• jeremiahbull

It's time for a referendum! 全民公投的時候了!

Updated: Jan 10


The issues go deeper than our choice of flag

Please read our other referendum blogs:

請閱讀我們的其他公投博客: 

A UN mandated Referendum in Hong Kong is needed

需要聯合國授權在香港舉行全民投票

Petition "Referendum Solution for Hong Kong"

請願書"香港公投解決方案"

Shaping a Referendum for Hong Kong

為香港制定全民投票

Democracy – the most undefined word in the world!

In the face of CCP - ballots not bullets!

American 'Ranked Choice Voting' versus 'Modified Borda Count' MBC



Some people believe that Hong Kong's social movement is in uncharted territory, since the protests have now been going on for months, and as yet there seems no end in sight. While initially there was no obvious political solution on offer, this writer believes there is a viable way forward.

有人認為,由於抗議活動已經進行了數月之久,香港的社會運動仍處在未知的領域,且到目前為止似乎還沒有結束。儘管最初沒有提供明顯的政治解決方案,但本文作者認為仍有可行的前進之路。

While I confess I am not a historian or political scientist, we ought to look at the case of Scotland. Once a kingdom, and a nation in its own right, Scotland was invaded by Vikings in the 8th century A.D. Through royal marriage and a number of other conquests the nation eventually became a sovereign state allied with England. Then in 1707 the two states were united to become The United Kingdom of Great Britain

我承認我不是歷史學家或政治學家,但我們應該看一下蘇格蘭的情況。蘇格蘭曾經是一個王國和一個獨立的國家,在公元8世紀,維京人入侵了蘇格蘭。通過王室婚姻和其他一系列征服,蘇格蘭最終成為了與英格蘭結盟的主權國家。然後在1707年,兩個州聯合成為大不列顛聯合王國

There have been many different factors that have impacted Scotland's fortunes over time. In fairly recent history the country has experienced something of an economic and cultural renaissance. This has been mainly due to growth in the financial services sector and the proceeds from North Sea oil and gas. These in turn sparked an increase in nationalistic fervour and some serious debates on Scottish independence that ultimately led to a referendum in 2014 about leaving the British Union.

隨著時間的流逝,有許多不同的因素影響著蘇格蘭的命運。在相當近期的歷史中,該國經歷了經濟和文化復興。這主要是由於金融服務業的增長以及北海石油和天然氣的收益。這些反過來又引發了民族主義情緒的上升以及關於蘇格蘭獨立的一些嚴肅辯論,最終導致2014年舉行了關於退出英國聯盟的全民公投。

A referendum (in some countries synonymous with plebiscite, or a vote on a ballot question) is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. In the Scottish referendum of 1992, the Scottish National Party SNP campaigned for a three-option referendum. London wanted ‘devolution’ or the old ‘status quo’, while the SNP wanted ‘independence’ as well. But London said ‘no’, the 1997 referendum was binary, and the outcome, massive support for devolution. So Scotland had a new status quo. In 2013, the debate was again multi-optional: the 'new status quo', 'more devolution' or ‘independence'. But London, thinking independence would lose, wanted another binary vote: the ‘new status quo’ or ‘independence’. In the campaign itself, however, the SNP was doing rather well. London panicked. The ballot papers had already been printed, postal voting had already started, but London said the 'new status quo’ means ‘more devolution’. The result of the vote, therefore, was almost meaningless.

全民公決(在一些國家,稱作公民投票或對投票問題進行表決)是一種直接投票,要求全體選民接受或拒絕某一特定提案。在1992年的蘇格蘭公民投票中,蘇格蘭國民黨(SNP)發起了三選公投。倫敦希望“權力下放”或“保持現狀”,而SNP也希望“獨立”。但倫敦說“不”,1997年的全民公決是二選一的,結果,大規模支持權力下放。因此,蘇格蘭有了新的現狀。2013年,這場辯論再次成為多選的:「新現狀」,「更多的權力下放」或「獨立」。但倫敦認為獨立將失去,想要另一個二選一投票:「新現狀」或「獨立」。然而,在競選本身,SNP做得相當不錯。倫敦驚慌失措。選票已經印製,郵政投票已經開始,但倫敦表示,“新現狀”意味著“更多的權力下放”。因此,投票結果幾乎毫無意義。


There was an overall turnout of 85 percent of eligible voters who participated in the referendum. 44.7 percent of voters answered "Yes" and 55.3 percent answered "No". Scotland has therefore remained a part of Great Britain, seeking the stability and strength that comes from maintaining close relationships with England. Instead of independence, Scotland opted to form its own autonomous parliament. Scotland wants another referendum (but now the SNP supports only a binary poll - politicians often argue in favour of only their vested interests) but London won’t allow them; not yet anyway.

參加全民投票的合格選民總投票率為85%。44.7%的選民回答“是”,55.3%的人回答“否”。因此,蘇格蘭一直是大不列顛的一部分,尋求與英格蘭保持密切關係所帶來的穩定和力量。蘇格蘭選擇組建自己的自治議會,而不是獨立。蘇格蘭希望再次舉行全民公決(但現在蘇格蘭國民黨只支援二選一投票 - 政治家們往往只主張自己的既得利益),但倫敦不允許他們這樣做;至少現在不會。

The Scottish Parliament is a devolved arm of the U.K. government. It has a range of responsibilities that include: the economy, education, health, justice, rural affairs, housing, environment, equal opportunities, consumer advocacy and advice, transport and taxation. This enables Scotland to exercise fiscal autonomy. In simple language this means it has full control over how and where its tax income is spent. Scottish people enjoy self-determination, while remaining a part of the UK. Some powers are reserved to the UK Government. These include: immigration, the constitution, foreign policy and defence. Even though England has recently voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, Scotland intends to stay a part of that economic block.

蘇格蘭議會是英國政府的分離機構。它負有一系列責任,包括:經濟,教育,健康,司法,農村事務,住房,環境,平等機會,消費者保護和建議,運輸和稅收。這使蘇格蘭可以行使財政自治權。用簡單的語言來說,這意味著它可以完全控制其稅收收入的支出方式和方面。蘇格蘭人民享有自決權,同時仍是英國的一部分。某些權力保留給英國政府。其中包括:移民,憲法,外交政策和國防。即使英格蘭最近在全民公投中投票決定退出歐盟,蘇格蘭仍打算保留為這經濟體之一部分。

If your mind thinks like mine, you might be thinking that the Scottish arrangement is a bit like "One country, Two Systems." If Scotland can find a way forward politically through a referendum, then it should also be possible for Hong Kong to do something similar. 

如果您想我所想,您也許會認為蘇格蘭的佈置有點像“一國兩制”。如果蘇格蘭可以通過全民公投找到政治上的前進道路,那麼香港也有可能做類似的事情。

There are many good reasons for the SAR to remain a part of China, and despite the echoes of voices claiming the umbrella movement and the current social unrest are about seeking independence, there remains a high percentage of Hong Kongers who embrace some form of union with mainland China. In fact a number of Hong Kong's Democracy advocates, including Joshua Wong, have stated unequivocally that they DO NOT seek independence from China. China need not feel so threatened by events in Hong Kong. In the current climate one could make an innocuous call for Morris Dancing in the streets and Beijing would somehow interpret that as a pitch for independence.

讓香港特別行政區保持為中國的一部分,這有很多好處,儘管有回聲和呼喊號稱雨傘運動和當前的社會動盪是為了尋求獨立,但仍有很大比例的香港人擁護某種形式上於中國大陸聯合。實際上,包括黃之鋒在內的許多香港民主倡導者已明確表示他們不尋求脫離中國的獨立。中國不必為香港事件而受到威脅。在當前的思潮下,人們可以在大街上無傷大雅地呼籲進行莫里斯舞蹈,而北京會以某種方式將其解釋為爭取獨立的音調。

What's important for Hong Kong people is that they are unquestionably given the same right to self-determination that the Scottish people enjoy. This would mean that the government in Beijing take a more of a hands-off approach to the SAR, respecting the will of its citizens to self-govern and self-manage most of its affairs.

對港人來說重要的是,毫無疑問,他們獲得了蘇格蘭人民享有的同樣的自決權。這意味著北京政府對特區採取了更為放任自流的態度,尊重其公民自治和自行管理大部分事務的意願。

While carrying out a referendum might not be considered part of the conventional "democracy with Chinese characteristics", there is no doubt that many democracies around the world use referenda (plural) as a tool of good governance and some even have multi-option referendums. Whereas in the past people entrusted their governments to take care of things on their behalf, now the people want greater involvement. This exercise of people's reasoning and conscience falls naturally within the auspices of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly Articles 20 and 21.

雖然全民公投可能不被視為傳統的“中國特色民主”的一部分,但毫無疑問,世界上許多民主國家都將全民公投用作善政廉政的工具。在過去,人民委託政府代為處理他們的事務,而現在,人民希望更多的參與。人民行使評理和良知自然屬於1948年「世界人權宣言」(特別是第20條和第21條)的保護範圍。

Globally dozens of countries use properly organised referenda to decide issues as wide ranging as alcohol laws, electoral change, and constitutional reform.

在全球範圍內,數十個國家/地區使用組織恰當的全民公投來決定諸如酒精法律,選舉變更和憲法改革等廣泛問題。

We suggest that best practices are used such as an inclusive referendum method including for example one that promotes preferential decision-making - please see our blog Shaping a Referendum for Hong Kong. Peter Emerson is a founder member and director of the de Borda Institute. Peter Emerson wrote "multi-option voting allows all options to be on the table, as is often used in peace negotiations, with a (short) list of options on the ballot paper. In debate, it would then be possible to identify the option which has the highest average preference; and an average, of course, involves everyone who votes, not just a majority of them."

我們建議採用最佳做法,例如採用包容性的全民投票方法,例如促進優先決策的方法 - 請參閱我們的博客“為香港制定全民投票”Peter Emerson是de Borda Institute的創始成員和主任。Peter Emerson寫道: “多選則投票允許所有選項都擺在桌面上,就像和平談判中經常使用的那樣,選票上有一個(短)的選擇清單。在辯論中,可以確定平均偏好最高的備選辦法;當然,平均涉及所有投票的人,而不僅僅是他們中的大多數。”

Peter Emerson wrote "Asia sets a fine example in this regard, and one of the best ever was in Guam in 1982; there were six options to choose from, and a further seventh slot was left blank, so others could (campaign and) vote for a different option.  Another very good multi-option referendum was in New Zealand, where they had five options, and NZ actually had the world’s first multi-option referendum, in 1894; while the world’s first multi-option vote, we believe, was in China, in 1197.  In a nutshell, the West has much to learn from the East, and maybe the world’s best electoral system is in Nauru!"

Peter Emerson寫道: “亞洲在這方面樹立了一個很好的例子,1982年在關島樹立了最好的案例之一;有六個選項可供選擇,另外第七個選項留空,所以其他人可以 (競選和) 投票選擇不同的選項。 另一個非常好的多選案文全民投票是在紐西蘭,他們有五種選擇,紐西蘭實際上在1894年進行了世界上第一次多選案文全民投票;我們認為,世界上第一次多選投票是在1197年在中國。 簡而言之,西方從東方學到很多東西,也許世界上最好的選舉制度是在瑙魯!”

Some referendums are initiated by citizens, while many are planned by governments who seek public engagement and wish to gauge actual public sentiment on an issue. A properly conducted referendum gives government a clear mandate or justification for its action. In 2016, for example, New Zealand held a referendum on its national flag. Despite criticism that the New Zealand flag is often confused with the Australian one, the citizens there rejected the new designs on offer and chose to keep its current ensign.

有些公民投票是由公民發起的,而許多公投是由尋求公眾參與並希望衡量公眾對某一問題的實際情緒的政府策劃的。適當進行的全民投票使政府有明確的行動授權或理由。例如,2016年,就其國旗決定紐西蘭舉行了全民公決儘管有人批評紐西蘭國旗經常與澳大利亞國旗混淆,但那裡的市民們拒絕了新設計,並選擇保留其目前的徽章。

It's notable that the 2017 Catalonia independence referendum was declared a breach of the Spanish constitution. Unfortunately, neither the Catalans in Barcelona nor the Spanish in Madrid remember that the first person to advocate preferential voting, and this was over 800 years ago, was a Spanish Catalan called Ramón Llull. The legal situation there is very different to the one in HK. Here, in the Hong Kong context, the value of a referendum is that with both the British and Chinese government accepting its outcome, it could be used to effectively nullify or cancel the breach of the 1984 Joint Declaration. It would also be able to diffuse the current impasse and chart the way forward for Hong Kong beyond 2047.

值得注意的是,2017 年加泰羅尼亞獨立公投被宣佈為違反西班牙憲法的行為。不幸的是,巴塞羅那的加泰羅尼亞人和馬德里的西班牙人都不記得第一個主張優先投票的人,這是800多年前,是一個叫Ramón Llull的西班牙人。那裡的法律情況與香港的法律情況大相徑庭。在香港方面,全民投票的價值是,中英兩國政府均接受公投結果,可以有效地廢除或取消違反一九八四年聯合聲明的行為。它亦能打破目前的僵局,為香港在2047年以後的前進方向指明方向。


We, the people of Hong Kong, demand a say in our own political future. Let's have a referendum!

我們,香港人民,要求在我們自己的政治未來中有發言權。讓我們進行全民公投!


Jeremiah B.



The Scottish referendum can serve as a model for Hong Kong






It seems the HK authorities don't like referendums very much!


Authorities condemn HK 'referendum' as 'invalid and illegal', Global Times, 3 July 2014


‘Cut black hands’: Beijing blasts Hong Kong pro-democracy group over class boycott referendum, HKFP, 12 June 2020



Note: So far WTPOHK has pinned our referendum blogs at the top of our website - we have now decided to unpin these blogs. In recognition of the referendums that have already taken place (the latest being the pro-democrats LegCo primaries) we have decided to date them on 11 July 2020 (the first day of the primaries).

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