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Functional Constituencies: Fixable?

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  1. #1

    Functional Constituencies: Fixable?

    David Webb again - interviewed on Bloomberg.
    Discussing some the ideas he published the other day: how to introduce voting - ie. shift from tycoons to professionals.


    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/video...g-system-video

    Added for more context

    Corporate voting

    However, there is at least one thing the HKSARG could do entirely within its autonomy. It could table a bill to abolish corporate voting for the Functional Constituencies in LegCo and for the seats on the CE Election Committee, instead handing the vote to any Permanent Resident (PR) who is licensed or works in the relevant sector. For example, in the so-called "Financial Services Sector", currently only a few hundred companies (stock and bullion brokers), many with common ownership, have 1 vote each. All the PRs among the 41,000 SFC-licensed professionals could be given that vote instead. In the real estate sector, instead of 1 vote per development company (again, many with common ownership), there would be a vote for each licensed Estate Agent and each Registered Construction Worker. Similarly for Banking, Insurance and other sectors. That would put them in the same position as current broad-based FCs such as the Accounting, Education, Legal and Medical sectors, all currently occupied by pan-democrats. In a nutshell: "One Job, One Vote".

    Now, you might think that the existing corporate-FC legislators would try to veto that legislation, but if the alternative is continued protests and a crackdown in HK that would harm their economic interests, then perhaps they would finally surrender, in their own self-interest, the excessive influence that they have on Government policy. Carrie Lam would at least get popular support for trying, and the CPG, seeking a way to avoid a crackdown, would likely mobilise local support for the proposal.

    Yes, if it seems familiar, it is similar to what Chris Patten did for the 1995 LegCo elections, a system which Beijing repealed via the Provisional Legislative Council in 1998. However, 24 years later, circumstances have changed and this would bring HK people much closer to electing their own choice of CE (via a more representative Election Committee) and a much more representative LegCo. This would bring a reasonable level of accountability to our CE and legislature without changing any of the Basic Law provisions and without needing NPCSC approval. It's not full democracy, but it would eliminate the plutocracy.
    Last edited by shri; 10-09-2019 at 07:25 AM.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elefant&Castle:
    David Webb again - interviewed on Bloomberg.
    Discussing some the ideas he published the other day: how to introduce voting - ie. shift from tycoons to professionals.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/video...g-system-video
    So called professional voters get two votes in his plan - functional and geographical. Hardly a good fix. Besides getting your funxtional vote often involves being a member of a dues paying body - something undemocratic about that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    So called professional voters get two votes in his plan - functional and geographical. Hardly a good fix. Besides getting your funxtional vote often involves being a member of a dues paying body - something undemocratic about that.
    I guess he is trying to appease the Party but usually simplicity is best. One person one vote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hullexile:
    I guess he is trying to appease the Party but usually simplicity is best. One person one vote.
    It is a compromise - considering that he is in a functional constituency + (and this is more important) these functional constituencies are here to stay.

    However, there is a lot of detail missing in the plan - what happens to IT workers who work in finance (the easiest example) - or if an IT worker working in finance also happens to be a taxi license owner?

    I might have read it all wrong when he says "1 job 1 vote".

    Besides, we also now know that the Taxi Drivers / Owners tried to muck with the IT constituency by adding some records to the IEEE (forget which chapter) roles to try and influence the IT elections.

    Another conspiracy charge against Li and three staff of the taxi group relates to allegations that they cheated the election authorities by entering fake information of 240 people, so they could become members of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and therefore be eligible to vote in the election.
    Any election that uses unregulated bodies to create voting pools will always be under attack.
    Last edited by shri; 10-09-2019 at 07:26 AM.

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    Original Post Deleted
    And this is what I find very uncharacteristic with his statement and follow ups I've seen on social media / media. He is an unusually thoughtful, through and calculating (as in details/logic/process) thinker.
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    I think what he is suggesting it that instead of giving one vote to specific companies in the functional constituencies, they should give one vote to each of its employees. The companies with votes are registered in some legal bill, so it wouldn't result in everyone but the unemployed having a vote. I find all those suggestions pretty cute though, because if there is one thing the CCP doesn't do, it's compromises. Authoritarian regime and free elections just doesn't go together.

    shri likes this.

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    they should give one vote to each of its employees.
    So payroll can go up suddenly for 1 week with probationary employees? Just saying... an IT worker in say a financial company (if he is a IEEE member) will get three (two functional and 1 geographical) votes?

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    Webb usually has good ideas, but this one is unnecessarily complicated.

    The easiest compromise is to slot in another chamber where electoral victory is by first past the post, sort of a bicameral system with an upgraded District Council. The shoe shiners and vested interests get to keep their platform, Beijing gets to keep control of the CE seat, and the democrats can get all the blame for livelihood and constituency issues.

    No more need for protests, violent or otherwise. Just a permanently stuffed up system perpetuating the status quo.


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    Webb is essentially proposing the restoration of the Patten Reforms by another name. The key is to introduce something consistent with the current legal framework that does not require any active involvement in terms of the CPG being asked to grant something new.

    MatthieuTofu and East_coast like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    So called professional voters get two votes in his plan - functional and geographical. Hardly a good fix. Besides getting your funxtional vote often involves being a member of a dues paying body - something undemocratic about that.
    We all get these two right now - if you don't vote in the originals FCs, you get to vote in the district council super seat constituency. DW is proposing to basically shift volume from there into the original FCs. Would be an improvement, but that's all.

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