not sure what legislative leadership means.

In the US system, the House has 435 members divided between 2 parties (246 Reps, 188 Dems). That's a lot of people. So each party elects a party leader (the person who leads the politicking against the other party), and a whip (the person who collects votes among the party). The majority party elects the Speaker (or Chairman) of the House - they have considerable power. The senate's a bit different as the president of the senate is technically the US VP, but normally is selected from the majority party - nobody wants to preside over the senate lol. Caucuses, committees (where stuff happens)and various coalitions amongst legislatures make things complicated (435 house reps, 100 senate).

Current Speaker: John Boehner (GOP - OH);
GOP leader: Kevin McCarthy (CA);
GOP whip: Steve Scalise (LA)
Dem leader: Nancy Pelosie (CA)
Dem whip: Steny Hoyer (MD)

Committee system: https://en.wikipedia.org...

in the House, Ways and Means is perhaps the most powerful committee (purview over all revenue collection programs, every bill goes through Ways and Means at some point.... they can kill any legislation they want.) Appropriations, Budget, Finance, and Armed Services are also way up there. Ethics probably has the least power, ironically. Lol.

Is there anything like that in this in the HK LegCo?

No, unfortunately. We do have committees; quite a few of the in fact. However, as far as I'm aware, there's no such leader/whip system.

Interesting. Are there informal political power centers? Like if one legislator in the pan-Democrats or Communists were to make a statement on a piece of legislation, would that induce others to follow in their footsteps? Could outside political actors have the same effect?
Not really, I don't think. Generally, the decision to support or oppose a policy happens at the party level, and there are lots of parties on both sides. Major ones are the Democrats, Civics, Labour, LSD and People Power on democratic side, and the DAB, FTU, Liberals and NPP on the other. Even the minor parties are as significant as, say, FN in France. All parties consider their own interests. Of course, the pan-democrats also need to consider getting votes, and pro-Beijing parties also need to consider, well, Beijing.

How does party decision making occur? Do they have party caucuses and committees with their own chairs and agenda settings?
Not caucuses, if you mean Wikipedia's definition: a meeting of supporters or members of a specific political party or movement. As far as I know, we have no such thing. Most likely, high-ranking politicians in these parties have meetings behind closed doors. I'm not actually sure though; I've never looked into the operations of individual parties.
This is just another question, but what is the relationship like between the Chief Executive and the legislature?
They hate each other, lol. The democrats have always hated them, and there have been signs of pro-Beijing legislators starting to dislike him, too.

Some things never change over counties lol.

Does the executive abide by what the legislature considers to be important at the time, or does he do his own thing? I know, in the US at least, the interpretation and implementation of legislation takes hundreds of executive departments, agencies, and interpretation can much of the times fall outside of Congressional intent (or at least walk a very thin line) which is where legislative oversight comes into play, how does it work in Hong Kong - will executives "twist" words to achieve their own political ends?
HK's system is executive-led. Bills have to be approved by the Executive Council before the LegCo can debate and vote on it.

Interesting. So a Beijing-dominate committee would approve the agenda which the legislature then debates and votes on.

This is another question altogether about the corruption campaign: there are two main theories amongst academics about how political reforms get going -

1) Top down, network approach: in this approach, top leaders think up strategies to achieve whatever goal is pressing at the time. They then, to see if it would even be effective, bring the strategy to the local level to be implemented. If successful, they bring it to say the county level, prefecture level and finally provincial level, so on so forth. Extra "incentives" are provided to officials and companies to implement and follow the program and, overall, to "grease" individual networks. Contractual systems also exist (follow the contract -> promotion), but sometimes incentives can work better. There is of course a lot of bribery which is negative, but some is needed with this model.
This is the model used in China at the moment, evidently. Unfortunately, it is far from guaranteed to work. Notorious examples are green GDP and the asset declaration system, both of which are desperately needed given the amount of corruption and environmental pollution in China, but died in the womb after initial implementation at the local level because of objection from local officials.
2) Bottom-up, local approach: the idea here is that local leaders develop programs say to increase economic development. If successful, a top leader may take note, endorse it and send it up the ladder to a higher level. Contracts are used to ensure that each individual is incentivized to use the best possible program and the idea is that the upper level officials will want to explore effective programs developed at the lower level because it benefits them personally to develop their region. Bribery in this system hurts China since it provides incentives for officials to do things which aren't necessarily in China's interest.
If bribery is discouraged in this system and encouraged in the system above, then this one seems to be able to please Mr Xi more, haha. While China's government is essentially arranged in a top-down manner, which has been the modus operandi since Qin Shi Huang, I don't see how this can't be built into the current governmental framework. It also means that more attention can be paid to city-specific considerations, i.e. the programmes will be more optimised to suit the city. Nevertheless, it seems to mean that the interests of the officials will have even more bearing on the success of the programmes.
Which do you think is more reasonable? If either.
Do you mean which one will work better, or which one is a better explanation of what China does now?
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
THEBOMB
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6/23/2015 10:37:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'd like to get behind those doors lol. Doubt that will ever happen. What was the issue?
I've... completely forgot. I think I only read the headline and lede. Some official spoke against Li Keqiang.

Whoops. Lol.

This is another question altogether about the corruption campaign: there are two main theories amongst academics about how political reforms get going -

1) Top down, network approach: in this approach, top leaders think up strategies to achieve whatever goal is pressing at the time. They then, to see if it would even be effective, bring the strategy to the local level to be implemented. If successful, they bring it to say the county level, prefecture level and finally provincial level, so on so forth. Extra "incentives" are provided to officials and companies to implement and follow the program and, overall, to "grease" individual networks. Contractual systems also exist (follow the contract -> promotion), but sometimes incentives can work better. There is of course a lot of bribery which is negative, but some is needed with this model.
This is the model used in China at the moment, evidently. Unfortunately, it is far from guaranteed to work. Notorious examples are green GDP and the asset declaration system, both of which are desperately needed given the amount of corruption and environmental pollution in China, but died in the womb after initial implementation at the local level because of objection from local officials.

Do you think the bolded is because of the heavy emphasis economic development has on officials performance reviews (and ability to "climb the ladder")?

2) Bottom-up, local approach: the idea here is that local leaders develop programs say to increase economic development. If successful, a top leader may take note, endorse it and send it up the ladder to a higher level. Contracts are used to ensure that each individual is incentivized to use the best possible program and the idea is that the upper level officials will want to explore effective programs developed at the lower level because it benefits them personally to develop their region. Bribery in this system hurts China since it provides incentives for officials to do things which aren't necessarily in China's interest.
If bribery is discouraged in this system and encouraged in the system above, then this one seems to be able to please Mr Xi more, haha.

His Mr Xi more of a populist (to use a rather inadequate term) than his predecessors? Lol.

While China's government is essentially arranged in a top-down manner, which has been the modus operandi since Qin Shi Huang, I don't see how this can't be built into the current governmental framework. It also means that more attention can be paid to city-specific considerations, i.e. the programmes will be more optimised to suit the city. Nevertheless, it seems to mean that the interests of the officials will have even more bearing on the success of the programmes.
Which do you think is more reasonable? If either.
Do you mean which one will work better, or which one is a better explanation of what China does now?

Which one is a better explanation of China's government today. Since Deng Xiaoping, local officials have had a lot more leeway as economic development became the number 1 goal. And there is evidence pointing both ways (most notably with the SEZs and the Household Responsibility System as well as reforms of SOEs.)