They are standing up for freedom.
The people of Hong Kong have once again given the world a lesson in democracy and liberty, this time by rejecting a bogus election plan hatched by communists in the People’s Republic of China. This is the gist of confusing events that took place Thursday in the former British colony.
Lawmakers in the mini-legislature, the Legislative Council, stood up for the principle of democracy by voting down a plan on how to elect the city’s next leader, or chief executive, in 2017. What makes it confusing is that it was pro-democracy legislators who killed the plan and Beijing says it wants “universal suffrage.”
Here’s rub: Beijing’s plan would indeed have allowed people in Hong Kong to vote, but only for candidates selected beforehand by a committee of 1,200 that does Beijing’s bidding. Candidates who do not toe Beijing’s line need not apply.
As The New York Times put it in an overnight dispatch, “Beijing has made it clear that it will not allow anyone who does not ‘love China’—that is, a China under Communist Party rule—to appear on the ballot.”
So it was left to the pro-democracy faction in the LegCo, the pan-democratic alliance, to vote down the measure. It went down with 28 votes against and only eight in favor, as confusion among the pro-Beijing camp left many legislators not voting.