L9 - Spring 2004 L9 Lecture 9 Development of Party Politics...

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Unformatted text preview: Spring 2004 L9 Lecture 9 Development of Party Politics in HK I. Pre-party Developments Political Groups in the 80s The British initiative to develop representative govt in the 80s stimulated political participation. Political groups (參政團體) and commentary groups (論政團體) were formed to comment on govt policies, in particular issues related to political development. The former actively participated in DB and UC/RC elections. “Conservative” groups: the Progressive Hong Kong Society (勵進會) led by Maria Tam (譚惠珠). The three major pro-democracy groups: (a) Meeting Point (匯點) (MP) (1983): intellectuals and professionals, hailed “democratic repatriation” (民主回歸), had better relationship with the Chinese govt. Major leaders: Anthony Cheung (張炳良), Yeung Sum(楊森), Fred Li (李華明). (b) The Hong Kong Affairs Society (太平山學會) (1984): professionals, academics and lawyers. Major leaders: Albert Ho (何俊仁), Huang Chen-ya (黃震遐). (c) The Association for People’s Livelihood and Democracy (ADPL) (1986) (民主民生 協進會/民協), catered more for grassroot interests. Major leaders: Frederick Fung (馮檢基), Lee Wing-tat (李永達), Albert Chan (陳偉業), Bruce Liu (廖成利). Developments after the mid-80s Events like the Daya Bay (大亞灣核電廠) incident and the Public Order (Amendment) Ordinance (both in 1986) gave the various pressure groups and political groups a chance to cooperate for collective action. The Joint Committee for Promotion of Democratic Government in HK (民促會), through its struggle for direct election in 1988 and a democratic Basic Law, became an umbrella organization that grouped together all the democrats. In late 1980s, the three major pro-democracy groups began to discuss to merge into one pro-democracy political party. The Beijing democracy movement in 1989, and the formation of the Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China (支聯會) brought further consolidation of the democrats. The Tiananmen crackdown also alarmed the democrats, who thought that they must unite and strengthen themselves against possible oppression by China after 1997. With direct election coming in 1991, members of the three major pro-democracy groups formed the United Democrats of Hong Kong (香港民主同盟/港同盟) (UDHK) in April 1990. It is considered the first political party in Hong Kong. MP and ADPL kept their original groups but were considerably weakened. 1 Spring 2004 L9 II. Party Development, 1991-1995 Imminent Trend of Development In 1991, many conservatives did not run as party candidates but as independents. UDHK won 12 of the 18 elected seats, MP won 2, ADPL won one. The largest proPRC and conservative group, the Liberal Democratic Foundation (自由民主聯會/自 民聯) (LDF) fielded 4 candidates and all lost. The years 1991-1995 saw a flourishing of political parties. There were several forces that drove the politicians to form parties in this period: (1) The democrats’ victory in 1991 drove the conservatives (both pro- business and proPRC politicians) to organize themselves to compete with the UDHK. (2) All appointed seats would be abolished in 1995. It was imperative for some of the appointed members, with pro-business and conservative backgrounds, to prepare themselves for future elections and form their own parties. (3) The Patten reform polarised the local political scene, which means that it is no longer possible for conservatives to disguise as “independents”. Major Parties formed, 1991-2000 In 1992, some appointed members and pro-business members (elected from FCs), in response to the challenge of UDHK, formed the Cooperative Resource Center (啟聯 資源中心). It later re-organized itself to become the Liberal Party in 1994. Leaders: Allen Lee (Chairman until 1998), Selina Chow (周梁淑怡), James Tien (田北俊). In 1992, pro-PRC politicians and union leaders (HKFTU) formed the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DABHK) (民主建港聯盟). Leaders since 1992: Jasper Tsang Yok-sing (曾鈺成), Chan Yuen-han (陳婉嫻), Gary Cheng (程介南), Tam Yiu-chung (譚耀宗). In 1994, UDHK and Meeting Point merged to form the Democratic Party (民主黨). In 1994, some pro-Taiwan politicians established the 123 Democratic Alliance (一二 三民主聯盟). It was dissolved in 2001 for lack of funds. In 1996, the pro-China, pro-business Hong Kong Progressive Alliance (香港協進聯 盟/港進聯) was established. The HKPA merged with (absorbed) the Liberal Democratic Foundation (LDF) in 1997. In 1996, some prominent democrats such as Emily Lau(劉慧卿), Lau Chin-shek(劉 千石) and Lee Cheuk-yan (李卓人) formed the Frontier (前線). It remains a loose political organization that does not call itself a "party." In 1997, Christine Loh founded the Citizens’ Party (民權黨). It was not very influential and largely disappeared from the political scene after Christine Loh decided not to run for election in 2000. 2 Spring 2004 L9 The New Century Forum (新世紀論壇/新論壇), a moderate pro-China group claimed to represent middle class interests, was formed in 1999. Members include Ng Ching Fai (吳清輝) and Lui Ming Wah (呂明華). III. Parties’ Difference in Positions (see graph) 1. The Attitude to Democratization: The attitude to democratization is the major dividing line that distinguishes most politicians and parties. Attitude towards direct election of Legco and CE, functional constituencies, appointment system, etc.. Related issues include human rights, rule of law, freedom of speech, attitude to Chinese government, etc.. After 1997, this attitude towards democracy and the Chinese govt is transforming to a dividing line of pro-govt/anti-govt positions. The pro-China parties such as DAB and HKPA are deemed Royalists (保皇黨), while the democrats more frequently play the role of opposition parties. 2. The Attitude to Social Welfare /labor issues: Pro-business parties like LP and HKPA are more inclined to business interests, while ADPL, HKFTU (工聯會) and HK Confederation of Trade Unions (職工會聯盟) are more sympathetic to lower class interests, increasing social welfare, and labor rights. The DP and DAB are more or less “catch-all” parties with very similar class positions—more pro-grassroot than the LP, but less pro-grassroot than the labor unions. Related issues include the attitude to privatization and public sector reform, market intervention, tax system, public spending, etc.. Pro-business parties are more supportive of civil service reform, non-intervention from government, low tax, etc.. The Distribution of Seats and Power (see tables) In 1991-95, appointed members and pro-business conservatives made up about 60% of the Legco. The democrats made up about 1/3 of the seats. On issues related to social welfare or democratization, the appointed members and members from the business sector were in general conservative and opposed social-democratic reforms. In 1995-7, the democrats made up about one half of the Legco, which enabled them to use private members’ bills to push through policies. They could also veto government bills from time to time. It marked the period of time in Hong Kong history when elected Legco representatives had the most power. 3 Spring 2004 L9 After 1997, the HKPA, the DAB and other conservatives combined to form a progovt majority. The pro-democracy parties have about 1/3 of the seats. Because of the voting-by-group arrangement, it is very difficult for the two camps to agree to get amendments or members’ motions passed in the Legco. The party system became more fragmented after 1997. About 1/4 of the Legco members usually do not belong to any parties. The largest party gets only about 20% of the seats. The three largest parties got about half of the seats. V. Factor Affecting Party Development in Hong Kong Low level of participation and mobilization -- very few of the middle class or professionals bothered to join political parties or political groups. Weak Legislature and few channels of power-- most of the power positions are not open for electoral contestation. Political parties cannot compete for power positions such as Chief Executive and the Executive Council. It means that it is difficult to attract talent to join political parties. Meager resources—the parties in HK do not have a lot of money, manpower or other resources. Low participation is a key. Lack of power of the legislature also means that the business sector and interest groups are loath to support political parties since they do not have influence. The functional constituency system is an obstacle to party development. It encourages the protection of narrow interests, and unfavors political compromise between different political groupings. The small constituency also means that it is not necessary for the FC candidates to rely on parties to mobilize voters. 4 Spring 2004 L9 The Relative Positions of Different Parties in the Legco, 1995-Present Pro-Business HKPA LP CP Pro-PRC Pro-Democracy DAB DP ADPL HKCTU FTU Frontier Pro-grass-roots Distribution of Seats in the Legislative Council among Parties, 1991-95 Party / Group Number of Legco Members 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 United Democrats of Hong Kong 14 13 13 15 Meeting Point 3 4 4 Cooperative Resource Center/Liberal Party 16 15 15 15 Appointed and ex-officio members 4 4 4 4 Other pro-democracy groups 3 2 2 3 Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong 0 1 1 1 Other pro-PRC groups 3 3 3 3 Independents 17 18 18 19 Total 60 60 60 60 5 Spring 2004 L9 Distribution of Seats in the Legislative Council among Parties, 1995-97 Party / Group Number of Legco Members Democratic Party 19 Liberal Party 10 Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong 6 Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood 4 The Frontier 4 Hong Kong Progressive Alliance 2 Other Democrats 3 Other Pro-China 6 Other Independents 6 Total 60 Distribution of Legco Seats among Different Parties in Different Groupings, 1998-2000 Party / Group Democratic Party Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong Liberal Party The Frontier Hong Kong Progressive Alliance Other Democrats Other Conservatives Independents Total Number of Members from Direct Election Functional Total Election Committee Constituencies 9 0 4 13 5 0 4 0 1 0 1 20 2 1 0 3 0 3 1 10 3 9 0 3 2 4 5 30 10 10 4 6 3 7 7 60 Distribution of Seats between Different Parties in Legco, 2000 – Present Party / Group Functional Directly Election Total Constituencies Elected Committee DP 3 9 0 12 DAB 3 6 1 10 LP 8 0 0 8 The Frontier 0 5 0 5 ADPL 0 1 0 1 HKPA 1 1 2 4 Independents 13 2 2 17 Other pro-PRC groups 2 0 1 3 Total 30 24 6 60 6 ...
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