In the face of CCP - ballots not bullets!
Updated: Apr 19
Please scroll down to the end of this blog to see our draft referendum with 5 options.
We The People, in Hong Kong and elsewhere, want our pleas to be heard and acted upon by governments - while the politicians duck for cover, pander to their worst instincts and otherwise fail to deliver on the people's will.
According to Peter Emerson, this is the pickle that we are in! :
Our suggested method to resolve the current HK political crisis is by inviting all HK Permanent Residents 18 years old and above to participate in a referendum held in HK using the “Modified Borda Count” (MBC), a preferential multi-option voting system, offering 5 options which will be ranked by each voter according to their preferences. If necessary, this could be a UN mandated referendum.
An MBC referendum is credible. It could define the will of HK people and as such would be a realistic means to negate the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) breaches of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong (“Joint Declaration”) therefore allowing this international treaty to continue.
HONG KONG PROTESTS ARE EVERYONE'S PROTESTS!
US President John F. Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in 1963, telling the frightened people of West Berlin who were surrounded on all sides by Communist East Berlin that he was also a Berliner, is an address often called Kennedy's best.
On 1 September 2020, on an official visit to Taiwan, Czech Republic Senate leader Miloš Vystrčil inside Taiwan’s Parliament declared himself to be Taiwanese in solidarity when he said ‘Wǒ shì táiwān rén’. It is fitting, and ironic, that the Czech Senate Speaker Vystrčil was calling out the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) when he noted the similarities shared by the Czech Republic and Taiwan in their search for freedom from communists, adding that democratic nations should unite and stand together to safeguard their values.
HONG KONG’S CURRENT POLITICAL CRISIS
Resolution of HK’s current political crisis that has been ongoing since June 2019 is urgently needed to ensure ongoing stability and prosperity from now through 30 June 2047 and beyond when the Joint Declaration and the British Common Law terminate.
The elephant in the room is 2047, when today's young HK protesters will only be middle aged – they need to build their own future for HK!
Today HK is a feudal Chinese plutocracy directly ruled from China by the CCP under their rule BY law. CCP has breached HK’s Joint Declaration - which is HK’s Constitution - and other obligations including international treaties UDHR and ICCPR. Currently in HK there is no rule OF law as agreed in the Joint Declaration.
Currently the 'will of the majority of Hong Kong (HK) people', based upon results of 24 November 2019 District Council elections, are HK protesters who want to resolve the political crisis by upholding the Joint Declaration and HK protester’s 5 demands. [Update 1/11/20: But Beijing could say that it is only doing what London does. Belfast votes to 'remain’ in the EU, and Boris Johnson just says, “tough; a majority in the UK voted ‘leave’, so it’s 'leave'." If China had a nation-wide vote on HK’s constitutional status, a majority would vote in favour of Beijing, I guess].
Needless to say, this HK majority view is unacceptable to some opponents - namely the minority view of ruling HK elites, the Hong Kong government lead by Chief Executive (CE) Carrie Lam, and by their masters the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who rule China. This ruling minority group, now led more directly than ever by CCP, has always controlled HK’s economy and politics; they are collectively now in serious breach of the Joint Declaration and do not have any viable method under international law to resolve the current political crisis. HK is polarized.
For decades at least 60% of HK people have supported pro-democratic politicians and protesters; another 30% are pro-Beijing HK elites, business people and Chinese communist supporters; the remaining 10% are undecided.
United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs have written the following letters to China on matters relating to HK’s anti-extradition protests which began in 2019 :
UN special rapporteurs' letter to China dated 28 June 2019, alleged inappropriate use of disproportionate force and judicial processes, arbitrary arrests, violated human rights of peaceful assembly and other acts;
UN special rapporteurs' letter to China dated 29 January 2020, alleged inappropriate use of chemical agents during demonstrations from June to December of 2019 in Hong Kong;
UN special rapporteurs' letter to China dated 19 February 2020, serious concerns about the "harassment, intimidation and arrests" of healthcare workers and first-aiders during Hong Kong's anti-government protests, as well as police delaying treatment for injured demonstrators. They asked for details as to the legal basis for such arrests and detentions, and how they are consistent with the authorities' obligations under international human rights law;
UN special rapporteurs' letter to China dated 1 September 2020, alleged the new law's measures do not conform to China's legal obligations under international law. They also raised serious concerns about its impact on the freedoms that were guaranteed to Hong Kong when it was handed back to China from British control in 1997 under the Joint Declaration and democratic and human rights under the ICCPR and UDHR. "We are particularly troubled that this legislation may impinge impermissibly on the rights to freedom of opinion, expression and of peaceful assembly," they wrote. They added that it ran the "grave risk" of targeting the legitimate activities of political opponents, critics, students, and lawyers among others.
Before the current ongoing 2019 anti-extradition protests the last political crisis in HK was in 1977 when the grossly corrupt HK Police Force (HKPF) mutinied against their British Governor and the newly formed Indepedent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). This 1977 crisis was resolved by the British Governor issuing an amnesty for the corruption of the HK police. The issue then, as it is now, is the unchecked powers and behaviour of the police!
One of HK protesters' 5 demands is for an independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the police. Another demand is an amnesty for all arrested protesters.
The dividing line that separates HK’s two camps, including politics, is between the HK elites and all other HKers; i.e. the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. HK has one of the world’s largest wealth gaps between rich and poor as well as the world’s most unaffordable residential real estate.
Under the Peoples Republic of China’s (PRC) Constitution the CCP has self-appointed itself as China’s “People's democratic dictatorship.”
All of what is now taking place in terms of CCP’s repression in HK is directly attributable to CCP losing the 24 November 2019 District Council elections – losing face and power over HK people! These District Council elections resulted in a landslide victory for pro-democratic candidates who won 85% of seats (388/452) and now control 17 of 18 District Councils! All pro-democratic candidates who were elected in 2019 campaigned on platforms supporting HK protesters' 5 demands.
CCP wrongly considers it is their ‘right of representation’ of HK people inside HK. CCP has always failed to ‘represent’ the majority of HK people in HK – or put it more correctly in another way, CCP has so far always failed to control the majority of HK people who are pro-democrats in HK.
HK District Council elections are the only HK elections for a democratic body which fully meets UN obligations of universal and equal suffrage: therefore, HK District Councillors are the only legal representatives of the will of HK people – and they must be treated as such by CCP and the HK government!
Why has the will of HK people not been acted upon by CCP and HK government?
Under UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) article 21.3 “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”
Unfortunately, the term "genuine elections" as used above has never been defined by the UN, and neither have the more important processes involved in decision-making been spelt out.
On 6 June 2020 the majority of HK District Council members officially voted against CCP’s new National Security Legislation (NSL) – this is an indication of the will of HK people.
HK’s Legislative Council (LegCo) includes “Functional Constituencies” which allows HK elites more than one vote. In violation of HK’s ICCPR and UDHR obligations for universal and equal suffrage currently CCP dictates that the pro-democratic majority are not to be fairly and justly represented in LegCo. LegCo must be closed, restructured and reopenned in compliance with UN obligations and the rule of law.
Post-WWII British attempts to nurture democracy in HK, not many and only at the end of British rule, were firmly rebuffed by China’s ruling CCP.
The opportunity for self-determination, independence and democracy after de-colonization of HK under United Nations resolution 2908 was scuttled by the CCP in 1972. But ’the right of self-determination’ has been a source of conflict all over the place. Indeed, international law is in a mess: the inviolability of borders clashes with self-determination. What’s more, self-determination by majority vote is itself a cause of conflict: “Why should I be in the minority in your state, when you could be in the minority in mine?” to quote one Vladimir Grigorov from the Balkans.
HK people have rightly already asked themselves the question of why replace the colonial British with the colonial CCP? For the majority of Hong Kong (HK) people there is very little that is acceptable about the actions of the current CCP rulers of HK and their minions the HK government and HK elites!
The only demonstrated resources that HK has is its people and the rule of law – under CCP both are now dramatically declining.
With each oppressive draconian action taken by CCP and the HK government against the Joint Declaration and HK people's human rights and democracy, the number of local and international friends and supporters for HK democracy grows. The result is that the gap between the two camps grows as resistance sets in on both sides. HK’s political instability rises and prosperity declines.
The polarization between the two sides has significantly grown since June 2019 – although some would say since CCP’s Tiananmen massacre of Chinese citizens on 4 June 1989.
The HK Chief Executive (CE) Carrie Lam – the HK government employee who’s role and responsibility includes seeking unity amongst HK people - is the worst ever HK CE with a popularity rating of 11%! She is considered by the majority of HK people to be arrogant, incompetent, negligent as she listens only to the CCP.
HK’s 30 June 2020 National Security Law (NSL) enacted by the CCP controlled National Peoples Congress (NPC), China’s highest legislative body, is far more repressive of HK people than the HK government’s 2019 proposed extradition legislation which started the mass protests in June 2019. In a serious breach of the Joint Declaration the NSL is CCP’s illegal annexation of HK.
Under the NSL, “national security issues” are very broadly defined by CCP so they can do as they please – and illegally so! The Joint Declaration’s agreed British Common Law is now overridden by CCP’s rule BY law! In effect HK now has CCP’s rule BY law and no British Common Law rule OF law - hence HK has no legal status for its economy or society as an international trade and finance centre.
The damage having been done by CCP to HK’s rule of law US President Donald Trump removed HK’s special trade status with USA – which means HK is now just another dirty Chinese city! The USA is now tracking to decouple from China no matter who becomes the next US President in November 2020 elections.
It has always been clear since the HK pro-Beijing camp badly lost to the pro-democratic camp in 24 November 2019 District Council elections, that the battle over the Legislative Council elections in September 2019 was never going to be a clear winner for CCP and that most likely CCP would intervene.
On 31 July 2020 using a very weak excuse of the COVID-19 pandemic CCP’s puppet CE Carrie Lam initiated a ‘political coup’ to ensure CCP and her control over LegCo by once again enacting the colonial British era Emergency Order Ordinance postponing the 6 September 2020 LegCo election for “at least 1 year.” Whilst in conflict with the Basic Law Article 69 by CCP controlled National Peoples Congress (NPC) LegCo elections postponement was ‘passed’ on 11 August 2020.
UNITED PEOPLES OF HONG KONG AND THE WORLD
The CCP grossly underestimates humanity and the extent of the resistance of HK and all peoples to its breaches of humanity, and harm to the planet locally and globally. When confronted by people power this is atypical of an authoritarian ruler and their elites!
Under the Joint Declaration it was agreed that starting 1 July 1997 for 50 years HK people would enjoy stability and prosperity with an unchanged lifestyle, a high degree of autonomy and an independent judiciary using British Common Law. The Joint Declaration is an international treaty that both parties China and UK signed and lodged with the United Nations (UN).
The awakening of the People of HK to become united took place because HK people do not want to be ruled by anyone except by the rule OF law as practiced in leading democracies!
Despite all the lies and tricks of CCP and HK government, finally, after decades of struggle, the majority of HK people who support the pro-democratic camp now have unity with massive peaceful, non-violent, anti-extradition protests starting in June 2019.
This overhelming sense of HK identity, of belonging, of caring and taking responsibility for each other knitted HK people together, inspite of and because of, our differences. People around the world started holding protests in solidarity reaching out towards HK protesters – and HK responded by reaching back.
Increasingly people identify with people - not with nations and nationalism.
HK people have grown to understand and appreciate our human value and collective power – that we are not alone in this world for having police brutality, violations of UN human rights and an un-democratic government that does not act according to its obligations.
USA under authoritarian President Trump looks increasingly similar to HK and China under CCP’s Xi Jinping! Almost all the decisions of this world are made / cooked by the ruling elite minority, without the full recognition and participation of the majority of the people.
Worldwide the core issue is no longer HOW should nations unite - as in the United Nations (UN). The leaders of many countries' political, economic, religious, social and other sectors are increasingly the problem- rather than the solution - for Earth’s healthy and sustainable survival and that of the majority of its people.
The core issue now is, WHEN will the People of the World unite – as in the United Peoples! We The People need more than just unity and connectedness to consciousness; we need love, empathy, patience, strategy, systems, structures and so much more that we are still unaware of.
A shining example of the most significant issue affecting Earth and all who live on her that we can not currently resolve is global climate change!
An example of unity is the support between the protesters of Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan 'Meme war: Milk Tea Alliance versus CCP's Little Pinks.'
2019 PARADIGM SHIFT AND SARS-COV-2
SARS-COV-2 causes the disease COVID-19.
Participation in healthy democractic processes is a way of increasing our interdependency and connectedness with others and with Earth.
SARS-COV-2 is not going away anytime soon. The pardigm shift that resulted in SARS-COV-2 is a shift towards Earth’s healthy inter-dependency. Or said another way, coronavirus SARS-COV-2 helps humans to participate and become increasingly healthy and inter-dependent with all sentient beings on Earth (herself the mother of senient beings).
The word disease comprises two words “dis” and “ease”; so we are sick / not-well when we are not at ‘ease’ with something; so for a human to prevent / overcome the disease COVID-19 they have to be at “ease” with the coronavirus SARS-COV-2.
The more interdependent we are with each other and Earth, the better we are able to protect ourselves and others from SARS-COV-2.
Greater health stems from a unified effort to combat the virus. For example, the wearing of face masks is a good example of interdependency in that it assists in preventing ill-health in others, as well as providing small inoculins introduced through our facemasks which in time build up our own anti-bodies.
The United Nation’s supreme human right is the right to life – in other words, human life is ALWAYS more important than the economy or any other issue! This is why when faced with COVID-19 pandemic many leading democracies effectively shut down their economies and paid their citizens to stay home.
CCP's greatest weakness is the global pandemic of COVID-19. CCP is one of the primary reasons why the UN has NO standing amongst the United Peoples of the World – CCP has corrupted WHO! Human rights, including the right to life, are entirely alien to authoritarian regimes such as the CCP. CCP must be held accountable for its actions in allowing the spread of the global pandemic COVID-19.
No matter where we live on Earth, SARS-COV-2 is the same coronavirus for all human beings.
In general, post-2019 paradigm shift and COVID-19 pandemic we can say that those countries run by authoritarians or totalitarians (e.g. China, Brazil, Russia, USA under President Trump, etc.) are less able to manage their pandemics compared with those that are practicing a more participatory form of democracy (e.g. Taiwan, New Zealand, Canada, etc.).
HK protests have not stopped with the outbreak of SARS-COV-2 – HK protesters have instead changed their approach by seeking collective health, and non-violent peaceful protests are waiting for opportunities.
HK people went through an earlier coronavirus outbreak from China during SARS in 2002-2003, so they collectively know how to wear masks, social distance, and be systematic in cleaning and washing their hands. Likely some HK people who went through SARS have some cell protection against SARS-COV-2 which is why, despite the actions of CCP and HK government, we have had relatively few COVID-19 cases in the SAR.
Regardless of the crises in HK or globally - each of us as individuals will have our own opinion, feelings and response. These MUST NEVER be denied - to do so is a violation of our fundamental human rights!
Giving respect to everyone in HK regardless of individual political persuasion, beliefs or values, it is right to find a mechanism whereby ALL can participate in an internationally credible and acceptable democratic process. We the People of HK (WTPOHK) stand by the use of referenda using MBC.
HK REFERENDUM USING MODIFIED BORDA COUNT (MBC)
For more information on MBC please view blogs written by Peter Emerson "The People's Plea and The Politicians' Prayer" and "Democracy – the most undefined word in the world!"
We the People of HK (WTPOHK) believe human beings must collectively and increasingly use “best” democratic and human rights legislation, policies and practices to help everyone to more fully participate in the life of the Universe and become more healthy through inter-dependency on Earth. This is in addition to taking personal responsibility.
WTPOHK supports peaceful non-violent protests – ballots not bullets! Our aim is to be inclusive and to find political solutions preferred by all HK people who wish to participate in politics, including by voting in ballots.
Our suggested method to resolve the current HK political crisis is by inviting all HK Permanent Residents 18 years old and above to participate in a referendum held in HK using the “Modified Borda Count” (MBC), a preferential multi-option voting system, offering options which will be ranked by each voter according to their preferences.
Usually in an MBC, you first have an Independent Enquiry or Citizens’ Assembly or similar to draw up a short list of approximately 5 options. [Update 1/11/20: A referendum conducted by a self-selected electorate has absolutely no scientific value whatsoever. A Citizens’ Assembly, with members selected as a scientifically random sample, would be fine; and they could vote; and that profile could be analysed meaningfully. But otherwise, no].
If necessary this could be a UN mandated referendum or one organised by a reputable independent third party – holding a referendum is HK people,'s human right. If CCP is unwilling to accept a HK referendum in HK then the United Nations should be engaged to provide their mandate for a referendum – as they have done in other parts of the world.
WTPOHK supports referendums in HK and the use of MBC.
Peter Emerson in his blog “Democracy – the most undefined word in the world!” wrote: “The MBC is inclusive, robust and, above all, accurate. It is therefore more democratic than any majority vote. It is also non-majoritarian; as noted, it can identify the option with the highest average preference, and an average, of course, involves every voter, not just a majority of them. If, therefore, the MBC were adopted as the international democratic norm, there would be no further justification for single-party or even two/three/four-party-coalition majority rule; instead, every democracy (and not just Switzerland plus a few conflict zones) could enjoy all-party governments of national unity. No longer, then, would the world suffer from societies polarised into two factions, like Hong Kong’s yellow and blue, like the USA’s Democrats and Republicans, like England’s pro- or anti-Brexit. And no longer would we suffer the consequences of all-powerful singletons like Bolsonaro, Johnson, Modi and Trump – all so similar to another all-powerful singleton, Xi.”
We have already suggested a UN mandated referendum is needed in HK as a realistic means to negate the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) breaches of the Joint Declaration therefore allowing this agreement to continue. We are now suggesting to use MBC as a tool for preferential multi-option voting in a HK referendum to resolve the current political crisis.
Usually in an MBC, you first have an Independent Enquiry or Citizens’ Assembly or similar to draw up a short list of approximately 5 options. [Updated 1/11/20: Also, the five options we’ve drawn up, they’re not directly focussed on the constitutional status. And given that, as we say, the correct procedure for an MBC referendum is for an independent commission or citizens’ assembly to whatever to draw up a balanced list of options. Our five options are fine as an example for what they are; but they cannot be the basis of a scientific study into public opinion in HK. They are an example of what we might propose to just such an independent commission which would then, having heard submissions from all sections of HK society, draw up a balanced MBC to cater for all valid viewpoints].
All pro-democratic District Councillors who were elected in 24 November 2019 District Council elections - currently HK's only universal and equal suffrage elections - campaigned on '5 demands not one less' which are:
Full withdrawal of the extradition bill (completed)
An independent commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality
Retracting the classification of protesters as “rioters”
Amnesty for arrested protesters
Dual universal suffrage, meaning for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive
There are now 4 protester demands (#2-5) remaining.
In an MBC 5 option referendum we could propose the 5 demands with 5 options for each demand. As an example, below we offer 5 options for the 5th demand - which is HK's UN obligation for universal and equal suffrage for both the Legislative Council (LegCo) and Chief Executive (CE).
Here is WTPOHK example draft of referendum questions using MBC voting on preference of 5 options (A-E) to be RANKED 1 - 5 (highest - lowest ranking):
A. From 2021 universal and equal suffrage elections for LegCo; Current Functional Constituency seats abolished; from 2021 universal and equal suffrage elections for CE.
District Council universal and equal suffrage elections unchanged.
B. From 2021 universal and equal suffrage elections for LegCo with Functional Constituency seats; from 2025 LegCo elections by Geographic Constituency seats only; in 2022 'selection committee' for CE; from 2027 universal and equal suffrage for CE.
C. From 2021 universal and equal suffrage elections for LegCo by Geographic Constituency seats only; from 2022 universal and equal suffrage for CE. District Council universal and equal suffrage elections unchanged.
D. From 2021 through 30 June 2047 when Joint Declaration terminates all LegCo and CE elections by 'selection committee'. District Council universal and equal suffrage elections unchanged.
E. From 2021 universal and equal suffrage elections for LegCo with Functional Constituency seats; from 2025 LegCo elections by Geographic Constituency only; from 2022 universal and equal suffrage for CE.
If you wish to vote in this draft ballot through until the end of the Lunar year on 11 February 2021 please visit draft ballot "Hong Kong 5 options for elections of CE and LegCo 2021-". This draft ballot is operated by debordavote.org and deborda.org
For further background please read our referendum blogs:
Pepe and Jeremiah B.