民主之道和管治之道

陳方安生女士終於宣佈參選,點題的一句,就是表示公務員要學習民主之道,民主派亦要學良好管治之道。
小圈子中的既得利益者和保守派,來去都是批評民主派沒有執政能力,指民主派與現實脫節。毫無疑問,民主派本身在這個問題上也有一定責任。畢竟,慣了在街頭打拼的,都當了自己是階級的戰士,處理問題時,更難免被那種革命的激情遮蔽了理性。所以民主派由八十年代萌芽至今,在野的角色扮演得漂亮,可是一直未能給予香港主流一個可以執政的信心,那自然被反對民主派人士捕捉,推而廣之,竟然成了self-fulfillingprophecy,也是為何香港人今天仍然糾纏在二十多年前已經開始在講的舊議題。
陳太說出這一句話,明顯是很有誠意去糾正民主派沒有執政能力的這一點觀感;當然,更重要的,是陳太若然最終當選,之後的連串發展。要是日後她可以鞭策民主派邁向充實,甚至執政之路,那才是香港民主進程,和民間政治成熟的一大步。民主派要具備落實良好管治的條件,首要是明白那些政策可行,那些政策不可行,不再純粹條件反射式的要求政府干預,提出一些真正深思熟慮的政策,這些都是陳太多年政府行政經驗的優勢。
陳太說的要學習良好管治之道,相信現在的政府管治班底也有改善空間。遠的不說,早前的公務員加薪,便是一個不良的管治個案。當時政府見有財政盈餘,便一刀切的為公務員加人工。原意是希望提升公務員士氣,分享經濟增長成果,結果便惹來同樣接受政府資助的醫護人員、教師、社工不滿,也要來「分享經濟增長成果」,要求加薪,而且追加幅度還要和公務員加的一樣,如此的施政有嚴重的反效果,原意能否達到仍是未知之數,而且也無法量度,不過此舉分化了社會,卻又是鐵一般的事實。

「官僚」這個詞彙,《蘋果批》用得多;但事實上,官僚的循規蹈矩,做事有根有據,在現代文明社會中有一定的功用,只要是規條公道,透明度夠高,程序以外的不做,實在是一種良好管治。回歸前,陳太公開表明要緊守公務員系統的政治中立;說到底,就是要確保公務員能夠做到持平,政治的問題,就讓社會上各方的意識形態百花齊放。
可惜,董建華的一套卻令公務員制度變了質,像廿三條立法一役,最終是政治破壞了行政主導,是失敗中之失敗。公務員要學習民主之道,結果不是要他們人人為政客;相反,要是公務員明白民主制度中意識形態角力的運作,不用事事都靠一股蠻勁,每次都來親自赤膊上陣,相信今天的施政定必順暢得多。
話說回頭,忽然想到黃子華曾在其棟篤笑中談及連任之道,說連任的資格是「一個人走進屋,不帶保鑣,走番出來」,用這個方法來驗證自己有否落實良好管治之道。要是葉太亦宣佈參選,兩位同是前公務員,絕對可以考慮用這個方法來感受民主之道,讓兩位前公務員一同走這條民主之「道」。

高明輝

廣告

7 responses to “民主之道和管治之道

  1. the problem is, is the process of getting the pan-dem rep in this election itself democratic at all? if not, all these rhetorics just appears to be very hypocritical.

  2. Sin bin,

    Let’s focus on: whether “the process of getting the pan-dem representative in the by-election itself is democratic" has anything to do with democracy.

    Modern democracy, since the very beginning in the 16th century, is a means to prevent tyranny from emerging, as manifested by the founding fathers of the USA during the constitution convention. This intent can be clearly seen not only from the Declaraion of Independence, the US Constitution, as well as the Federalist Papers etc.

    Therefore, key to modern democracy is checks and balances through separation of powers.

    Emphasis should be put on checking and balancing the power of the executive branch of government, i.e. the state, a.k.a. the body which ultimately carry out the monopolized used of coercion force; and the legislative branch of government, i.e. the Congress / Senate / Legco etc, a.k.a. bodies which ultimately empower the state via legislative instruement.

    One must take note that democracy is often mistaken as a process of discovery, or simply put, “reflecting the opinions of the mass". This is a very dangerous detour. The constitutional democracy put certainly fundamental (natural) rights about the state and statues. But if we put the mass above the state and the law, inevitably we end up in the conflicts between these fundamental / natural rights.

    Therefore, democracy, especially representative democracy, should always be understood as an institute to ensure an open society, i.e. changing government with the lowest possible explicit use of violence and coercion, should it be effectively institute together with the rule of law (which self-restraint on the powers of the third branch of government not-aforementioned, i.e. the Judiciary).

    Democracy, is thus an social invention with very specific design to deal with the institute that has the exclusive power to apply and empower coercion. (By the way, the election of judges, is therefore not only a stupid but also a ignorant idea).

    Going back to you question / concern: In reality, pan-dem is merely a civil society participant. They have no coercive power over other members of society. In everyday language: if you don’t like the pan-dem, you can always choose to vote for someone else, or even to run for office yourself. And you fear no repercussion present or future.

    So, the only reasons for the pan-dem to have a selection (not election) process, while getting as many people as possible to participate, is because it helps them in the branding as “Democrats with a big D" as well as making sure their political capital is best apply to maximize their return.

    Well, should I conclude that whether the pan-dem has an “internal democracy" has nothing to do with the bigger picture of democracy?

    Anson Chan certainly knows something the pan-dem does. If, and only if, the pan-dem is looking for a break-though the current constitutional design deadlock, she will be key.

    I will write a piece on it – possible for the blog only as it will get excessively technical an dboring for Apple readers. Stay tuned.

    Simon

  3. well, there is one simple issue, nothing related to the grand theory of what democracy means or what the benefits it brings.

    if, like the 2 parties in the US, the party candidate comes out from a ‘democratic process’, it has sort of at least guaranteed votes from these supporters. it means there is a higher probability of winning the election.

    in HK, i do not see why such process should be skipped. unless the democratic Big Bros are afraid that their recommendation cannot stand the test of popular vote.

  4. Simon

    It’s not an issue of democracy, it’s an issue of integrity. All 10 parties of the pan-camp agreed the selection process and they should all honour this binding agreement. If the DP big bros (also Apple Daily’s view in the last 3 days) try to nominate a candidate to skip this process but still demand all parties’ support to this candidate, they break the agreement and they lose integrity.

    Which is more important: integrity (which is indispensable to form all constitution) or democracy ? Look at some SE Asia countries with full democracy but high corruption rate and poor economy. What do they lack ? Integrity in general.

    I agree the selection criteria are highly unfavourable to Anson becuase they were formed without her participation. But she should have known that. She knows that she could not skip this binding process if she wants support of the 10 parties.

    Technically, all 10 parties could re-negotiate for another fairer process to Anson. But would the minority parties be willing to do so, after seeing how the process was bullied by the DP big bros ?

    I’m glad that Anson agreed to go through this process. She will still win with overwhelming victory in 1st criterion. But for the 2nd to 4th criteria which rely on decisions of the small members of minority parties just bullied, there may be some surprise, hopefully not embarrassment to her, the big bros and AD.

    The results of the 2nd to 4th criteria are very good check of pan-camp’s impression with Anson and, of course, her potential to converge the pan-dem camps

  5. To Sin-bin,

    If it is about whether the decision of the pan-dem big brothers to nominate Anson Chan resonate with the opinion of the mass, then of course, ultimately the poll will reveal the truth. No matter how eloquently we debate here does not affect the reality, not even a bit.

    Hypocritical? Frankly speaking, I thought you mean our understanding of “democracy" is “hypocritical" to you.

    But our understanding of the idea of constitutional democracy, which is derived from the way US constitution developed, as explained about, has nothing to do with the so-called “internal democracy".

    By the way, the result of the primaries do not necessarily result in “at least guaranteed votes from these supporters" – people’s preference in voting changes when the contestants change – corollary to the Gibbard–Satterthwaite theorem.

    Shall I thus say the comment regarding “hypocritical rhetoric" needs further elaboration?

    To 波蘿游,

    Integrity is a very interesting choice of word.

    Of course what we are discussing about the hypothetical situation if Anson said no to the primary “selection" arrangement.

    However, even if Anson Chan said I will just run and win the election, it is her decision to run as an independent democratic candidate and it has nothing to do with integrity. Condition is she should never ask the pan-dem for support in any kind.

    I think the issue with the 2nd and 4th criteria, is not only with how the pan-dem views on Anson, but also has to do with how the pan-dem will develop.

    The internal politics of the pan-dem goes beyond democracy. The differences amongst various pan-dem camp on policy are minimal, and the only divergency lies on personality of the leaders. Perhaps the only exception so far is the LSD, which goes all the way towards extreme left.

    I will say not even Anson can serve any unifying function to the pan-dem. However, the opportunity now is whether Anson can provide an external shock, thus catalyze an re-ordering of how the pan-dem is aligned. Of course, the best possible scenario is she can widen the spectrum of the pan-dem so it covers left-right-and-center. Thus the new constellation of pan-dem gives voters who used to sympathize the Hong Kong identity but could not stand the overly interventive position of the left-to-center pan-dem, a choice.

  6. sun bin,

    你太過看高了民主了,民主是一個低 effective 的管治手法,一來民主非常 costly,如果每事都要經公投決定,時間上及金錢都是極之浪費,二來民意往往以後矛盾的,例如市民又想減稅又要加福利。

    我個人覺得民主只適合於還總統一事之上,當選了總統後就好應該用代議政制,給予執權者有足夠權力決定大部份的事情,不需過於顧及民意,當執政失敗就需要面對市民彈劾落台這便足夠。

    一個公司內更需要高度獨裁,公司成功倒閉與否是往往是 boss 一人的事,在公司內講小小民主只是按撫員工而已。

    但參與直選的政黨如同政府,都要面對市民,所以用代議政制的方法管治比較適合,黨主席要為直選議席負責,失去過多議席就要下台。並且黨內過於民主,會被敵黨用浸透的方法騎劫了整個政黨,把原本的理念作出180度轉變,過往歷史曾經發生過的。

    今次初選是黨與黨之間的協調,無單一黨主席,民主的程度往往需要提高。但我們需要面對一個最根本的問題,泛民要選個贏面最高的,還是跟隨無利於日後補選的原則,強性執行民主機制的初選呢?明眼人一看就知誰人贏面最高,硬要執行民主的補選分分鐘讓敵對派有機可誠利用機制上的漏洞奪去出選的議席。

    我曾寫文鬧過今次補選機制的荒謬
    http://sickgambler.blogspot.com/2007/09/blog-post_3885.html

  7. By ‘hypocritical rhetoric’ i referred to “公務員要學習民主之道,民主派亦要學良好管治之道", and any uncritical applause following such.

    We can agree to disagree, and I have no problem with replacing this with ‘lack of integrity’ — to me it means applying different standards according to one’s own arbitrary preference.

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