2011 年 57 巻 2 号 p. 1-18
Elections have performed a regime-legitimizing function for the Chinese Communist Party(CCP). Under CCP control, the electorate has been unilaterally forced to support the CCP, as questioning the content of the values of communism that the CCP sought has not been permitted. In recent years, however, the electorate has grown increasingly dissatisfied with the lack of values. For the continuing strengthening of its regime, the CCP has had to allow elections to serve to articulate interests. The greatest issue for the CCP is to what degree to allow the interests articulated and values expressed by citizens because either limiting them too much and permitting them too much could shake the existing regime.
The direct election of Local People’s Congress delegates in Beijing in 2003 saw the entry of many independent candidates who aimed to be elected outside the influence of the CCP. This paper examines the career histories, motivations, and election campaigns of the independent candidates as well as the response of the CCP organization. The research reveals the following points regarding the limits of CCP permission on the proposal of values in the election process and the significance of those limits.
The motivation of many independent candidates was not articulation of interests but participation in politics; however, the independent candidates who won were in the end charged with the articulation of interests as a result of their election. They told the electorate that there were options in terms of values. However, none of the independent candidates elected took an adversarial stance in relation to the CCP, and the value options that they presented were always within the range permitted by the CCP.
The top echelon of the CCP seeks to incorporate a new conciliatory class in the CCP organization based on the policy of ‘improving the composition of delegates’ through elections. On the other hand, the response of CCP grassroots organizations reveals the imposition of the following three limits on the presentation of values. First, the presentation of values may not infringe on the power of the election management authorities in election operation. Second, the election campaigns of independent candidates may not have wide-ranging impact. Third, the values presented may not include criticism of the CCP.
In the future, how the criteria for presenting values change needs to be examined as an issue related to the legitimacy of the CCP regime.