1995 年 10 巻 p. 88-101,126
This paper examines the electoral reforms of the Hong Kong Legislative Council (Legco) that were adopted on June 30, 1994. After an examination of the level of democracy in Hong Kong's political system, the current electoral system and Governor Christopher Patten's bill are reviewed. This paper then analyzes the political parties' behavior toward Patten's reforms. The conclusion of this study is that while Patten's effort may have introduced some level of democracy into Hong Kong for a few years, his proposition also simultaneously accelerated Chinese interference.
Hong Kong's situation is unique, in that the mere proposal of electoral reforms in a limited region brought about an international conflict. After 154 years of British rule, Hong Kong will soon be handed over to the People's Republic of China. Gov. Patten, appointed by Great Britain, has waged a controversial campaign to introduce democracy to Hong Kong for the past two years, and finally he has barely succeeded in passing some reforms.
The main objectives of Patten's reforms are as follows:
• Dramatic expansion of the use of direct elections
• The application of objective criteria to determine which officials can serve beyond 1997, an employment situation commonly called a “through train”
• Lowering the legal voting age from 21 to 18
• The abolishment of corporate voting in existing constituencies, and also in nine newly-established functional constituencies
• The appointment of Election Committee members to elect District Board members.
Political parties in Hong Kong have taken positions in favor or opposition to Patten's reforms depending on how economically interdependent they are with the PRC, as well as how much they trust or distrust the PRC.
It is still questionable whether the introduction of democracy to Hong Kong will have much impact on public opinion, especially as there is widespread cynicism that Britain simply wants to put on a good show before it leaves, while China is merely biding its time before drastically rearranging Hong Kong's political system, The victim of these international political games is Hong Kong.