24 October 2016
A recent Chinese University survey showed 17 percent of Hong Kong people are in favor of independence. Photo: Internet
A recent Chinese University survey showed 17 percent of Hong Kong people are in favor of independence. Photo: Internet

The real battleground is the main street, not Legco

Several young pro-independence candidates running in the Legislative Council election in September have reportedly succumbed to pressure from the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC), and agreed to sign a declaration pledging allegiance to the Basic Law.

As expected, some political pundits immediately played quarterback and slammed these kids for not having the guts to stand by their convictions and beliefs.

I think all these criticisms are cheap shots. Like I said in my previous article, despite the fact that these young political rookies might one day turn into the same corrupt and decadent career politicians as those washed-up pan-democrats, I would still rather cast my vote for them than continue to rely on those pan-democratic thugs who have been cheating us out of our votes for the past 30 years.

So what if they signed that declaration? It could just have been a politically expedient tactic to fool the EAC.

Once their candidacy is confirmed after the nomination period, nobody can stop them from preaching the virtues of Hong Kong’s independence.

Only the most naïve and stupid bureaucrats would fondly believe that they could halt the momentum of the pro-independence movement in our city with a piece of paper.

Some might argue that it would amount to cheating if these pro-independence candidates agreed to sign that declaration and then continued to advocate independence during the campaign, which calls into question their integrity.

True, integrity is the cornerstone of a politician’s credibility. However, let’s not forget what we are dealing with here is the Communist Party, which is basically a bunch of ferocious bandits that can’t be reasoned with or trusted at all.

So what’s the point of insisting on integrity in front of bandits?

So will Beijing order the SAR government to prevent pro-independence candidates from running using drastic executive measures?

I suggest the pro-independence and indigenous factions go find out by sending some long-shots to test the waters to see if the EAC and the government really mean it.

If the government did play thought police and terminate their candidacy, it would definitely backfire because it would only create another firestorm of controversy and boost the election prospects of the entire pro-independence camp.

In the meantime, the young pro-independence candidates should also learn the lesson of the so-called “radical” faction in Legco, who achieved nothing tangible at all, and whose popularity is falling rapidly because the general public no longer buy into their tricks.

As such, it is very important for these young activists to note that the Legco is nothing more than an extension of the establishment, or a platform for publicity stunts, and therefore they can achieve absolutely nothing in the Legco chamber.

Instead, the mainstreet is the real battleground where they can truly spread their ideas and make a difference.

Therefore, it is crucial for them to look beyond their Legco seats and be careful not to get corrupted by party politics once they get elected.

At the City Forum last Sunday, some pro-independence student leaders vowed that once their fight for independence in the legislature by peaceful means has proven futile, they will take to the streets again and resort to violence to achieve their cause.

Leung Chun-ying and some pan-democratic buffoons might simply laugh at them. I won’t, and I bet Beijing won’t either.

It is because throughout history, revolutions always follow a very similar pattern: people only resort to violence after their peaceful movement has been suppressed.

One year ago, when I first raised the subject of Hong Kong’s independence at a public forum, I immediately came under fire from all sides.

However, one year on, the pro-independence discourse has not only become a legitimate subject for serious debate in mainstream media, but also gained considerable amount of public support.

It only takes a year for a once taboo subject to become a legitimate topic in mainstream society.

Given that, I believe it will just be a matter of time before our young pro-independence activists translate their slogans into action.

CY Leung’s suppression of pro-independence Legco candidates might turn out to be an own goal, because all it does is further fuel the pro-independence movement in our city, and throw the spotlight on the very parties he wanted to exclude from the Legco election.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 26.

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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