04 Jan And then there is China…
It is important to record the fact (without prejudging it at this stage) that China has postponed till 2020 the date of direct elections (under universal suffrage) to the legislature in Hong Kong. We will take this into consideration when we develop our thesis on governance in developing societies.
It is also of interest to record that the British ruled Hong Kong for 150 years without it occurring to them how wonderful it was to be governed through the exercise of universal suffrage. It was only guaranteed in the Basic Law that was established when Britain handed the territory back to China in 1997.
So it was a parting gift that China has refused to accept. And this refusal is quite enough to trigger a lot of thinking and rethinking. Let us think before we rush to judgment.
But lest we be misunderstood, let us also reiterate that the alternative to universal suffrage is not dictatorship. That is where the need for creativity comes in. The task is to propose a mode of governance that is compatible with the social reality (and therefore stable) and is also a mechanism to ensure social and economic justice to the most oppressed groups in society.