Archive for the HK Pan-Democrats Category

港人優先,原則上對,但對焦錯!

Posted in Debate, HK Pan-Democrats, Speech on October 30, 2013 by loso

特首無黨 ﹣﹣ 香港政治的死局

Posted in Debate, HK Pan-Democrats on March 5, 2011 by loso

余若薇

3/3/2011

動議辯論《2010年行政長官選舉(修訂)條例 草案》

Value of Opposition

Posted in HK Pan-Democrats, Speech on January 10, 2011 by loso

Minority Rights in Governance: The Value of Opposition
Alan Kah-Kit LEONG
Leader, Civic Party, HKSAR

Hong Kong has been mourning the passing of Mr. Szeto Wah, an icon of the city’s democratic movement since the 1970s.  Hong Kong people mourn not only Mr. Szeto’s demise, but also our inability to restore some fairness to distribution of political powers and some balance in government policies for social justice after more than 3 decades of pursuit of democracy.

The Status Quo

Legislators associated with the democratic movement like myself have since about 5 years ago been called “the Opposition” by the government.  The word ‘’opposition’’ has a bad reputation, especially in Eastern cultures where conformity and unity are regarded as much more virtuous. “Opposition” is deemed unnecessary and is often seen only in a negative light. So much so that, in politics, opposition parties are often crushed, sidelined, or made irrelevant and unattractive by those in power. Some electoral systems are purposely designed to contain opposition, render them electorally ineffective. The system is designed so that the oppositions are unable to perform the function to act as the “check and balance” of executive power – the most basic function which one would expect them to perform in a modern society.

Hong Kong is no stranger to such a political system.

The presently constituted Legislative Council has 60 members, 30 of whom are directly elected from 5 Geographical Constituencies with an electorate of a total of 3.4 million voters.  The other 30 are elected from Functional Constituencies when only about 220,000 companies, organizations and individuals belonging to a designated sector can vote.  The rights to nominate and be nominated are also exclusively reserved to them.  All private bills and motions must obtain half the votes of the Functional Constituencies legislators before they are passed.  For an extreme example, there can be 45 votes in support of a private motion and yet cannot have it passed, if only 15 Functional Constituency Members abstain from voting.  This effectively gives them a veto power over every important issue that matters to the Hong Kong People.  Or, 3.4 million can be vetoed by 220,000.

Our Chief Executive is elected by a small circle of elites of 800, and it is they who decide the fate of Hong Kong’s politics.  Opposition parties in Hong Kong are seen by those in power as an obstacle to effective governance, as a nuisance and distraction.

Universal Suffrage: Is the promise honoured?

Since Hong Kong ceased to be a British colony in 1997, we have been promised in the Basic Law, our mini constitution, universal suffrage for the elections of our Chief Executive, who is head of the Administration, and all members of the Legislature.

In our first 60-member Legislative Council after the reversion of sovereignty, there were 18 directly elected seats; those increased to 24 in the second council and 30 in the third.  While we were expecting such gradual progress to deliver us, if not universal suffrage in 2008, at least more directly elected councilors to at least outnumber those returned by the functional constituencies, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee resolved in 2005 that the status quo should be kept so that directly elected councilors cannot be more than those elected by the businesses and professionals.  In 2007, when Hong Kong was expecting progress in 2012, the NPCSC dictated to us, yet again, that the proportion between Geographical Constituencies and Functional Constituencies Members should still be retained even for 2012.

For election of the Chief Executive, the People of Hong Kong has yet to see or hear about any arrangement that respects our right to nominate and be nominated for the office.
Will the Promise be honoured?

In the 2007 decision of the NPCSC, it was mentioned that Hong Kong could elect its Chief Executive by universal suffrage in 2017 at the earliest and that similar arrangements could be adopted for the Legislative Council afterwards.  Our Chief Executive has interpreted that to mean universal suffrage for election of the Legislative Council in 2020 at the earliest.

Will that happen?

The government just introduced two bills into the Legislative Council making provisions for elections of the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council in 2012.  One thing is clear: the Central People’s Government wants to firmly control the rights to nominate and be nominated for half of the seats in the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive.  What the People of Hong Kong might be allowed to enjoy is just the right to vote.

2012 will be the last Chief Executive Election (once every 5 years) before 2017 and the second last Legislative Council Election before 2020 (once every 4 years).  Given what we saw of the government’s proposed electoral models for elections of the Chief Executive and Legislative Council, there are practically no way that Hong Kong can see universal and equal suffrage implemented for elections in 2017 and 2020.

What the Opposition did?

Given the political status quo in Hong Kong, minority rights, whether it be the ever-widening rich-poor gap, the right to a reasonable living, the right to freedom of expression, the right to demonstration and assembly, the right to religious belief or the right of ethnic minorities to have equal education and employment opportunity, continue to be insufficiently provided for or safeguarded, and sometimes even neglected and ignored, by the government.  The Opposition plays the guardian of minority rights and does everything to strive for universal suffrage in the election of political leaders.

In 2007 I decided to enter the election for Chief Executive of Hong Kong to run against the incumbent, Donald Tsang, so as to bring about a contested election.  The contest produced 2 live television debates that lasted for a total of 3 hours and could be watched not only by the 7 million in Hong Kong, but also the 110 million in the Pearl River Delta.  Through that election, Hong Kong people saw the value of opposition parties.  We also saw the value in having the competition of ideas in public policies.

In 2010, 5 legislators of the Opposition resigned from their Geographical Constituencies seats to trigger territory-wide by-elections.  It was a social movement that lasted for 6 months.  During this time, Hong Kong people were focused just on how unfair and prejudicial Functional Constituencies have been in bringing about political domination by sectorial vested interests.  Having gone through with this movement, people began to see clearer than ever the acutely unfair distribution of resources and wealth in Hong Kong, which is often described as the “deep-seated conflict”, could not be sufficiently tackled and resolved without the mandate of the people from the ballot box in truly democratic elections.

I believe Hong Kong took two important steps towards achieving genuine democracy by what the Opposition had done.

The Value of Opposition

Speaking as a political party leader and as a politician, I treasure my role in opposition, and I think I can do no better than to quote the former British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, in how he saw the value of being in the opposition.  He said

“I think the young men – and the older men – who came into Parliament as part of a huge Labour majority didn’t get the training we got. It’s a good thing for leaders of the House of Commons to have sat for some time in Opposition. Not too long. Too long a period of Opposition stales the mind. That was the trouble with the German Social Democrats: they had to criticize for so long they lost the faculty for being constructive.

If you could plan these things, I think it would be a good thing for everybody to start in the House of Commons in Opposition. I think the Labour M.P. who starts off on the Government side misses something, and the man who starts off virtually as a Labour Minister, as several did just after the war, misses much more.

It’s useful to have to sit in Opposition for your first few years, but it is particularly good for people to have to sit there unable to say very much while the ex-Ministers and Privy Councillors are being called on all the time. Young chaps like me had to just sit there and keep quiet; but we could listen and watch points. Very important. Whoever the man is, and whatever his gifts of leadership, he needs a great deal of experience of the House of Commons.”

Of course we get to do much more than to just sit and watch in Hong Kong’s legislature. We actively use our position as opposition to hold the government to account.

Being in the Opposition, as Attlee pointed out, is essential for any politician and political party. Most importantly, it humbles oneself, and humility is the most important quality of leadership; for it enables oneself to see one’s mistakes. Good political judgment only comes from the capacity of learning from one’s mistakes.

To me, the most interesting part of Attlee’s quote however is that one cannot be in Opposition for too long a period of time, for it “stales the mind”.

This is precisely why, even in Hong Kong’s current political system, where there is no hope in us being elected to power anytime soon, the Civic Party, founded in March 2006, always thinks from the perspective of being the Party in government. For we know that we cannot let the opposition mindset saddle us with irresponsibility and irrationality. We must constantly remind ourselves of the need to be constructive in our politics. Most importantly, Hong Kong’s political development has advanced to a stage where the people expect much more from the Opposition.

They expect us to show leadership and vision where the Government is blind.

They expect us to lead where the Government fails.

They expect us to take on the challenges of the 21st Century where the Government lacks foresight.

They expect us to bring forth and defend a free and open society where the Government is weak.

It is indeed a coincidence that the Hong Kong People comes to expect so much from the opposition parties in a system where the Opposition is supposed to be irrelevant and ineffective. This is not what the designer of our political system had in mind.  But ironically, it is precisely because of the imperfections in our political system which brought about the best in the value of opposition in Hong Kong politics.

What next to watch in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong needs a fairer political system for minority rights to be better protected.  Hong Kong needs a Chief Executive who has a clear mandate from the people and votes in the Legislative Council to build a city on a vision shared by all, expressed by a political consensus built through policy research, rational debates and popular advocacy.  Hong Kong needs a legislature that deliberates for the best interest of its 7 million people, and not just to continue the political domination by the most powerful few who make their fortunes from land development and property investment.

The 2 Bills making laws for the 2012 Elections are now making their way through the Legislative Council.  The Civic Party will try to introduce amendments to the Bills in order to make it fairer.  Most importantly, we want to make sure about the laws, once passed, would be conducive to achieving the goal of truly democratic elections of the Chief Executive in 2017 and all members of the Legislative Council in 2020.

I shall be just too glad to keep you posted on democracy building in Hong Kong in these interesting times.

 

Hon Alan Leong SC
January 10, 2011
Taipei

 

公民黨新任黨魁梁家傑對黨員的話

Posted in HK Pan-Democrats, Speech on January 9, 2011 by loso

2011年1月9日發出

公民黨新任黨魁梁家傑對黨員的話

梁家傑昨日(1月8日)在黨周年大會當選公民黨黨魁,今天以電郵方式,向黨員補發昨日因議程緊迫而未能向黨員發表的3000字講話(詳見下文)。此外,梁家傑以黨魁身分的第一個活動,是今天下午前往台北,應Heritage Foundation邀請明早在一個論壇演講,主題是“Democracy Building in Interesting Times”

主席,各位黨員,黨友

未來兩年將是香港民主運動,以致公民黨發展的一個重要里程。際此關鍵時刻,黨的兄弟姊妹委我以黨魁重任,實深感榮幸,亦知任重道遠。要有余若薇舉重若輕的從容;要在複雜多變的政治角力中履險如夷,不能沒有大家不時提點和糾正。眼見越來越多黨員願意為黨和民主運動作無償的付出,我深信未來兩年當黨魁之路,會因有大家作伴而不會孤單。

香港的深層次矛盾,在於資源和財富分配不均。在既得利益透過功能組別繼續壟斷政治權力的情況下,這深層次矛盾只會有增無減。面對通脹和日益擴大的貧富差距問題,有權無票的政府顯得怯懦。對於做成深層次矛盾的核心問題視若無睹,連作長遠社會規劃和投資也不願。天天只在見火撲火,見招拆招。儼如跛腳鴨看守政府般,做一日和尚敲一日鐘,拖得就拖。拖延不會令社會問題消失;到問題大得解決不來,香港也就會被拖垮!

我黨一直堅信,政黨政治,一人一票選特首,一人一票選全體立法會議員是唯一出路。當我們的特首有充分的政治認受性,有權亦有票時,他才能經充分考量各方意見後作出平衡,以香港整體福祉作依歸,切實提出更好、更公道的方案為香港解困。

可惜,去年6月立法會通過的2012政改方案,跟這方向背道而馳,使香港出現普及和平等選舉的機會更形渺茫。最近,基本法委員會副主任梁愛詩表明經改良的功能組別可符合普選原則;全國政協常委陳永棋亦指由功能組別選民先選出2-3名候選人,再開放予全民普選的安排已獲商界支持。經他們放話後,中央只放投票權,卻牢牢緊握提名和參選權,讓功能組別可以千秋萬世的格局,大致定下來。我黨有責任向香港人講清楚,走這條路與真普選南轅北轍,深層次矛盾做成的不公和分化,將繼續是香港人的夢魘,讓大家知所警惕。

我黨一直堅守原則,據理力爭,反對不能達致投票、提名與參選三權歸一的假普選方案。在以五區公投作啟蒙的「新民主運動」中,充分表現出信任選民,願意動員選民的堅定立場。在2011年的區議會和選舉委員會選舉,及2012年的特首和立法會共4個選舉中,我黨必須延續「新民主運動」,動員香港人,繼續清楚表態,要求打破特權壟斷,廢除功能組別。這4個選舉,將會是我黨發展的重要里程,亦是考驗我黨能力的關鍵時刻。

我黨的能力,尤以動員能力最受考驗。

我黨的首要任務,將是動員年青人、中產者、勞動階層、中小企業和一眾冇權、冇票、冇錢,老、弱、傷、殘和被邊緣化的弱勢社群,以理性務實的態度,憑公民自救的覺醒,用專業溫和的手段,參與建設一個「我們所要的香港」。

年青人在特權壟斷格局中首當其衝,成為最令人痛心的犧牲品。正因為特權壟斷,年青人憑創業突圍的機會變得渺茫。從守護天星、皇后碼頭到反高鐵、護菜園;從反對屏風樓、完善城市規劃到反對官商勾結、建立「與民共議」文化,年青人都能投入參與,分析並批判社會的不公義,盡顯魄力和創意。在以五區公投作啟蒙的「新民主運動」中,年青人更以堅韌的勇氣,為香港這個他們安生立命之所作出承擔,為新民主運動做應該做的事!香港要有希望,年青人必須能以知識脫貧,自強不息,透過公平競爭,得享自力更生的成果。我黨要與年青人和關心他們的父母站在一起,爭取完善基礎和大學教育,打破地產霸權壟斷經濟之局,改變年青人只能為它們服務和進貢利潤的宿命。

中產者是現今香港最受壓的一層。他們上有父母,下有兒女。由於社會政策未能做到老有所養,教育政策亦未能使父母一心一意讓兒女在本地就學,結果稅是納了不少,但還是要自掏腰包,支持父母的生活和醫藥費,保送兒女到外國讀書。這是不可接受的。我黨要與中產者站在一起,爭取減低中產者負擔社會成本的比例,投放公共資源在基礎社會建設,減輕他們肩上的擔子,改善他們的生活質素。

勞動階層在工時長,人工低,福利少,法例保障不足的境況下工作,香港是個崇尚仁愛公義的社會,我們不能對此坐視不理。我黨要與勞動階層站在一起,爭取還工人以應有的尊嚴。

中小企業的營商環境日趨困難。地貴、租貴,盈利稍有增長即隨時面臨幾倍的租金加幅;同時,因為大財團壟斷之局難破,競爭往往絕不公平。60年代由經營小本生意起家終成世界級富豪的例子,現在幾乎已成絕唱。我黨要與中小企業站在一起,爭取改善營商環境,使小本經營者能獲得應有和合理回報。

我黨也要與一眾冇權、冇票、冇錢,老、弱、傷、殘和被邊緣化的弱勢社群站在一起,爭取全民退休保障早日實行,做好香港人口老齡化的準備,完善綜合援助制度和對殘障人士的照顧。務使香港經濟的蓬勃發展能惠及每一個香港人。

要動員群眾,除了靠一個清晰的願景和可以付諸實行的政策外,還得靠牢固的社區支援網絡。公民黨必須加倍努力做好緊貼民生的工作,扎根地區。具豐富服務社區經驗的黨員,應透過黨內資源和經驗分享平台,與有志服務街坊的地區發展者多交流,形成一支強大的地區工作團隊,務以「街坊要幫忙,梗有公民黨?左近」作目標。

公民黨要贏得香港人信任,並增加動員能力,就必須秉持自創黨以來,以執政思維作指導,進行社會政策研究的方向;用專業、務實、講理性、重原則的態度,向選民闡釋並推動一直持守的香港願景和價值,透過不懈的辯論和廣泛的倡議,用摩登政黨的方法,在各不同利益集體之間建立跨階層的社會共識,爭取最大的民眾支持。

越接近選舉,政治形勢越波譎雲詭,凶險非常。我黨上下,必以正直誠實自持。我們當然要提防擺明車馬的親建制政黨,但更須警惕的,是那些以理性溫和做幌子,不惜魚目混珠、混淆中產價值,用似是而非的手段蒙騙香港人的政治勢力。我黨必須時刻提醒香港人,這些政治勢力最終還是服務權貴,向既得利益靠攏。在關鍵時刻,它們都會選擇作高牆,不會站在雞蛋的一方。

民主派只有團結的需要,沒有分裂的條件。民主派中不同政黨,對形勢的研判,可以因黨而異,因人有別,沒甚麼大不了。在選舉時進行公平競爭,擺事實,講道理,爭支持,亦屬必然。透過公平、公開的積極競爭,我們有理由相信可以擴闊民主派的光譜,吸納更多的支持者。但千萬要恪守的底線,是不能惡言相對,互相攻訐,損害民主同路人的情誼,讓別人可拉一派打一派,乘機進行分化。不同的民主派朋友間,要透過不歇溝通,務求達致互相明白和諒解,求同存異,團結最多數的同路人。只要是透過理性辯論,以理服人,最終結果就取決於選民的意向了。

一如既往,公民黨將繼續尋求與中央主管香港事務者溝通。只要沒有前設條件和無需放棄原則,我黨隨時準備好跟中央官員討論共同關心的議題。我們亦會繼續發展跟台灣和國際友人的網絡,讓他們明白公民黨在香港爭取普及和平等選舉的立場,以及遇到的困難。

在香港爭民主,吃力不討好,付出不一定有回報。我們仍樂此不疲,是因為對平等、公道、民主等普世價值有所追求;對保障人權、自由、法治的制度有所執著。讓我們憑著這份追求和執著,互相扶持和鼓勵,繼續我們追求理想的路!

未來兩年,是香港民主運動的關鍵時刻。民主運動需要公民黨;公民黨需要你們每一位。自創黨以來,你我在黨的旗幟下,一齊經歷了2006年的選舉委員會界別選舉;2007年的特首選舉,港島區補選和區議會選舉;也經歷了2008年的立法會選舉及2010年的五區公投運動。大家都付出了很多,犧牲了不少。黨員和黨友,加上支持我們的人,正是公民黨最能倚靠的資源。亦是因為我們的願意付出,公民黨才能一步一腳印的走到今天。過去5年的路不容易,前面的2年更荊棘滿途;但有你同行,我一定不會孤單。

我明白自己有很多不足之處,但我向你們承諾將盡我之所能,在黨主席的領導和各位兄弟姊妹的提點下,做好黨魁的工作。為民主運動薪火相傳,為公民黨承先啟後,貢獻我能做的。

現在距離區議會和選舉委員會界別選舉只有11個月的時間。公民黨將要持續推動「新民主運動」,鼓勵全民參與,誠任重而道遠。就讓我們同心同德,一起落區、一起管理好我們的團隊,與公民社會肩並肩,與民主路上的朋友手牽手,從容面對未來的挑戰,為香港和中國的民主、法治、人權和自由,做我們應該做的,做我們可以做的。好讓我們向下一代負責,向歷史承傳作交待!多謝。

 

民心回歸

Posted in HK Pan-Democrats, Speech on July 1, 1997 by loso

民主黨 七・一 宣言

 

發表者:李柱銘

地點:香港昃臣道舊立法局大樓露台

撰稿者:劉細良

 

民主回歸

 

今天,是一九九七年七月一日,全港世界正注視着香港的回歸,這是所有中國人同感光榮的時刻。香港經歷一百五十多年的殖民地統治,終於結束了鴉片戰爭及列強侵略所帶來的恥辱,正式告別殖民地時代,重新成為中國的一部份。

 

民主黨一直支持香港民主回歸祖國,我們深信,民主對香港,對中國同樣重要。民主,也是人類文明共同的聲音。

 

由今天起,香港成為中華人民共和國主權下的特別行政區。當我們昂首踏入二十一世紀時,我們期望香港與中國能共同進步,而不是共同退步。我們深信香港可以對現代中國作出重大貢獻。

 

香港與中國不但有着互惠的經濟關係,而且香港還有其他方面可以作為中國現代化的借鑑。當中包括人權、自由、法治、廉潔、有效率的公務員系統、獨立自主的傳播媒介及過去十年香港逐步邁向民主化的經驗。

 

我們相信,民主是一國兩制的基石。一國兩制,港人治港及高度自治,不是靠領導人賜予,我們要靠一個民主的制度,民主是靠香港人的努力和奮鬥才可得到。

 

信任港人

 

一國兩制是一個偉大的構思。一國兩制的成功需要中國領導人與香港人弓大手中立互相和建立一個民主的制度。真正的「信任」,不能靠由變相委任的臨時立法會,取代九五年由一百萬市民選出的民選議會來達到;「信任」也不可以通過限制港人的人權、自由而得到。

 

我們認為,香港回歸,不單是土地的回歸,最重要的,是民心的回歸,讓我們有真正的民主,更大的自由空間,才能獲得港人的民心。

 

重返議會

 

我在香港人面前,在全世界面前,呼籲中國政府及特區政府,儘快在特區成立後進行公平和民主的選舉,我們強烈反對臨時立法會;因為中英聯合聲明及基本法已承諾香港的議會是由選舉產生的。香港市民及國際社會期望中國政府能信守承諾。

 

根據現時的情況來看,臨時立法會會修改選舉法例,盡量壓制民主的聲音,壓制民主派黨選的機會,但是,香港人對民主的奮鬥是不會停止的,因為民主之火已經在香港人心中燃點,永遠不會吹熄!

 

我們一定會在香港人的歡呼及支持下,重返議會!我們一定會在公平和民主的選舉中,勝利回來!

 

建設中國

 

在建立一國兩制、港人治港、高度自治的過程中,會充滿挑戰,這是歷史給以我們的責任。我們深信終有一天,香港會在民主的基礎上,建立真正的一國兩制,實現真正的高度自治,中國亦一定會成為偉大的國家,人民權利得享法律切實的保障!

 

我們民主的奮鬥,由今天開始,長路漫漫,路途中艱難,但我們並不孤單,我們將與六百萬香港人勇敢地前行,歷史將為我們作證!

 

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