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OMELCO STANDING PANEL ON CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS 

FIRST REPORT 

THE 1987 REVIEW OF THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF 

REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT 



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OMELCO STANDING PANEL ON CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS 



FIRST REPORT 



THE 1987 REVIEW OF THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF 
REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT 



Reprography by the Government Printer, Hong Kong 



D6i"F 



Content 



Chapter Page 

1 Introduction 1 



Relationship between the Legislative 
Council and the Urban Council, the 
Peaional Council, and the District 
Boards 



Composition of the Executive 11 

Composition of the Legislature 16 



Relationship between the Executive 41 
and the Legislature 



Electoral Provisions 45 



Appendices Appendix A : Composition of the Panel 

in 1985-86 

Appendix B : Composition of the Panel 
in 1986-87 

Appendix C : Dates and nature of Panel 
Meetings 



- 1 - 



Chapter 1 : Introduction 



The OMELCO Standing Panel on Constitutional Affairs 
was set up on 28 September 1984 with the following terms of 
reference: - 

2. To examine proposals for constitutional reform in 
Hong Kong and to report development and progress to OMELCO. 
The Panel will:- 

(a) Hear and collate views regarding proposals on 
constitutional reform. 

(b) Monitor and review policies relating to 
constitutional reform in Hong Kong and to make 
suggestions to OMELCO with regard to the 
improvement of these policies and their 
implementation. 

(c) Research into the constitutional developments 
and government structures in relevant 
territories, as appropriate. 

(d) Meet with the Administration and experts to 
discuss matters relating to the above 
activities. 

(e) Discuss and consider any other matters 
relevant to the furtherance of the objective 
of the Panel. 



- 2 - 



Composition of the Panel 

3. The composition of the Panel in the 1985-86 and 
1986-87 sessions is shown in Appendix A and B respectively. 

The Panel's Work in 1985-86 and 1986-87 

4. The Panel has held a total of 40 meetings, 19 in 
1985-86 and 21 in 1986-87. The dates and nature of the 
meetings are at Appendix C. 

5. The Panel agreed that the boundaries of its work would 
be the 1984 Green Paper and White Paper on the Further 
Development of Representative Government as well as the Joint 
Declaration. 

6. The Panel submitted two interim reports to the full 
OMELCO in the 1985-86 session. On 14 March 1986 the Panel 
reported the progress of its work and sought OMELCO ' s 
endorsement regarding its public consultation exercise. On 

11 July 1986 the Panel further reported progress, including its 
preliminary views regarding electoral procedures. 

7. During its in-house discussions, the Panel studied the 
various aspects concerning Hong Kong's constitutional 
developments which related to the 1987 Review. The Panel also 
invited the Administration to brief Members on the latest 
position regarding the subject of elections. In the Panel's 
study of the subjects of direct elections and the "three-tier" 
government system in preparation for the 1987 Review, Members 
met informally with members of the Urban Council, the Regional 
Council, and the District Boards. The Panel also met a group 
of District Board members as well as other groups and 
organisations to hear their views on the further development of 
representative government. 



- 3 



Public submissions 

8. In response to the Panel's invitation, a total of 77 
members of the public including groups and organisations 
submitted their views in writing to the Panel regarding both 
the scope and content of the 1987 Review. Of these, 23 were 
from groups and organisations and 54 were from individual 
members of the public. 



0116V 



- 4 - 



Chapter 2 : Relationship between the Legislative Council and 
the Urban Council, the Regional Council, and the 
District Boards 



Introduction 

The Panel discussed the subject of the relationship 
between the Legislative Council and the Urban Council, the 
Regional Council, and the District Boards. A series of 
informal meetings between the Panel and members of the Urban 
Council/Regional Council and the District Boards were held 
between 17 November 1986 and 17 December 1986 on the questions 
of direct elections and the "three-tier" government system. 

2. The Panel reviewed the existing position of the 
relationship between the three different tiers of government 
in Hong Kong. It took note of the formal constitutional 
position as regards the relationship between the District 
Boards, the Urban Council, the Regional Council, and the 
Legislative Council as well as how this relationship was 
described in the 1984 Green Paper on the Further Development 
of Representative Government. The Panel then discussed how 
the present relationship could be further developed. 

3. The Panel noted that the existing "three-tier" system 
of government was not necessarily a vertical one. Under the 
present system. District Board members could elect 
representatives to the Legislative Council in the same way as 
members of the Urban Council and the Regional Council. 



- 5 - 



Relationship between Urban Council/Regional Council and 
District Boards 

4. At the in-house discussions of the Panel prior to the 
series of informal meetings with the members of the District 
Boards/Urban Council/Regional Council, the Panel noted the 
following : - 

(a) there was a possible overlap of roles between 
the Urban Council/Regional Council and the 
District Boards and that some of these 
responsibilities could be devolved to the 
District Boards; 

(b) perhaps a distinction should be made between the 
advisory and executive roles performed by the 
District Boards and Urban/Regional Councils. At 
present. District Boards play an advisory role; 
they do not perform executive functions. 
Additionally they do have a political role to 
play: in the election of Legislative Council 
Members. It has been suggested that in the 
future perhaps District Boards could further 
develop this political role whilst the Urban 
Council/Regional Council should concentrate on 
their executive responsibility, namely, the 
provision of municipal services and 
cultural/ recreational facilities; 

(c) the Urban Council and the Regional Council could 
continue to be responsible for the formulation 
of policies affecting the municipal services in 
their respective areas, as well as making 
decisions in respect of the planning and 
budgeting of the financial resources at their 
disposal. Some of the executive functions 
regarding the implementation of policies at the 



- 6 - 

district level could then be left to the 

individual District Boards. Such an arranqement 

could reduce some of the existing overlap of 

roles between the District Boards and the two 
municipal Councils; and 

(d) it has been suqqested that the occasional 

communication problems between the District 
Boards and the Urban Council could be reduced by 
allowinq the District Boards to elect 
representatives onto the Urban Council. 

Meetinqs with Members of the Urban Council/Regional Council 
and the District Boards 

5. Durinq the series of informal meetinqs between the 
Panel and members of the District Boards, the Urban 
Council/Regional Council, the following points were raised:- 

(a) the "three-tier" government system should be 
retained to achieve better co-ordination in 
policy formulation and execution at the regional 
level. However, the relationship between the 
District Boards and the Urban/Regional Councils 
should be more clearly defined; 

(b) a "two-tier" government system should be adopted 
to provide a closer link between central and 
local authorities. Alonq this line, the 
following possibilities were identified:- 

(i) the Urban/Regional Councils could be 

disbanded and their functions devolved 
to the 19 District Boards which would 
form a system of local authorities with 
a limited level of executive power; and 



7 - 



fii) the Urban/Regional Councils could be 
combined with the District Boards to 
form a single urban management body; 

fc) the Urban/Regional Councils should be 
amalgamated to form a city council 
responsible for municipal services throughout 
the entire territory. At the same time, the 
District Boards should be given a more 
positive role in district management; and 

(d) the Urban/Regional Councils election 
procedures should include a system of 
indirect elections whereby District Board 
members would be elected to serve on the two 
Councils . 

Preliminary views 

6. After considering the views expressed the Panel 
agreed on the following preliminary points. Whereas the 
existing division of responsibilities and functions was 
clear amongst the Legislative Council, the Urban/Regional 
Councils, and the District Boards, there appeared to be a 
few problematic areas in the day-to-day functioning of the 
"three-tier" system, especially between the Urban 
Council/Regional Council and the District Boards. 

7. The Panel considered that there should be no 
change to the overall structure of the "three-tier" system 
in 1988 and that any proposals for further development 
should be implemented gradually. The Panel also 
considered that improvements could be made to the system 
by way of the following recommendations. The advisory 
role of the District Boards should be reaffirmed and 
enhanced. Accordingly, Government should review the 
system of policy advisory committees with a view to 



- 8 - 



coordinating the input of the District Boards' advice. 
Moreover, the District Boards should be given a more 
active role in participating in local affairs. This could 
be achieved in two ways:- 

(a) the District Boards could develop a 
monitoring function in respect of local 
affairs by Vjjeping watch over the performance 
of Government departments at the district 
level; and 

(b) the District Boards could participate in the 
management of local facilities, such as 
community centres. 

8. The Panel noted the difference between the Urban 
Council and Regional Council in their composition as 
regards District Board representation. Urban Council 
members attended the respective District Boards as 
ex-officio DB members. However a number of Regional 
Council seats were allocated to the respective District 
Boards which elected their representatives to sit on the 
Regional Council. To rationalize the existing 
arrangements most Panel Members considered that the urban 
District Boards should be given the opportunity to elect 
their representatives to the Urban Council. On the other 
hand, some Panel Members disagreed on the grounds that 
Urban Councillors were ex-officio District Board members, 
and that this arrangement was more suitable for the urban 
area. 

9. For the longer term many Panel Members considered 
that the functions of the existing "three-tier" system 
should be reviewed so that these functions could be 
performed by a streamlined system probably consisting of 



- 9 - 



only two tiers. The second tier could be district based, 
with an advisory as well as a management role. As regards 
regional facilities which would serve a number of 
districts, many Panel Members felt that the districts 
concerned should be involved in their planning and 
management by way of a coordinating body charged with such 
responsibilities. The minority view was that there was a 
need to retain the present three tiered structure so that 
the planning and management of territory-wide and regional 
facilities, such as cultural centres and museums, could be 
maintained at a high standard, and with minimum 
duplication of facilities thus effecting savings to the 
public purse. 

10. In addition, the Panel identified the following 
issues for further consideration by the Government in the 
1987 Review:- 

(a) the number and proportion of appointed 
members on the Urban/Regional Councils; 

(b) whether the District Board and Urban 
Council/Regional Council elections should be 
held on the same day; 

(c) whether the term of office of the District 
Board and Urban Council/Regional Council 
members should cover the same period of time; 

(d) the relationship between the "three-tier" 
system (especially the District Boards) and 
the various policy advisory committees; and 

(e) the relationship between the Urban/Regional 
Councils and Legislative Council, especially 
in relation to the financial autonomy of the 
Councils and LegCo's role in the overall 
control of public expenditure. 



- 10 



Relationship Between Leqislative Council and Urban 
Council/Regional Council/District Boards 

11. Panel Members also reviewed the existing 
relationship between the Urban Council/Regional Council, 
the District Boards, and the Leqislative Council. As the 
subject is closely related to the composition of the 
Leqislative Council, this is covered in Chapter 4. 



0116V 



- 11 - 



Chapter 3 : Composition of the Executive 

In discussing the subject of the composition of 
the executive, the Panel studied the functions and the 
constitutional position of the Privy Council in the United 
Kingdom as background information. 

2. The Panel studied the role of the Governor and 
the role and composition of the Executive Council under 
the current system. It reviewed the proposals regarding 
the Governor and the Executive Council in the 1984 Green 
Paper and White Paper on the Further Development of 
Representative Government, as well as taking into 
consideration the relevant provisions in the Joint 
Declaration. The Panel also considered the working 
relationship between the Executive Council and Government 
policy branches. Then the Panel considered some options 
regarding the future composition of the Executive. 

The United Kingdom Privy Council 

3. By way of background information, Members noted 
the role and composition of the Privy Council as well as 
an analysis of its comparative applicability in Hong 
Kong. The Panel was of the opinion that the United 
Kingdom Privy Council was not directly applicable to Hong 
Kong because it would be difficult to reconcile the role 
of the Privy Council with the existing government system 
in Hong Kong. 

Selection of the Chief Executive 

4. Although some views were suggested to the Panel 
regarding the selection methods of the Chief Executive, as 
the question of the selection of the Chief Executive after 
1997 was not relevant to the 1987 Review, Panel Members 
only noted such views. 



12 - 



Composition of the Executive Council 

5. Based on public submissions to the Panel and 
other views expressed in the media regarding the future 
composition and method of selection of the executive. 
Members considered a number of options as follows:- 

(a) Modification to the Existing System 

(i) One possible option was to continue 
with the existing appointment system 
while at the same time making 
adjustments to the composition of the 
Executive Council in order to provide 
a balanced representation of the 
different sectors of interest in the 
community. Members of the Executive 
Council would still be appointed by 
the Governor who it is hoped would 
ensure a certain distribution of the 
seats in the Council amongst appointed 
Members and elected Legislative 
Council Members from electoral 
colleges and functional 
constituencies. The main advantage of 
this option was minimization of 
disruption to the existing system, and 
at the same time maintaining the 
simplicity and flexibility of the 
system. 

(ii) Another variant of the above proposal 
was for a certain number of seats in 
the Executive Council to be allocated 
to Legislative Council Members elected 
from electoral colleges and functional 
constituencies. The actual choice of 



- 13 - 

the candidates would be made by election or 
through consultation among members of the 
electoral colleges and functional 
constituencies respectively. 

(b) Selection by Electoral College 

Another option was that some Members of the 
Executive Council would be selected by an 
electoral college formed by members of 
District Boards, Urban Council and Regional 
Council; representatives of functional 
constituencies and other professional 
bodies; leaders of prominent local 
organizations; and Legislative Council 
Members. The success of this selection 
method would very much depend on the choice 
of groups and organizations to be included 
in the electoral college. The same 
reservations expressed by some people over 
the concept of the electoral college in the 
context of the 1985 Legislative Council 
elections (i.e. elections to be held 
amongst a small group of people) might be 
relevant in this context as well. 
Furthermore, the question remained as to 
who should be vested with the authority to 
decide upon the selection of groups and 
organizations. 

(c) Indirect Election by the Legislative Council 

This option was proposed in the 1984 Green 
Paper on the Further Development of 
Representative Government. A certain 
proportion of seats in the Executive 
Council would be elected by the Legislative 
Council among its own Members. The main 



- 14 - 

advantage of this option was the direct 
linkage it brought between the Executive 
Council and the Legislative Council. 
Implementation of the proposal could be 
phased in such a way as to take into 
account of changes in the composition of 
the legislature. 

6. Members noted a suggestion for individual 
Executive Council Members to assume duty as chairmen of 
main Government policy advisory committees. To provide a 
system of checks and balances, there was one suggestion 
that select committees could be set up in the Legislative 
Council to monitor executive decisions made in respect of 
different policy areas. The latter suggestion is 
discussed in Chapter 5. 

7. Some Members felt that the choice of the method 
to be adopted for the selection of Executive Council 
Members should depend largely upon the future role of the 
Executive Council and its relationship with the 
Legislative Council. Other Members thought that the 
composition of the executive should follow the spirit of 
progressive development as described in the 1984 Green 
Paper and White Paper on the Further Development of 
Representative Government. 

Preliminary views 

8. On balance a majority of Panel Members felt that 
it would be inappropriate to effect any significant change 
to the existing system in 1988. The existing appointment 
system should continue for the selection of Executive 
Council Members irrespective of whether there would be any 
change or otherwise in the role of the Executive Council. 
To provide closer liaison with the Legislative Council, 
more Executive Council Members should be chosen from the 
Legislative Council. Furthermore, individual Executive 



- 15 - 

Council Members should be given more responsibility to 
chair major Government policy advisory committees so as to 
enhance the channelling of the needs of the com.munity into 
the policy formulation process. In this connection. 
Members agreed that these advisory committees should be 
viewed as part of the executive machinery. 



0116V 



- 16 - 



Chapter 4 : Composition of the Legislature 



The Panel examined the existing composition of the 
Legislative Council, the proposals regarding the Legislative 
Council in the 1984 Green Paper and White Paper on the Further 
Development of Representative Government, and the provisions in 
the Joint Declaration regarding the legislature in the Hong 
Kong Special Administrative Region. Members also discussed a 
number of suggestions regarding the composition of the 
legislature based on written submissions from the public and 
proposals by commentators as reported in the press. 

2. In their deliberations. Members examined the various 
issues relating to the composition of the legislature 
particularly the question of direct elections and then 
identified a number of options for further consideration. At 
the same time, the Panel also considered the issues of the role 
of the Governor as the President of the Legislative Council and 
whether Hong Kong should have a bicameral legislature. 

Direct elections 

3. In examining the various issues relating to the 
composition of the legislature, the Panel studied the question 
of direct elections in detail based on information received and 
noted the following opposing views. It must be pointed out 
that the order in which the views are presented does not 
represent an order of significance in any way. 



17 



Views in favour of direct elections 

(1) The introduction of direct elections is in line with the 
principles of democracy and equality of political rights. 

(2) Whereas the introduction of direct elections does not 
necessarily lead to democracy, there cannot be true 
democracy without direct elections. 

(3) The introduction of direct elections would provide a 
stronger link between the public and the legislature. 

(4) Direct elections would ensure a more accountable, open 
and responsive Government leading to a better safeguard 
for the rule of law. 

(5) This is the type of election adopted in most capitalist 
countries and is therefore eminently suitable to the 
future Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) 
where capitalism will continue for 50 years. 

(6) According to the Joint Declaration, it is only the 
economic system and our present way of life which will 
not be changed; but changes to the political system are 
envisaged and are clearly set out in the Joint 
Declaration. 

(7) The advocates of direct elections do not wish to 
introduce direct elections for the sake of change; but 
they feel that it is the only way to ensure that the 
Government of the Hong Kong SAR will be made accountable 
to the people so that it can exercise the high degree of 
autonomy promised in the Joint Declaration and be able to 
safeguard the interests of the people of Hong Kong in 
future conflict of interest situations between the Hong 
Kong SAR and the central government. 

(8) Whether to introduce direct elections in 1988 is a matter 



- 18 - 

for the British Administration. It is of course 
desirable that there be convergence in 1997. But there 
are only very few people who do not wish to see direct 
elections in 1997. The minimum percentage for 1997 is 25 
percent and so long as we do not exceed this percentage 
in 1988, it will not cause any divergence in 1997. 

(9) Even if direct elections will lead to the formation of 
political parties it is not necessarily a bad thing for 
Hong Kong because of the peculiar conditions of Hong 
Kong: (a) everybody in Hong Kong (both the elector and 
the elected) knows full well that in order to continue to 
be useful to China, Hong Kong must not do anything which 
will jeopardize its prosperity; (b) there are already 
some political organizations in Hong Kong which had 
participated in the last elections. These are totally 
different from the political parties in the United 
Kingdom and it is unlikely that the adversarial politics 
in the United Kingdom will ever occur in Hong Kong 
particularly when the entire legislature is not envisaged 
to be constituted by direct elections; and (c) the 
working class in Hong Kong are much more reasonable than 
their counterparts in other countries in their demand for 
better working conditions. 

(10) Direct elections would enhance prosperity and stability, 
as the public would have more confidence in the 
Government. Foreign investors look at the entire 
structure of Hong Kong before investing here and if they 
should see democracy with direct elections successfully 
implemented in Hong Kong, that would strengthen their 
confidence in investing in Hong Kong. 

(11) Public response mentioned in the 1984 White Paper 
generally favoured the introduction of a very small 
number of directly elected members in 1988. The 
Assessment Office Report also mentioned that the Hong 
Kong Government planned to introduce a progressive 



- 19 



development of a more representative legislature with 
seats filled by direct election. 

(12) This is a logical step in the development of 
representative government after the successful 
implementation of indirect elections in 1985, and that 
the Legislative Council has since been functioning 
smoothly. 

(13) Direct elections would enhance public support of 
Government's policies and their sense of belonging to 
Hong Kong. 

(14) This would further promote civic education and the 
public's participation in a civic education process as 
the possession of a vote and the exercise of the right to 
vote would enhance civic awareness. 

(15) The people of Hong Kong will be ready for direct 
elections by 1988 because the great majority are literate 
and read quite a few newspapers everyday so that they 
will be in a position to receive the full benefit of 
civic education processes introduced by the Government. 

(16) It has not been demonstrated at all that direct elections 
will lead to 'free lunch' policies. 

Views not in favour of direct elections 

(1) Direct elections are not the only form of democratic 
government, nor the only assurance that political rights 
will be safeguarded. Democracy in its truest form is an 
ideal and as such may not be suitable or practical for 
all nations. 

(2) Without direct elections there could still be democracy 
and the rule of law must be maintained regardless whether 
there are direct elections. 



20 



(3) Direct elections may not necessarily achieve the 
objectives desired by the advocates of direct elections. 

(4) Direct elections may lead to a legislature which is not 
balanced in terms of the representation of the various 
sectors in the community. 

(5) There is no empirical evidence to suggest that indirectly 
elected members do not provide sufficient links to the 
public, or that Government would be more accountable to 
directly elected as against indirectly elected members. 

(6) Without a stable government, direct elections may not 
necessarily produce a truly democratic government. 

(7) Because Hong Kong has a capitalist economic system, this 
does not necessarily mean that the democracy as practised 
in other capitalist countries must be copied here. 
Political systems including direct elections based on 
universal franchise in other countries have developed 
over decades, even centuries, and were not put in place 
from one year to the next. The reality of Asian 
traditions and of Hong Kong's dependent status as a 
future SAR of China must also be borne in mind when 
deciding on the appropriate political system to be 
adopted. Not all capitalist countries have been 
successful in maintaining political stability through 
direct elections; many have been adjusting electoral 
systems over time. 

(8) The question of convergence of constitutional reform in 
Hong Kong with the Basic Law for the future HKSAR is one 
of timing. The outcome of the discussion on the nature 
of constitutional reform will no doubt have to find some 
reflection in the arrangements to be put in place for the 
period after 1997; there is therefore no need to call for 
direct elections in 1988 on the grounds that they may be 



- 21 - 

a feature of the system from 1997 onwards. There is no 
conclusive evidence to date that the majority of the 
population supports direct elections in 1988, or in 1997. 

(9) Direct elections would most likely lead to the formation 
of political parties in Hong Kong which might introduce 
adversarial politics. It is pure speculation and 
somewhat unrealistic to assume that political parties in 
Hong Kong would act differently from political parties 
elsewhere in the world and therefore be less 
adversarial. Hong Kong has the added problem of 
substantial foreign political interests conceivably 
wishing to become involved in party politics should such 
developments occur. Political parties, in order to 
succeed to power, are required to make promises or 
concessions - these may or may not be ultimately for the 
common good. No such direct pressures have in the past 
acted on the civil service government, and a legislature 
composed of indirectly elected members would provide for 
a greater variety of competing interests and ultimately 
for better balance and greater moderation in the creation 
of policies and their implementation. The degree of 
autonomy for the future HKSAR will not be determined by 
the specifics of the electoral systems in Hong Kong but 
by whether Hong Kong can maintain its capitalist system 
and provide economic benefits to China. 

(10) Although public response mentioned in the 1984 White 
Paper was in favour of the introduction of a very small 
number of directly elected members in 1988 and the 
Assessment Office Report also mentioned that Government 
planned to introduce direct elections, there has not been 
any assessment of the merits and demerits of direct 
elections after the 1986 Urban Council/Regional Council 
elections. Therefore it has been suggested that since 
the results of the 1986 elections seem to have favoured 
the candidates of certain professions, such as teachers 
and social workers, direct elections to the Legislative 



22 - 



Council should not be introduced until an assessment of 
the representative capacity of the successful candidates 
in the 1986 elections has been made. 

(11) It is feared that direct elections would lead to the 
introduction of 'free lunch' policies. 

(12) Hong Kong is not ready for direct elections because the 
level of civic awareness and civic education is still in 
an early stage of development. Civic education should 
precede a system of direct elections to establish the 
proper political environment based on wide-spread 
informed public opinion; direct elections should not in 
themselves be seen as producing better civic education. 
Political maturity requires time and tradition and is not 
simply the result of literacy or the number of newspaper 
readers in a given community. 

(13) As there is general apathy towards politics in general 
and elections in particular, manipulation of certain 
segments of society is possible in which case the 
participating electorate may not be totally 
representative of the population. 

(14) Direct elections are seen by many as a radical departure 
from the political system that has over the years 
developed in Hong Kong and which has produced outstanding 
commercial and financial success for the territory and 
greater prosperity for a large part of the population. 
Direct elections, so it is feared, must inevitably lead 
to the formation of political parties which have to 
project differing platforms and candidates to create a 
choice for voters. Hong Kong people will need to spend 
more time and energy in political debate, at the expense 
of productive commercial involvement. Political parties 
and election campaigns could easily create divisions 



23 



within the population, and doubts about continuity and 
stability of Government policies. This would have a 
negative impact on confidence at home and abroad. Hong 
Kong will, in particular, continue to need the confidence 
of investors from abroad who have in the past been 
attracted to the territory partially because of the 
relative lack of political activity at central government 
level. 

(15) An opposition to direct elections does not mean an 
opposition to change in general, and it is accepted that 
the appointment system for Legislative Council Members 
will need to give way to a system of elected members. 
The debate is therefore not about change per se, but 
about the nature, degree, and timing of change, bearing 
in mind that prosperity and stability should be 
safeguarded as best as possible to ensure the optimal 
future for Hong Konq and its people under the 
'one-country, two-systems' concept. 

(16) The 'logical' step in the development of representative 
government in Hong Kong should be the reduction of the 
number of appointed members and the extension of the 
number of members elected by functional constituencies 
and District Board/Urban Council/Regional Council 
electoral colleges. 

(17) Hong Kong should first develop its strength and stability 
through the functional constituencies. Direct elections 
in 1988 is too early and may lay Hong Kong open to a 
power struggle here of political forces from outside of 
Hong Kong. 

(18) Tn the history of Hong Kong there have been rare 
occasions when government policies were not supported, 
and whenever this happened. Government has not been 
unresponsive to opposition. Hong Kong has a system based 
largely on Government by consensus and it is questionable 



24 - 



whether a system of direct elections by itself would 
generate more of such consensus. 

Possible options of composition 

4. The Panel identified the following options for further 
consideration :- 

( i) Option A 

Under this option, the existing categories of 
Legislative Council Members would remain but their 
relative proportions might change . In other words, the 
existing system of indirect elections based on electoral 
colleges and functional constituencies would be 
maintained but the number of LegCo Members in each of the 
existing categories and their relative proportions might 
change. 

(ii) Option B 

This option also maintained the existing categories 
of LegCo Members except that the right to vote in the 
District Board electoral college constituencies would be 
transferred from District Board members to the general 
electorate of individual District Board electoral college 
constituencies. 

(iii) Option C 

This option proposed to replace the electoral 
college constituencies elections by direct elections . 
The other categories of LeqCo Members would not be 
affected. 

( iv) Option D 

Under this option, direct elections would be 



25 - 



introduced in addition to the existing categories of LegCo 
Members, including the present indirect election system based 
on electoral college constituencies and functional 
constituencies. 



(v) Absolutely no change 

The Panel noted that there was a body of opinion in 
Hong Kong which preferred absolutely no change in the 
present political system in 1988. Although the Panel 
considered that "absolutely no change" was unrealistic as 
an option, it was nevertheless agreed that this 
suggestion should be acknowledged in the report. 

5. The following table illustrates the above options by way 
of several combinations. It must be pointed out that the 
numbers in the table are given for illustration purposes only. 
They do not represent the Panel's views in any way . 

Category of Option Option Option Option 

Members Current A B C p 

returned from 10 10 + ? d) 10 + ? (D 0(2) 10 + ? (3) 

DB electoral 

colleges 

returned from 2 2+? ( D 2+ ? ( D 0(2) 2+?(3) 
Urban Council/ 
Regional Council 
electoral colleges(4) 

returned from 12 12+? 12+? 12+? 12+? 

functional 

constituencies (5) 

appointed by 22 22-? 22-? 22-? 22-? 
the Governor 

returned from 12+? X 

direct elections 

based on 

geographical 

constituencies (6) 

Official 10 10+? 10+? 10+? 10+? 
Members 

Total 56 56+? 56+? 56+? 56+X+? 



- 26 



♦Footnotes 



(1) 



Both Options A & B preserve the basic 
structure of the existinq indirect 
election system. But Option B proposes 
to transfer the riqht to vote from the 
District Board members to the general 
electorate whilst the District Board 
members would have the power to nominate 
candidates for election, thereby 
providinq an initial screening process 
for potential candidates. 



(2; 



Under Option C, electoral college 
elections would be replaced by direct 
elections. No Members will thus be 
returned from electoral colleges, hence 
cutting off the link between LegCo and 
Urban Council/Regional Council, and 
District Boards. 



H) 



Option D is similar to Option A except 
that direct elections are introduced in 
addition to indirect elections. The 
number of seats allocated to each 
category may have to be adjusted having 
regard to the introduction of direct 
elections. 



(4) 



For the sake of clarity. Members returned 
from the Urban/Regional Councils are 
shown under a separate category. 



(5) 



Functional constituencies are retained in 
all four options. 



- 27 - 



(6) Direct elections are introduced under 

Options C & D. The number X has yet to 
be decided. 

Issues Arising from the Possible Options 

6. The Panel noted the following issues arising from the 

four options described in paragraph 4 :- 

(a) the suitable tenure of office for Members returned 
from direct elections (Options C & D) in relation 
to Members in other categories; 

fb) the election cycle of direct elections. Is there a 
potential problem of causing confusion to the 
electors because of too many elections within a 
single year? (Options C & D) ; 

(c) what criteria should be used to draw up the 
geographical constituencies for direct elections? 
Should it be based solely on existing District 
Board boundaries or should other factors such as 
population distribution and physical 
characteristics be taken into consideration? 
(Options C & D) ; 

(d) how could an effective linkage with District Boards 
and the Urban/Regional Councils be maintained if 
electoral college elections are to be replaced by 
direct elections? (Option C) ; 

(e) the incorporation of direct elections into the 
existing system without modifications would give 
rise to two categories of elected Members (Option D 
i.e. double representation - one returned from 
direct elections and the other from electoral 
college elections) ; and 



- 28 



(f) how should functional constituencies be chosen from 
various qroups in the community and how should 
their representatives be elected? Should a review 
be conducted at reqular intervals to determine the 
optimal mix of organizations to be classified as 
functional constituencies? 

7. As a matter of principle, the Panel decided to consider 
these options in detail and that the pros and cons of each option 
should be included in its report. The Panel then discussed the 
possible timing for these changes as some Members suggested that 
these changes should be implemented in 1988 whilst others 
suggested 1991, The Panel also bore in mind the longer term 
implications of these options. 

Pros and cons 

8. The pros and cons expressed so far, in respect of the 
options mentioned in para. 4 above may be summarized as follows :- 

Option A 

Under this option, the existing categories of 
Legislative Council Members would remain but their 
relative proportions might change . In other words, the 
existing system of indirect elections based on electoral 
colleges and functional constituencies would be 
maintained but the number of LegCo Members in each of the 
existing categories and their relative proportions might 
change. 



Pros 



Cons 



(1) Maintaining the 

existing framework 
of LegCo but varying 
the numerical 



fl) This option could 
create an 

impression that there 
is no progress in the 



29 - 



composition of its 
Members only reflects 
a shift of emphasis 
rather than a 
fundamental change in 
its composition. This 
has the support of a 
certain part of 
the community as a 
steady move towards the 
gradual development of 
representative government 
in Hong Kong. 



development of 
representative 
government. 



(2) It is not desirable to 

introduce major changes to 
the existing system. 
Anyhow, some consider 
that at this stage it is 
still too early to judge 
the effectiveness of the 
present system which 
should be given more time 
to prove itself before 
introducing any major 
changes. 



(2) The chance in 1988 
should be taken to 
introduce the necessary 
changes, such as direct 
elections, so that more 
time is available for 
adaptions and 
adjustments to be 
made, if necessary, 
as some feel that 
this might be the 
last meaningful review. 



(3) If this option is 
chosen. Government 
could be criticized 
as a "lame duck 
administration" which 
would adversely affect 
public confidence. 



- 30 



Option B 

This option also maintained the existing 
categories of LegCo Members except that the right to 
vote in the District Board electoral college 
constituencies would be transferred from District Board 
members to the general electorate of individual 
District Board electoral college constituencies. 



Pros 



Cons 



(1) The valuable link 
between LegCo and 
DBS would be 
preserved because 
of the involvement 
of DBS in the 
nomination process. 



fl) This option will 

diminish the role of 
the DBS in the LegCo 
elections and will 
dilute the link 
between LegCo and 
DBS. 



(2) This system of 

nomination by the DB 
members and voting by 
the general elecotrate 
will enhance the 
degree of monitoring 
of the elected 
representative by 
and his accountability 
to his constituents. 



(2) If the costituencies 
in the electoral 
college elections 
are small, the 
background of the 
candidates may be 
rather homogeneous 
thereby presenting 
voters with little 
choice. 



(3) This option is already 
one step forward in 
the further 
development of 
representative 
government. 



(3) There would still be 
a problem of possible 
conflicts amongst DB 
members over the 
nomination of 
candidates. 



- 31 - 



(4) With DB members being 
involved in the 
election process, 
there may not be a 
need for the 
participation of 
political parties. 



(4) As the number of 
electors will be 
increased, there may 
be a problem of 
campaign expenditure 
i.e. if the limit is 
set too high, the 
candidates may not be 
able to afford the 
funds, but if it is 
too low, it may not be 
adequate. 



(5) The problem involving 
internal conflicts 
among DB members due 
to the existing 
electoral college 
election system would 
be reduced. 



(5) The electoral college 
election system should 
not be drastically 
changed just after one 
term, as it may affect 
the public image of the 
DBS. 



(6) This option introduces 
an element of direct 
elections . 



(6) By restricting 

nomination to the DBs, 
Government may be 
criticized as not going 
far enough and it may 
affect the results of 
the nomination, because 
1/3 of the membership of 
the DBs are still 
appointed by the 
Government . 



(7) Through the DB 

nomination process 
the quality of 
candidates could be 



(7) This is seen to be 

a compromise between 
• status quo of electoral 
college elections and 



32 - 



improved and the 
number of candidates 
could also be 
controlled. 



direct elections. It 
would not satisfy either 
the supporters or the 
opponents of direct 
elections. 



(8) There will not be 

the problem of double 
representation as in 
Option D. 



(8) Some strong doubts have 
been expressed on the 
desirability or effective- 
ness of screening. Further, 
people outside of the 
DBS would find it 
very difficult to be 
nominated. There would 
also be more opportunities 
for corrupt practices as 
the number of people 
with the power to 
nominate is rather small. 



Option C 



(9) The election is similar to 
the Urban/Regional Councils 
election and to some 
people this would probably 
be confusing. 



This option proposed to replace the electoral college 
constituencies elections by direct elections . The other 
categories of LegCo Members would not be affected. 



Pros 



Cons 



(1) By replacing the 
electoral college 
elections with direct 
elections, there will 



(1) This option will cut 
off the link between 
LegCo and the DBs, UC 
and RC. 



- 33 



not be a problem of 
double representation. 

(2) This option introduces (2) This would reduce the 

direct elections to variety of representation 

the composition of of the Council as compared 

LegCo. with Option D. 

(3) It is too early to remove 
the link with the DBs 
without the time to 
evaluate the success 

or deficiencies of the 
system. It may not be 
acceptable to the DBs. 

(4) Some may criticize that 
there will not be any 
initial screening of 
candidates as compared 
with Option B. 

(5) The introduction of direct 
elections may lead to the 
formation of political 
parties. 

Option D 

Under this option, direct elections would be introduced 
in addition to the existing categories of LegCo Members, 
including the present indirect election system based on 
electoral college constituencies and functional 
constituencies. 



- 34 - 



Pros 



Cons 



(1) This option introduces 
direct elections 
whilst maintaining 
the existing 
categories of LegCo 
Members. 



fl) There may be a problem 
of double 
representation if 
two categories of 
Members are elected by 
the same constituencies, 



(2) There will be more 

variety and a wider base 
of representation on 
LegCo because of the 
introduction of a 
new category of LegCo 
Members. 



(2) The existing problem 
of one LegCo Member 
representing more than 
one district in the 
electoral colleges is 
unresolved. 



(3) This is a fulfilment of 
Government's commitment 
in the 1984 White Paper 
and the Assessment 
Office Report. 



(3) As the size of the 

electorate is enlarged 
in direct elections, 
there may be a problem 
of campaign funding. 



(4) This will enable the f4) 
Government and the public 
to assess the merits and 
demerits of all three 
types of elections before 
deciding to take the next 
step towards democratization. 



It may lead to 
political party 
involvement in direct 
elections . 



(5) With an additional 
category of 
LegCo Members, there 
may be a problem of 
balancing the 
representation of the 



- 35 - 

different sectors of 
the community on LegCo. 

(6) There should not be 
experimentation with 
something as fundamental 
as constitutional reform. 

Electoral Colleges and Functional Constituencies 

9. The Panel also discussed several points of detail 
regarding the electoral colleges and functional constituencies. 

10. Regarding electoral colleges, there was a suggestion 
that each District Board should have a seat on LegCo. But it 
was also pointed out that this would significantly increase the 
number of electoral college seats on LegCo. However, the Panel 
accepted the possibility that in order to allow a degree of 
flexibility the number of seats allocated to the District Board 
electoral college constituencies might be slightly adjusted 
because of population shifts or constituency boundary changes. 

11. There were suggestions that the number of functional 
constituencies should be increased to include other functional 
groups. The Panel also noted a suggestion to review the 
mechanics of the functional constituencies elections i.e. 
several related but not mutually exclusive trades could be 
combined to form one multi-member constituency. 

Timing for Direct Elections 

12. In the light of the possible options described in 
para. 4 above, the Panel discussed three options regarding 
timing for direct elections if such were to be introduced:- 

(a) to introduce direct elections in 1988; 



36 - 



fb) to introduce direct elections in 1991 or later; 
and 

(c) not to introduce direct elections at any time 

before 1997. 

13. It was also pointed out that the question of the 
definition of direct elections as well as whether there would 
be restrictions as to candidature or nomination, such as 
limiting the power of nomination to the District Boards, should 
be addressed. If direct elections were to be introduced, the 
number and proportion of directly elected Members should also 
be considered. 

Screening of Candidates 

14. In the context of the Panel's discussion regarding 
direct elections. Members noted the suggestion that perhaps 
candidates standing for direct elections should be requried to 
be nominated by a stipulated number of District Board members. 
There were two different views on this matter. Those who 
suggested this type of screening took the view that it would 
reduce the number of candidates as well as provide some quality 
control of candidates. But those who were opposed to screening 
felt that such a screening process was against the principle of 
free participation in direct elections, and further doubted the 
effectiveness of such a system in controlling the quality of 
candidates because in practice it would limit the candidates to 
members of the District Boards thus excluding other potentially 
better candidates who were not members of the District Boards. 

Single or Multi-seat Constituencies 

15. In its discussion of this subject, the Panel noted 
several suggestions, as follows :- 



- 37 



(a) single-seat constituencies should be used in 
electoral college elections to maintain the 
level of direct accountability; 

(b) if all LegCo Members were to be directly 
elected, single-seat constituencies should be 
used; 

(c) multi-seat constituencies could be used in 
direct elections if the geographical 
representation element was already embodied in 
the District Board electoral college elections; 
and 

(d) if only a proportion of LegCo Members were 
directly elected, mulit-seat constituencies 
might be used. 



Appointed Members 

16. In respect of Appointed Members, the Panel's 
preliminary view was that their proportion could be reduced in 
1988. However, there were also different views on this matter, 
as follows :- 

(a) there should be no change in the number of 
Appointed Members in 1988; 

(b) the proportion of Appointed Members could be 
reduced by maintaining the existing number but 
increasing the number of Members in the other 
categories; and 

(c) the number of Appointed Members should be 
reduced. 



- 38 - 



Official Members 

17. In respect of the Official Members, the Panel 
discussed the following different suggestions :- 

(a) there should be no change in the number 
and role of Official Members in 1988; 

(b) there should be no change in the number 
of Official Members in 1988, but : 

(i) in order to fully cover the various 
policy areas in LegCo and without 
increasing the number of Official 
Members, Government officials other 
than Official Members could be in 
attendance at LegCo sittings; or 

(ii) in order to adequately deal with 

the business of the day and without 
increasing the number of Official 
Members, Government should appoint 
different Official Members for 
particular sittings from amongst a 
team of officials depending on the 
nature of business to be transacted; 

(c) the number of Official Members may be 
increased slightly, but their proportion 
in relation to other Members may be 
reduced; and 

(d) the number and proportion of Official 
Members should be reduced in 1988. 



39 



18. The Panel noted that the suggestion to increase the 
number of Official Members was mainly due to the concern over 
the efficiency of the work of LegCo which might be affected 
because certain policy areas were not represented by their 
respective Secretaries. At the same time, the Panel also noted 
the arguments against increasing the number of Official Members 
which included the provisions in the Joint Delcaration that the 
legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 
would be constituted by elections. The Panel was aware of 
certain views in support of the development towards a 
ministerial system in Hong Kong. 

19. The Panel did not reach any conclusions regarding the 
subject of Official Members. 

Governor as President of Legislative Council 

20. The Panel discussed the proposal to replace the 
Governor as the President of the Legislative Council by an 
elected Presiding Officer from amongst the Members. Most 
Members noted that by keeping the dual role of the Governor and 
the President of LegCo in one person it would enhance stability 
and efficiency. The Governor, as head of the Government would 
be able to maintain a direct link with the Legislative Council 
and to keep in close touch with the affairs of the 
legislature. There is also merit in maintaining the Governor's 
role as LegCo ' s President because this would enhance the public 
image of LeqCo. On the other hand, some held the view that an 
elected Presiding Officer would project an image of LeqCo as a 
body independent of government control. Moreover, with the 
roles of the Governor and the President of LegCo separated it 
would avoid the problem of incompatibility of roles and relieve 
the Governor of some of his heavy work load. 

21. After careful examination, a majority of Panel Members 
agreed that this proposal should not be implemented in the 
immediate future, at least not in 1988. 



40 



Bicameral Legislature 

22. The Panel also discussed the suggestion regarding a 
bicameral legislature in Hong Kong. The Panel was of the view 
that a bicameral system was not suitable for Hong Kong under 
the present circumstances because it involved drastic changes 
to the existing system. Nevertheless, the Panel appreciated 
that in future there might be a case for additional checks and 
balances to be provided for in the legislature. The 
feasibility of a bicameral system could then be reviewed. 



0116V 



- 41 - 



Chapter 5 : Relationship between the Executive and the 

Legislature 

The Panel studied, by way of background information, 
the relationship between the executive and the legislature in a 
number of countries and in Hong Kong. It also examined the 
proposals regarding the relationship between the Executive 
Council and the Legislative Council in the 1984 Green Paper and 
White Paper on the Further Development of Representative 
Government, and the provisions in the Joint Declaration 
regarding the relationship between the Executive and the 
Legislature in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 
Then the Panel discussed the possible further development of 
the present system in Hong Kong. 

Relationship between the Executive and the Legislature in Other 
Countries 

2. To facilitate the Panel's discussion of the subject, 
Members considered a brief comparative study of the 
relationship between the Executive and the Legislature in four 
countries : the United Kingdom, the United States of America, 
the People's Republic of China, and Switzerland. 

Relationship between the Executive and the Legislature in Hong 
Kong 

3. The Panel examined the existing situation, the 
proposals regarding the relationship between the Executive 
Council and the Legislative Council in the 1984 Green Paper and 
White Paper, as well as the relevant provisions in the Joint 
Declaration. 



42 



4. With a view to improving the overall efficiency of the 
Government, the Panel examined the existing relationship in 
Honq Kong in terms of accountability and separation of powers 
from four angles, namely, enactment of legislation, control of 
public expenditure, monitorinq, and dismissal. The Panel noted 
that :- 

(a) the executive is already accountable in a 
number of ways, such as questions and debates 
in the Legislative Council, and through various 
standing/select committees under the 
legislature; 

(b) financial accountability is a prominent feature; 

(c) the relationship is not necessarily a vertical 
one; and 

(d) the power of dismissal of the executive by the 
legislature is not provided for in Hong Kong. 

5. From the point of view of efficiency, the Panel noted 
that on the whole, the existing relationship between the 
executive and the legislature in Hong Kong seemed to function 
efficiently. The executive was responsible for policy 
decisions including whether the public should be consulted on 
particular issues. Where the implementation of such policy 
decisions required legislation, the appropriate bill would be 
introduced into the Legislative Council by the Administration. 
It would be the responsbility of the legislature to enact the 
legislation. However, the Panel agreed that the existing 
relationship could be strengthened by more informal two-way 
communication preferably on a regular basis. On the other 
hand, the Panel considered that the working relationship and 
the policy formulation process would be improved if more 
Legislative Council Members were appointed to the policy 
advisory committees in their personal capacity. 



43 - 



6. As regards the control of public expenditure, the 
Panel noted that under the principle of separation of powers, 
it would be up to the executive to make proposals regarding 
public expenditure but the legislature was responsible for 
ensuring that the funds sought were no more than was necessary 
for achieving the approved policy objectives. 

7. The function of the legislature in monitoring the 
executive depended upon the initiative from the legislature 
itself. In addition to the existing formal instruments of 
monitoring in the Legislative Council i.e. the Public Accounts 
Committee, Legislative Council Questions, Legislative Council 
Debates, and Legislative Council Select Committees, the Panel 
agreed that consideration should be given to the setting up of 
a system of standing committees in LegCo to monitor the 
corresponding policy issues, as in the United Kingdom 
Parliament. These committees were a part of the legislature 
performing a monitoring role and were different from the policy 
advisory committees of the executive branch of government. The 
concern of these committees would be policy matters rather than 
the monitoring of the day-to-day administration of the affairs 
of Government. 

Further Development 

8. Having examined the existing relationship with a view 
to improving the overall efficiency of the Government, the 
Panel agreed that the principle of separation of powers between 
the executive and the legislature should be upheld. It also 
considered that the input of the Legislative Council in the 
policy making process could be improved, and a few suggestions 
were listed below: - 

(a) strengthening the existing relationship between 
the Executive Council and the Legislative 
Council by way of more informal but regular 
two-way communication; 



- 44 - 



(b) appointing more Legislative Council Members to 
serve on policy advisory committees in their 
personal capacity; and 

(c) considering further the setting up of a system 
of standing policy monitoring committees under 
the Legislative Council in respect of the 
various policy areas. 



0116V 



- 45 - 



Chapter 6 : Electoral Provisions 



The Panel reviewed the three elections held in 1985 
and 1986 i.e. the District Board elections on 7 March 1985, the 
Legislative Council elections on 26 September 1985, and the 
Urban Council/Regional Council elections on 6 March 1986, 
during in-house discussions as well as a meeting with the 
Administration. 

2. The Panel also studied the subject of electoral 
provisions in general. The specific issue of voting age was 
also examined. 

3. On the subject of the three elections, the Panel 
invited members of the public, especially the candidates who 
participated in the elections, to express their views on 
whether there were problematic areas and what improvements 
could be made. 

Areas for Further Improvement 

(i) Registration of Electors 

4. The Panel noted that the Administration kept under 
review the effectiveness of its voter registration drive 
including the "door-to-door" visits. Whereas it was accepted 
that a high registration rate might affect the voting rate. 
Government had the responsibility to ensure that all eligible 
electors were registered. The Panel also noted that it was 
difficult to effect "automatic" registration as the Immigration 
Department computer records did not include addresses nor years 
of residence. It was also difficult to keep the records 
up-to-date as changes in addresses were not always reported. 



46 - 



The Panel concluded that there should not be "automatic" 
registration and that potential electors who have the 
responsibility should take the initiative to exercise their 
riqht to register and to vote. 

5. In order to facilitate the updating of the general 
electoral roll, the Panel suggested that Government should set 
up a centralized address system of registered electors whereby 
address changes known to any one department could be made known 
to the Registration and Electoral Division. 

6. The Panel suggested that Government should lengthen the 
registration period to enable qualified electors to register 
throughout the year subject to a cut-off date before each 
election. The Administration has implemented this suggestion 
by way of the Electoral Provisions (Registration of 
Electors) (Amendment) Regulations 1986 which allow applications 
for voter registration to be accepted on a year-round basis. 

(ii) General Electoral Roll 

7. The Panel discussed whether the residential 
requirement for candidature and registration as electors should 
be amended. On balance, the Panel recommended that there 
should be no change to the existing requirements i.e. 10 years 
ordinary residence immediately preceding nomination for 
candidates; and 7 years ordinary residence immediately 
preceding registration for electors. 

(iii) Ballot Papers 

8. The Panel considered the suggestions that the tick 
{ y/ ) or the circle (0) should be used on the ballot paper 
instead of the cross (X) . It was suggested that the cross 
usually indicated disapproval, especially in traditional 
Chinese thinking. However, the Panel considered that as the 
cross had always been used in the elections so far, it would 
only cause confusion if a change was made. Therefore the Panel 



- 47 



recommended that the cross should continue to be used but 
Government should step up publicity in this area. 

9. The Panel also recommended that poster-size sample 
ballot papers with candidates' photographs should continue to 
be used in assisting illiterate voters. 

(iv) Hong Kong Belongers and Persons with the Right to Land in 
Hong Kong 

10. The Panel concluded that the right to vote should be 
granted to persons with the right of abode in Hong Kong and 
persons with the right to land in Hong Kong who had ordinarily 
resided in Hong Kong for the 7 years immediately preceding 
registration, subject to other relevant qualifications, such as 
age. 

(v) Civil Servants and Elections 

11. The Panel noted the present position in Hong Kong and 
in other countries regarding civil servants participating in 
elections and discussed the following alternative options if 
the restrictions were relaxed:- 

(a) no pay leave whilst in office as elected member; 

fb) resignation if elected and apply afresh if wanted to 
join the civil service later; 

(c) civil servants in the lower ranks might be allowed to 
stand for District Board elections; and 

(d) on leave 6 months before election and resign if 
elected . 



48 - 



12. In their discussion, Panel Members noted that some 
civil servants drew a comparison between their situation and 
that of the employees in the subvented sector who were allowed 
to stand for election as candidates without having to resign 
from office beforehand. 

13. After discussing the pros and cons of the above 
options, the Panel agreed, on balance, that there should be no 
change to the present position for the time being i.e. civil 
servants might register as electors just like any other persons 
but were disqualified for being nominated as a candidate or 
being elected unless they resign beforehand, in order to avoid 
a conflict of interest and possible abuse of power. 

(vi) Uncontested Elections 

14. In discussing the suggestion that candidates elected 
uncontested should be required to undergo a "vote of 
confidence", the Panel noted that it would be difficult to 
define the degree of confidence in a candidate who had been 
elected uncontested. There would also be practical problems. 
If the candidate did not obtain the required number of votes 
i.e. whether a by-election should be held and if there were 
still only one candidate? Should the required number of votes 
(degree of confidence) be required of candidates in contested 
elections? What if the candidate with the highest number of 
votes did not exceed the required number? Should a second 
ballot be held? 

15. On balance, the Panel agreed that there was no need 
for candidates elected uncontested to undergo a "vote of 
confidence". 



- 49 - 



Alternative Polling Methods for Legislative Council Elections 

16. The Panel discussed the following different methods of 
polling with their respective pros and cons. 

(i) Preferential vote with withdrawal (Single-Member 
PT-^ferential System) 

17. In the preferential system with a withdrawal 
requirement voters were required to indicate their 
preferences. Except when a majority has been established, the 
candidate with the least number of first preference votes would 
be eliminated and his votes showing preferences for other 
candidate were redistributed until one candidate obtained a 
majority of votes. This method enabled the selection of the 
candidate with the greatest degree of support from those voters 
who indicated their preferences. But the winning candidate 
might not actually obtain the support of over 50% of those who 
voted because if voters were not required to indicate 
preferences for all candidates and if not all voters exercised 
all their preferences, the winning candidate might be decided 
by a few who indicated a second or lower preference. 

(ii) The Double-Ballot 

18. In the double-ballot a second poll would be held some 
time later between the two candidates with the highest number 
of votes if no candidate obtained a majority in the first 
poll. This method ensured that the winning candidate had a 
clear majority support of the electorate. But this method 
might confuse the voters as they may be required to vote two 
times. It was more expensive, both in terms of administrative 
expenses and the time spent by the electorate in going to the 
poll two times. If only a few voters turned out in the second 
ballot, the result might not be representative. 



50 - 



fiii) The Alternative Vote 

19. In the alternative vote voters were required to 
indicate an alternative choice which would be used to determine 
the winning candidate if no candidate obtained a majority of 
first choices. This method suffered drawbacks similar to the 
preferential vote with withdrawal. But it was more likely for 
voters to indicate an alternative vote because they were 
required to show one more preference only. 

( iv) Single-transferable Vote (Multi-Member Preferential 
System) 

20. Voters were allowed to rank-order the candidates from 
1 to a number equal to the number of vacant seats in the 
constituency. Once voting was completed, the first preferences 
were counted and the number necessary for election was 
determined as follows:- 

Total number of valid votes cast 



Number of seats in the constituency + 1 



21. Any candidate with first preference votes exceeding 
the above number was elected. He might have more votes than 
this number, in which case the excess votes would be wasted. 
To avoid this, the excess votes were distributed in accordance 
with the second preferences of all votes which were to be 
discounted in value by a factor 

i.e. Number of excess votes 



Total number of second preferences 



In the second round, the candidate with the highest number of 
votes was elected, if his total now exceeded the required 
number, and his excess votes were distributed in the same way 
as before except that if any of his second preferences were for 
a candidate already elected, these were replaced by the third 



51 



preferences; similarly some of his votes might be second 'or 
lower) preferences from others already elected, and again the 
next lowest preferences were substituted. 

22. Then if there were still seats or if at any stage 
there were seats to be filled and no candidate exceeded the 
required number, the preferential vote with withdrawal method 
'para. 17 above) was used. This method was particularly useful 
in large constituencies with a large number of candidates. 

23. The main drawbacks of this system were similar to the 
preferential vote and the alternative vote described above i.e. 
if a large proportion of the electorate did not indicate their 
preferences, the results might not be representative. This 
system was also very complicated and might not be easily 
understood by the electorate who might lose confidence in it. 

(v) The List System 

24. In the List System, electors could only vote for one 
list of candidates and the number of seats to be obtained by 
each list of candidates depended on the percentage of votes won 
by that list of candidates. There were also variations which 
might allow electors to vote across lists, alter the order of 
the list of candidates, or to vote for more than one list. 

Voting age 

25. The Panel discussed the suggestion to lower the 
voting age from 21 to 18. This would add about 260,000 to the 
number of eligible electors. 

26. Panel Members expressed different views on the 
matter. Some were in favour of the suggestion to lower the 
voting age from 21 to 18 whilst others maintained that the 
voting age did not necessarily have to be the same as the age 
of majority. 



- 52 



27. Those in favour of lowering the voting age to 18 
maintained that:- 

(a) this was one step forward in civic education; 

(b) this would increase the registration rate, especially 
for voters between 18 and 21 thus providing more 
people with the opportunity to participate in a civic 
education process; and 

fc) if the age of majority was lowered to 18, there was 
no reason why the voting age should not follow. 

28. Those who had reservations about lowering the voting 
age felt that voting was more than making a personal decision 
and doubted whether Hong Kong was ready for such a change in 
view of the low level of civic education and civic awareness. 
Furthermore they felt that as there might be many changes in 
1988, therefore it would not be appropriate to introduce yet 
another major change. 

29. As there was no consensus amongst Panel Members, it 
was agreed that the Panel would keep this matter in close view, 
especially the views of the public in the context of the 1987 
Review. The Panel suggested that this issue be included in the 
1987 Review. 

Preliminary views 

30. The Panel noted that the majority system was used in 
the last Legislative Council election mainly because of the 
need to ensure that the successful candidates were able to 
obtain the support of the majority of the electorate and thus 
were "representative". However in studying the various 
alternative methods under the majority system, the Panel was 
not entirely satisfied with the way in which the majority was 
obtained. For example, in the preferential system such as the 



53 



Alternative Vote and the Single Transferable Vote (either 
Single-Member or Multi-Member) , it was possible that a 
meaningful majority would not occur if a large proportion of 
the electorate did not exercise all their preferences. 
Furthermore, even if a majority did occur, it might be the 
result of second or lower preference votes. 

31. The Panel agreed that on balance, it seemed that the 
principle of plurality should be adopted for elections in 
general. In elections involving a very small electorate for 
example, the electoral college elections, the multi-ballot/ 
majority system could be used. 



0116V 



Appendix A 



Composition of the Panel in 1985-86 



Convener 
Deputy Convener 
Members 



Hon S L CHEN, CBE , DSc, JP 

Hon Andrew WONG 

Hon Maria TAM, OBE, JP 

Hon Allen LEE, OBE, JP 

Dr Hon HO Kam-fai, OBE, JP 

Hon F K HU, OBE, JP 

Hon J J Swaine, OBE, QC , JP 

Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP 

Hon CHAN Ying-lun, JP 

Hon Mrs Pauline NG, JP 

Hon Hilton CHEONG-LEEN, CBE, JP 

Hon CHUNG Pui-lam 

Hon HO Sai-chu, MBE , JP 

Hon HUI Yin-fat 

Dr Hon Richard LAI 

Hon Martin LEE, QC , JP 

Hon LEE Yu-tai 

Hon PANG Chun-hoi, MBE 

Hon SZETO Wah 

Hon TAI Chin-wah 

Hon Mrs Rosanna TAM 

Hon TAM Yiu-chung 

Dr Hon Daniel TSE, OBE, JP 



Appendix B 



Composition of the Panel in 1986-87 



Convener 
Deputy Convener 
Members 



Hon S L CHEN, CBE, DSc, JP 

Hon Andrew WONG 

Hon Maria TAM, OBE , JP 

Hon Allen LEE, OBE, JP 

Dr Hon Daniel TSE, OBE, JP 

Dr Hon HO Kam-fai, OBE, JP 

Hon F K HU, OBE, JP 

Hon Stephen CHEONG, OBE, JP 

Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP 

Hon CHAN Ying-lun, JP 

Hon CHENG Hon-kwan 

Hon Hilton CHEONG-LEEN, CBE, JP 

Hon CHUNG Pui-lam 

Hon HO Sai-chu, MBE, JP 

Hon HUI Yin-fat 

Dr Hon Richard LAI 

Dr Hon Conrad LAM 

Hon Martin LEE, QC , JP 

Hon LEE Yu-tai 

Hon PANG Chun-hoi, MBE 

Dr Hon Helmut Sohmen 

Hon SZETO Wah 

Hon TAI Chin-wah 

Hon Mrs Rosanna TAM 

Hon TAM Yiu-chung 



Appendix C 



Dates and nature of Panel Meetings 



Nature of meeting Date 

1985-86 1986-87 

Members' in-house discussion 28 Nov 85 11 Oct 86 

14 Jan 86 25 Oct 86 
13 Mar 86 8 Nov 86 

22 Apr 86 22 Nov 86 
21 May 86 13 Dec 86 

6 Jun 86 27 Dec 86 

21 Jun 86 10 Jan 87 

5 Jul 86 17 Jan 87 
19 Jul 86 24 Jan 87 

2 Aug 86 7 Feb 87 

16 Aug 86 11 Feb 87 
30 Aug 86 
27 Sep 86 

Meeting with the 4 Feb 86 

Administration 28 May 86 

Informal meeting with 17 Nov 86 

members of Urban/Regional (2 meetings) 

Councils and District Boards 18 Nov 86 

19 Nov 86 

20 Nov 86 
25 Nov 86 
17 Dec 86 

To receive public submissions 24 Jul 86 1 Nov 86 

23 Sep 86 29 Nov 86 
4 Oct 86 3 Jan 87 

6 Oct 86 

Total 19 21 



1 48683-24 L-3/87