國際標準 就是要有真正選擇

陳健民:國際標準 就是要有真正選擇

 

阿香是公認的乖乖女。十八歲前父母說不能談戀愛,阿香默默承受。十八歲生日,父母說阿香仍然在學,五年後才考慮戀愛。阿香不憤,但避免磨擦,無奈接受。誰料在23歲生日前夕,父母宣佈在考慮循序漸進和實際情況兩大因素後,決定到28歲才可自由戀愛。

 

既然有了時間表,阿香唯有再次包容。阿香萬沒想到,當28歲生日快要來臨時,父母突然對「自由戀愛」作出新解釋,認為應先讓父母以集體意志為她挑選戀愛對象。父母雖已一錘定音,但為表開放,決定諮詢阿香戀愛對象的數目。阿香聽後沉默良久,問了一句: 自由戀愛有沒有國際標準?

 

大家應該覺得阿香一定是EQ過高,才和這樣的父母議論下去。港人何嘗不是在普選問題上已拿出了最大的耐性? 基本法規定回歸後首十年必須以小圈子產生特首,大家寄望2007。但人大釋法先否決了07、08雙普選、再否決2012普選特首,最後決定2017年才可實行。當港人的耐性已經耗盡,中央和特區官員如今竟重新解釋普選的定義,要求普選要選出愛國愛港、不對抗中央的特首。

 

為了確保這樣的選舉結果,必須要透過提名委員會篩選。提名委員會如何組成? 梁愛詩說要與現存的選舉委員會大同小異。市民說這是小圈子,他們卻說「有廣泛代表性」。提名委員會如何篩選? 現存的選舉委員會要求八分之一的委員(150人)聯署便能提名,現在京官說要做到「機構提名」,亦即是要超過二分之一委員(600人)同意才能提名一人。這種選舉還能稱得上普選嗎? 普選有沒有國際標準?

 

香港大學於3月20日邀請了中外知名學者討論此問題,對選舉如何符合國際標準提出了五點指導原則:

 

  1. 必須確保人民在選舉過程中能自由地表達他們的意願;
     
  2. 提名委員會必須平等地代表每一位市民的意見;
     
  3. 產生提名委員會成員過程要有包容性、要公開透明、讓市民參與;
     
  4. 提名程序要合理、公平和透明,可包括經提名委員會確認的公民提名;
     
  5. 公民參選、提名和選舉權利都不應受到不合理限制。最後專家總結出普選國際標準的核心:
    確保市民在選舉中有真正選擇。

 

在免費電視發牌事件中,因為篩走香港電視,市民覺得没有真正的選擇!在普選中,如果一個在社會上有相當支持的人因各種理由被篩走不能参選,即使選舉是一人一票,選民都沒有真正的選擇,那就不是普選了!

 

阿香知道自由戀愛就是憑個人意志去選擇伴侶,她會違抗父母之命嗎?如果我告訴你那對老人家其實不是她的父母,而只是家僕,你會否有不同想法?主權在民,政府其實是人民公僕。基本法說明政制發展最終的目標是普選,我們不應該像一些官員般擔心普選會判弱提名委員會的權力。我們真正要擔心的,是提名委員會會否削弱公民的選舉、提名和參選的權利,最終令市民失去真正的選擇!

 

 

 

 【By:Chan Kin-man】

 

The Basic Law stipulates that the Chief Executive of Hong Kong has to be selected by a small circle in the first ten years after the handover.  That means Hong Kong people could only hope for a change in 2007.  However, the interpretation of the Basic Law by the NPC Standing Committee ruled against double universal suffrage (Chief Executive and legislative council) in 2007/08 as well as universal suffrage for Chief Executive in 2012.  It was finally decided that universal suffrage can be allowed only in 2017.  When Hong Kong people are starting to lose patience, Beijing and Hong Kong government officials are now trying to reinterpret the meaning of universal suffrage by stating that only those who love China, love Hong Kong, and do not oppose Beijing can stand for the Chief Executive election.

 

In order to ensure such an outcome of the election, the candidates will need to be pre-screened by the Nomination Committee.  What is the composition of the Nomination Committee?  According to Elsie Leung, it has to be similar to the current Election Committee.  Hong Kong people believe this is a small circle but the officials claim it is "broadly representative".  How will the screening work?  Currently the Election Committee requires a minimum of one-eighth (150) of the committee members for a nomination; some Beijing officials said that at least half (600) of the committee members are required for a nomination in order to implement the majority rule and manifest the idea of "collective nomination". Can this kind of elections still be considered as universal suffrage?  Are there international standards in relation to universal suffrage?

 

On 20 March, The University of Hong Kong invited internationally renowned scholars to have a discussion on this topic.  Five guiding principles came out with regard to how international standards of universal suffrage are met:

 

  1. People must be able to freely express their will in the course of the election;
     
  2. The nomination committee must equally represent the opinion of each citizen;
     
  3. The process of selecting the nomination committee members must be inclusive,
    open and accessible to the public;

     
  4. The nomination process must be reasonable, fair and transparent.  It can include
    civil nomination as confirmed by the nomination committee;

     
  5. There should not be any unreasonable restrictions on civil rights to stand for
    election, nominate and vote.

 

The experts finally concluded that the core international standard of universal suffrage is to ensure voters have a genuine choice.  For example, the government claimed that there is a 100% increase in the choice of free TV stations from two to four by adding two new free TV licenses.  Why are the people still not happy?  It is because the government has effectively taken away our real choice by screening out HKTV!  By the same token, if a popular candidate is screened out from the election on the grounds of race, gender, religion or belief, voters do not have a real choice even if it is a one-person-one-vote election.  This is simply not universal suffrage!

 

The Basic Law states that the ultimate goal of constitutional development is universal suffrage.  We should not be worried, as some government officials pointed out, that universal suffrage will weaken the power of the Nomination Committee.  What we should actually be worried about is that the Nomination Committee may weaken civil rights to elect, nominate, and stand for election, thereby ultimately taking away our genuine choice!

 

 

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