How will improved electoral system benefit Hong Kong?
On Thursday, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Legislative Council passed the Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021, which means the local legislation of improving HKSAR's electoral system has been wrapped up.
That is the best news for Hong Kong today. The city has made a major improvement in its electoral system following amendments made by the country's top legislature, thus bringing the local democracy back to the right track.
According to the bill, a credentials committee will be set to make sure the candidates for elections are loyal to the country and the SAR. Certain radical political forces that hate their motherland and home city will no longer find it so easy to grab a place in the local legislative body.
Besides, the election committee will be extended to be more representative of the Hong Kong people, and play a bigger role in electing the Chief Executive and LegCo members.
That move is expected to grant the legislative and administrative bodies a common election basis so as to enhance the governance efficiency. One previous phenomenon, namely opposing for the sake of opposing, might become much less frequent in the future.
And more convenience is introduced for elections this year, such as setting a special registration deadline to allow newly eligible and affected electors to re-process their voter registration matters.
In one word, the improved electoral system means to further enhance democracy and better serve local voters in Hong Kong.
However, the improved electoral system will never, as certain Western observers concluded, exclude opposition forces. On the contrary, opposition forces will still play an active role in politics because both the election committee and the LegCo are extended and made more representative. The former has 300 more seats while the latter has 20 more, both of which mean more opportunities for political participation.
The door is closed only to those who hate their home city and attempt to bring it into chaos. Hong Kong needs constructive opposition forces, not those who oppose for the sake of opposing. Gone are the days when home-haters could ruin the city order under the cover of LegCo members.
The bill will come into effect on May 31. That means the three coming major elections, namely that of the 1,500-member Election Committee in September, of the LegCo in December, and that of the Chief Executive in March 2022, will all be held following the new rules.
Here's hoping the new elections will proceed well and the Hong Kong people will exercise their sacred voting rights.