Democracy in the balance
Wen expected SACE to uphold “the Great Unity" in Hong Kong. SACE showed his obedience through meetings with different social groups, standing by or against him during his CE race. Visits to local communities, a practice since Chris Patten, were also carried out. The latest acts was inviting pro-establishment politician to a dinner through DAB.
These acts were not well received. While 15 pro-Tang politicians were missing, Ms Miriam Lau Kee-yee, the Liberal party chairperson, refused the invitation and rather joined with her party youth wing in Cafe de Carol, the local fast food chain which raise their price recently, claiming this as “experiencing" the difficulty of local youth professionals. Jasper Tsang, the chariperson of Legislative Council and a potential participant-had-been of CE race, aired his refusal and dropped a hint that SACE had a difficult time in filling in the new principal officials. His words fitted in the claims that SACE is not popular among the high civil servants.
These can serve as a sign that the pro-establishments had not been unitied, yet. We may now safely deduce that even in pro-establishments there are three sects. They will be called SACE supporters (DAB core included), pro-business and moderate CCP (fringe DAB included).
What we should watch further is that there are people who belonged to the last two camps would get closer to the SACEs. Either they would prosper with the SACEs or they would be the scapegoat whenever there would be any problems.
My last Hong Kong politics commentary in Chinese quoted the well known ancient essay “On Six States" to analogise how the current anti-SACE camp failed in the CE race. To simplify, there are two important reasons: either they are, at the end, fighting only for and by themselves; or, as stated in the essay, they simply assumed SACE, with his claimed support from the chaotic Beijing and obvious support from the Liaison Office of Central Government in West Point, are unbeatable and can be dealt with appeasement policy, as the six states did before Qin dynasty finally destroyed them.
As many secondary students with proper Chinese History training would know, the only moment when the six states had won Qin was when so called “he zong" strategy was implemented jointly by all six states. With this perspective, an optimistic view can be taken because this anti-SACE camp is well extended to the inside of pro-establishment camp. Mr. Li Ka-shing, in his first open press conference after SACE’s election, said he would prefer to invest in democratic society. Mr. Jasper Tsang, in the mentioned interviewed, also hinted his support for a real democratic race in 2017. The success of SACE finally gave them the first and last lesson on why universal suffrage would be more preferable. This is a very important hint and opportunity for the pan-democratic camp in creating a wider line for the future democratic campaign.
However, as the real history goes, the failure of six states also gave pessimistic view: the six states finally only fought for themselves without a real reconsideration of their own strength and weakness. The traditional democratic parties failed to recognise their outdatedness among the youth. They did not want to contact with the provoking new wings of democratic movement, including People’s Power or Civil Passion. While Civil Party wanted to uphold their being the high line of the camp, they failed to contact and educate the general public about the core values they are professed with. The so-called radical wing (LSD, PP and CP) failed in convincing the general public that it was their radical movement really created a threat to the arrogant government who prioritised stability rather any good changes to the society that are not in their plan.
They should learn to understand that, no matter they want to speak openly or not, all of them do not want a direct interference from the North any more. The City-state Autonomous people, PP or CP dare to accept this openly, while Civil Party or the like intellectuals may not want to put them in action. Democratic Party, after a hard struggle to get close to Beijing, would never dream about this openly. Such as the quarrel of Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese among within this camp need not to raise to the level of who is betraying Hong Kong. This kind of cultural issue could carry on, but not in the expense of the democratic movement.
The press for a “Great Unity" is more urgent for the pan-democratic camp. As Mr. Jasper Tsang pointed out, he would rather worry that the pan-democratic camp may have no convincing candidate for the hoped race. Without a united front, this candidate would only be dragged by internal criticisms or by failure to have enough supporters to form a governing team, as SACE faced today, let alone he would not won the race like Mr. Tang who even had the support of the Mr. Li Ka-shing.