香港新浪網 MySinaBlog
« 上一篇 | 下一篇 »
劉廼強 | 12th Jan 2010 | China Daily (Hong Kong Edition) | (24 Reads)

The acquisition of funding for the construction of the high-speed railway was delayed for the second time in the Legislative Council Finance Committee through the tactics of filibuster borrowed from US politics. The opposition politicians and young activists, most of whom were born in the 1980s (the so-called Y-Generation in the West), regarded this as another victory, but judging from the enthusiastic support for the project from the general public this can only serve to alienate opposition groups even further from the mainstream. Filibusters are strongly divisive.

The battle line is drawn, the positions of both sides now are hardened and the hope of achieving a win-win solution has vanished. The opposition lawmakers simply cannot filibuster forever, and the project will sooner or later move ahead. They think they now have mobilized the younger generations to support their ludicrous stand on constitutional development. To a certain extent I think they have achieved their political objective, but it is at the expense of losing an even larger number of more mature supporters. Experience elsewhere shows that election turn-out rates of people below 30 are generally low.

People who previously voted for members of the opposition camp will split. I can foresee the rapid downfall of the Civic Party to the benefit of the more radical League of Social Democrats, but it is the now more moderate Democratic Party that will gain the most. Overall, opposition votes are quietly draining amid the battle cries. The opposition camp’s old supporters are disappointed and disillusioned, but that does not necessarily mean they will vote for the pro-establishment camp either. They may simply not come out to vote as they cannot find any politician to represent their views in the legislature.

This emerging trend may not be apparent in the upcoming by-election after the planned mass resignations of Civic Party and League of Social Democrats lawmakers. But it will first show up in the District Council election in 2011, and more apparently in the LegCo election in 2012.

The good news is the pro-establishment camp will enjoy a higher margin in these elections without trying. The bad news is many of these non-voters are now disillusioned with parliamentary democracy. We do not know how they will choose to voice their demands and grievances. What we do know is that it is not a healthy development and I can smell trouble ahead.