Tuesday, October 28, 2014

DEMOCRACY | SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST | HONG KONG | Flawed Western democratic system not suitable for Asian countries | Patrick Chan, Sydney, Australia

Occupy Central
I am concerned about the chaos caused by the Occupy Central movement, which is campaigning for a democratic voting system, especially since this system has a number of defects.

In the democratic voting system the candidates are nominated by members of political parties or their caucuses. These nominated candidates will represent their parties in the election.

The voters cast their votes according to their political persuasions. Before the election, ordinary voters have no direct involvement in selecting candidates.

In a voluntary voting system, the percentage of voters participating is normally about 50 per cent or less. Thus the winner may not represent the preference of the majority of the population.

During a political campaign, large sums of money are needed for advertising on radio, television, social networking sites and in other media outlets. Candidates with a large financial backing will have a greater chance of winning. Therefore, wealthy candidates are most likely to succeed.

In marginal seats where the difference in votes between the winner and the loser is very small, votes can often be bought by offering gifts or financial incentives.

If the voting procedure is not well structured, multiple voting can happen. A voter can go to different polling stations to cast his or her vote many times.

If the winning party has only a very narrow majority, the ruling party needs the help of independent legislators to get legislation passed.

The government will fulfil the demands of independent lawmakers in order to get their support. Thus the government can be virtually controlled by a very small minority that was not elected to govern.

If a company or a rich person has made a large donation to the winning political party, the donor will expect the ruling party to give them favours in return.

The ruling party normally has to face a new election every four or five years. Therefore, it will concentrate mostly on short-term projects or reforms in order to win the next election. Long-term projects or reforms, which could be beneficial to the country, will be conveniently ignored.

This system may work well in the West, but applying such a system, in its entirety, to countries in the East may not be suitable because of cultural and social differences.

The democratic election system is currently in use in India, the Philippines and Taiwan. Has this system produced an efficient and transparent government in those countries?

Patrick Chan, Sydney, Australia

1 comment:

  1. Communist China rejects Western Communist "Democratic Voting System" and, yes the recognition of FASCISM rises in the East to let the West know: NO THANKS!

    YES!! the recognition of FASCISM rises in the East to let the West know: NO THANKS! Communist China rejects Western Communist "Democratic Voting System", hallelujah!