Seminar on Constitutional Development
(24 May 2004)
Group Discussion Summaries
Blue Group: Professor K C Chan
Method for Selecting the Chief Executive
The Number of Members of the Election Committee
Many participants thought that the number of Election Committee members should be increased. Many participants said that the number could be doubled to 1,600, and participation from the professional sectors and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be enhanced. Some opined that the existing four sectors should be maintained but that there should be
more representatives from the professional sectors and SMEs.
The Number of Members Required for Nominating Candidates
The Delineation and Size of the Electorate of the Election Committee
Method for Forming the Legislative Council
The Number of Seats in the Legislative Council
Many participants agreed that the number of seats in the Legislative Council should be increased. There was also a view that the proportion set for 2007/08 could remain unchanged. We could move step by step towards direct election by increasing the number of directly elected seats.
Many participants opined that the ratio of directly elected seats to functional constituency seats, which was laid down by the Central Authorities, should be further considered. This was because if universal suffrage were the ultimate goal, discussion should begin on when the ratio could be relaxed and what changes should be made in future.
The Number of Seats Returned by Functional Constituencies
The Delineation and Size of the Electorate of Legislative Council Functional Constituencies
Many participants opined that there was a need to examine whether the existing functional constituencies could reflect the current economic situation. For example, we should consider what course Hong Kong was taking in pursuing economic development, and whether there should be a larger electorate for functional constituencies representing those sectors
with higher output value and which employed a large number of workers.
A participant remarked that, in view of the current situation of the functional constituencies, some sectors might have to be further divided in order to reflect the views of minorities.
There was a view that the number of representatives of District Councils in the Legislative Council should be increased in order to enhance the representativeness of District Councils.
As for the electorate of the Legislative Council, the majority of the participants advocated expanding the electorate so as to enhance the legitimacy and transparency of the election, and to groom more political talents for Hong Kong.
Many proposed that functional constituency elections should, as far as possible, adopt "one person, one vote", and that corporate votes should be reduced.
Many proposed to increase the possibility for the middle class and the working class to take part in election or be elected. The participants would not like to see functional constituency seats taken up by people who already have high social standing in the community; rather, they would like to see more political talents groomed through
Constitutional Development Framework
Some participants opined that the framework laid down by the Central Authorities was inadequate. Without direct election, it would be difficult to hold the Administration accountable and to resolve the imbalance between the legislature and the executive. For example, if one party were to move too fast and the other too slowly, it would not be easy to
improve the imbalance between the two.
Improve the Legitimacy of the Administration
There was a view which held that, through constitutional development, the legitimacy and accountability of the Administration could be enhanced, and the principle of universal and fair election achieved. There was another view which expressed the hope that the Administration could make use of this opportunity to boost the public's confidence in the
government and to increase its transparency.
(Please refer to the video recording for the floor speech.)